Association of Frontal and Lateral Facial Attractiveness

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Abstract

Importance

Despite the large number of studies focused on defining frontal or lateral facial attractiveness, no reports have examined whether a significant association between frontal and lateral facial attractiveness exists.

Objectives

To examine the association between frontal and lateral facial attractiveness and to identify anatomical features that may influence discordance between frontal and lateral facial beauty.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Paired frontal and lateral facial synthetic images of 240 white women (age range, 18-25 years) were evaluated from September 30, 2004, to September 29, 2008, using an internet-based focus group (n = 600) on an attractiveness Likert scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least attractive and 10 being most attractive. Data analysis was performed from December 6, 2016, to March 30, 2017. The association between frontal and lateral attractiveness scores was determined using linear regression. Outliers were defined as data outside the 95% individual prediction interval. To identify features that contribute to score discordance between frontal and lateral attractiveness scores, each of these image pairs were scrutinized by an evaluator panel for facial features that were present in the frontal or lateral projections and absent in the other respective facial projections.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Attractiveness scores obtained from internet-based focus groups.

Results

For the 240 white women studied (mean [SD] age, 21.4 [2.2] years), attractiveness scores ranged from 3.4 to 9.5 for frontal images and 3.3 to 9.4 for lateral images. The mean (SD) frontal attractiveness score was 6.9 (1.4), whereas the mean (SD) lateral attractiveness score was 6.4 (1.3). Simple linear regression of frontal and lateral attractiveness scores resulted in a coefficient of determination of r2 = 0.749. Eight outlier pairs were identified and analyzed by panel evaluation. Panel evaluation revealed no clinically applicable association between frontal and lateral images among outliers; however, contributory facial features were suggested. Thin upper lip, convex nose, and blunt cervicomental angle were suggested by evaluators as facial characteristics that contributed to outlier frontal or lateral attractiveness scores.

Conclusions and Relevance

This study identified a strong linear association between frontal and lateral facial attractiveness. Furthermore, specific facial landmarks responsible for the discordance between frontal and lateral facial attractiveness scores were suggested. Additional studies are necessary to determine whether correction of these landmarks may increase facial harmony and attractiveness.

Level of Evidence

NA.

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