The Oval Female Facial Shape—A Study in Beauty

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Our understanding of who is beautiful seems to be innate but has been argued to conform to mathematical principles and proportions. One aspect of beauty is facial shape that is gender specific. In women, an oval facial shape is considered attractive.


To study the facial shape of beautiful actors, pageant title winners, and performers across ethnicities and in different time periods and to construct an ideal oval shape based on the average of their facial shape dimensions.


Twenty-one full-face photographs of purportedly beautiful female actors, performers, and pageant winners were analyzed and an oval constructed from their facial parameters.


Only 3 of the 21 faces were totally symmetrical, with the most larger in the left upper and lower face. The average oval was subsequently constructed from an average bizygomatic distance (horizontal parameter) of 4.3 times their intercanthal distance (ICD) and a vertical dimension that averaged 6.3 times their ICD.


This average oval could be fitted to many of the individual subjects showing a smooth flow from the forehead through temples, cheeks, jaw angle, jawline, and chin with all these facial aspects abutting the oval. Where they did not abut, treatment may have improved these subjects.

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