Anatomy of Beauty

Hola! My name is Taylor Foley and I’m a sophomore studying Strategic Communications. For my blog assignment, I’ve decided to focus on beauty. I plan on finding out…

1. What beauty IS,

2. Whether or not beauty is in the eye of the beholder,

3. What qualifies as something or someone as beautfiul, and

4. What is considered “beautiful” in other cultures.

For now, however, I want to discuss the basics of beauty:

By definition, beauty is “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses” or “a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.”

According to, when judging whether a person is attractive, we’re actually making a judgement about the individual’s “health and vitality.” Most of us perceive beauty to be facial symmetry, which is said to indicate “good genes” and “healthy development.”

Which face do you find more attractive?

Is your face symmetrical?

Take this quiz to find out:

My Results — Naturally, I got a little curious and decided to take the quiz myself. To my surprise, this website in no way tip-toes around your feelings when deciding how your face measures up. Apparently, my face scored mere a 7.28 out of a possible 10.  Basically, I now have to go on living knowing my face is a lowly, inferior “C.”  How tragic.  Anyway, here are the 6 reasons gave me for being a lowly 7.28:

  1. Your face has good horizontal symmetry.
  2. Your nose is too long for your ears.
  3. Your innerocular distance is too big for your eyes.
  4. Your nose is too wide for your face width.
  5. Your face is too wide/too short.
  6. Your mouth is too wide for your nose.

I’ll try not to take a website’s opinion on my face too personally, but it’s a little harsh, right?

So what is it that makes someone attractive?

Both males and females have different standards when it comes to attractiveness or beauty. From a male point of view (according to, a beautiful female face is made up of youthful features such as “full lips, clear and smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, and good muscle tone.” On the other hand, women characterize an attractive male face as having a strong jawline, smaller eyes, and a bigger nose.

When it comes to symmetry in the body, men prefer women with a waist to hip ratio of 0.7.  I’m sure you’re now wondering what a “waist to hip ratio” is and whether it’s a real thing.  Well, it is real and this is how it is broken down mathematically:

waist measurement ÷ hip measurement

Yep. Crazy, right?

On the other hand, women (in Western culture especially) prefer men to have a narrow waist and broad shoulders, which is called the “V” shape.  A man with this shape is considered strong and healthy.

Links: (Facial Symmetry Quiz)