Is Perfect Really Possible?
July 03, 2022

Is Perfect Really Possible?

 Beauty is easy enough to spot, but often tricky to define. I have been searching and searching for the quintessential definition of beauty, what is it that makes a super-model so super? Is there a mathematical code, formula, relationship or even a secret number that can describe facial perfection? While beauty is, and always will be in the eye of the beholder, there is a mystical little ratio in nature that seems to be a reoccurring theme in all things deemed beautiful. 
First identified in ancient Greece, the Greek mathematician Euclid identified the "Golden Proportion," an ideal face two-thirds as wide as it is tall, with a nose no longer than the distance between the eyes. Flash forward to 1997 when a retired California plastic surgeon introduced the Marquardt Mask, an equation that dissects the face using a ratio of 1 to 1.618, or phi. Dr. Marquardt conducted a cross-cultural research study on beauty, by surveying various different people he concluded that all cultural groups had the same perceptions of facial beauty.  His research did not stop there, he then analyzed human faces from ancient times to compare with his modern day survey results.  Through his research, he discovered that beauty is not only related to phi, but that it can be defined for both genders, all races, cultures and throughout history with a mathematical equation. Dr. Marquardt subsequently designed and patented the beauty mask, a spider-esque web of lines to define beauty by measuring the proportions of each individuals face.  Sign me up! 
After 15 years in the aesthetic industry, you begin to look at yourself differently, with each passing consultation I found myself analyzing myself in the mirror more closely, looking back obsessing might be a more accurate term. I thought to myself, ‘if this beautiful, near-perfect woman is here to correct things, maybe I needed some corrections too?’ And so my journey towards facial perfection began. I decided to start injecting, plumping, highlighting, freezing and augmenting my face in an effort to produce a fresher, hotter, more appealing version of myself. I thought that by enhancing and contouring specific facial features that Phi deemed disproportionate based on the golden ration, I would somehow reach Nirvana. Using special calipers to measure my facial dimensions, the nurse was able to identify and correct the smallest, most obscure imperfections in my face. My ‘after’ photos did not look unrecognizable or model-fied at all, but a couple of millimeters added to my chin and like slightly increasing the angle and projection of my cheeks was able to produce an albeit slight, a prettier version of myself nonetheless. It is mind-blowing how the smallest, barely identifiable modifications to my face took me from attractive to a lot more aesthetically pleasing.  So not only is it definable, but beauty is actually in the Phi of the beholder.
It is unnerving to learn that the perception of attractiveness is in fact universal, the same mathematical equations hold true with any race, ethnicity or gender. This is not to say that perfect phi-portions are the answer to your dating woes, hair color, eye color, skin tone and personality all play a role in attractiveness, however clinical research proved that even with their personal preferences, all subjects agreed that the phi’d versions of people’s faces were ‘more attractive’. 
Now this daunting question keeps re-surfacing in my mind, and has throughout this entire endeavor, has my quest for attaining facial perfection opened up a proverbial can of worms? With the utmost level of care and detail I already dedicate to my appearance, is there really another ‘flaw’ that I need to be cognitive of?! Would perfect proportions somehow be satisfying like the high of a retail therapy bender? Or will this simply add a new layer of self-consciousness to obsess over. Learning about the imperfections I never knew I had was not life altering, quite the opposite actually. As woman, beauty is, and always will be something that weighs heavily on our self-esteem, and how we perceive and are perceived by other people. The fact that it is just the tiniest mathematical tweak that separates you from the ideal you, a virtual collection of increments actually trivialized the anxieties I had about the potential imperfections I’d learn about.
What I learned along my journey on the quest to perfection, is that not only does facial aesthetics play an important role in the perception of beauty, but that it is only one very small part of the equation. Remember, there is no personality pill, no formula for elegance, no mathematical equation for a sense of humor, style, or how a person carries themselves, all of which however factor heavily into your persona, as perfectly crafted as it may be.