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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 292-296
Evaluation of the Divine Proportion in the facial profile of young females


Department of Orthodontics, Member of Mashhad Dental School Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Submission12-Nov-2007
Date of Decision27-Apr-2008
Date of Acceptance03-May-2008
 

   Abstract 

Background: Beauty is the phenomenon of experiencing pleasure, through the perception of balance. According to some authors, attractive faces have ideal proportions that are related to the Divine Proportion (1.618:1).
Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Divine Proportion in the human profile and investigate the effects of this ratio on the perception of the beauty of the profile.
Study and Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the mentioned aims.
Materials and Methods : In this cross-sectional study, fifty females in the age range of 20-25 years, with acceptable profiles were selected. Standardized profile silhouettes were each given a score by 20 judges (consisting of 10 men and 10 women) using the visual analog scale. Five landmarks were determined and five ratios were measured on the silhouettes by using the adobe photoshop program.
Statistical Analysis: The Student's t test was used to compare profile proportions of the subjects.
Results: Statistical analysis showed none of the proportions had the mean of 1.618, but in subjects having higher esthetic scores, trichion (Te)-soft tissue menton (Me):Tr-subnasale (Sn) and Tr-Me:soft tissue nasion (N)-Me, with the mean of 1.58 were closer to Divine Proportion.
Conclusions : The results suggested the perception of beauty is influenced by the Divine Proportions and Tr-Me:Tr-Sn and Tr-Me:N-Me are the most influential ratios in the perception of the beauty of profile; however, if the Divine Proportion is to be used in treatment planning, it should be used along with other factors.

Keywords: Divine Proportion, female, profile

How to cite this article:
Jahanbin A, Basafa M, Alizadeh Y. Evaluation of the Divine Proportion in the facial profile of young females. Indian J Dent Res 2008;19:292-6

How to cite this URL:
Jahanbin A, Basafa M, Alizadeh Y. Evaluation of the Divine Proportion in the facial profile of young females. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2008 [cited 2020 May 31];19:292-6. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2008/19/4/292/44530
Beauty is the phenomenon of experiencing pleasure through the perception of balance. Everyone admires beauty and its unique balance in nature. Some say that this balance and perception of beauty is due to the 'golden' number or the ratio that gives certain things their exquisiteness. The golden number is a product beyond the mathematical imagination, but of a natural principle related to the laws of equilibrium. [1]

The numerical value of the Divine Proportion is 1-1.618. This ratio is a law of equilibrium in nature that presents a relationship between math and beauty to create both harmony and to give the illusion of perfection. [2]

The 'Divine Proportion' is one of several terms used to describe the division of a line such that the ratio of the smaller section to the larger one equals that of the larger section to the whole, to be considered pleasing to the eyes. [3]

Jefferson believed that there is a universal standard for facial beauty regardless of race, age, sex, and other variables named the Divine Proportion. [4]

In addition, Amoric showed that Divine Proportion is also found in numerous natural phenomena, geometrical propositions, and human architectural constructions. [5]

Decker demonstrated that the Divine Proportion extends from the spiral character of a DNA molecule to Leonardo's description of facial proportions. [6]

In addition, Danikas and Panagopoulos believed that since many human body proportions are in golden ratios, this ratio is considered to be the most esthetically pleasing to the eyes. [7]

However, Baker and Woods believed that it is possible for beautiful faces not to exhibit ratios in the Divine Proportion, and vice versa. [8]

Lombardi and Levin suggested that the Divine Proportion provides a guide for the ideal sizes of teeth. [2],[9]

The golden ratio also pertains to a variety of facial dimensions in the norm mesh diagram of 18-year-old American women. [10]

In 1982 Ricketts found that the Divine Proportion existed in a large number of lateral and frontal cephalograms and photographs that he considered ideal. Therefore, Ricketts advocated the use of these Divine Proportion ratios as guides for planning orthognathic surgery. [3],[11]

Furthermore, Marquardt developed a beauty mask based on the Divine Proportion and showed that regardless of race or age if it is conforms to the beauty mask, every face is deemed beautiful. [12]

According to some authors, the values of measured proportions in beautiful faces are likely to approximate the Divine Proportion. With all this in mind, the present study was designed to investigate the Divine Proportion in ideal profiles and their relation to the perception of beauty. The introduction of a standard called the Divine Proportion for the evaluation of a profile can lead orthodontic and surgical treatment to obtain maximum facial beauty.


   Materials and Methods Top


In this cross-sectional study, 50 female dental students with acceptable profiles between the ages of 20 and 25 years were invited to participate in this investigation.

Since there are variations in the structure of profiles due to age, we focused on the esthetics of 20-25-year-old Iranian females. This was done to limit the scope of the variables and to decrease the dilution of the results. The involvement of the subjects in this study was approved by the University of Mashhad Ethics Committee.

The aim of this study was explained and informed consent was obtained from each participant.

The sample subjects had no experience of orthodontic treatment, or extraction of teeth, except for third molars or cosmetic surgeries on the face.

Firstly, clinical examinations were carried out on the subjects; similarly, facial asymmetry, anteroposterior, and vertical facial proportions as well as lip prominence were evaluated. The subjects were requested to adopt normal expression in this evaluation, that is, without any asymmetry, sagittal and vertical deviations, and no excessive or decreased lip protrusion. After that the subjects' heads were oriented in the natural head position, and a standardized right profile photograph of each subject was taken using a digital camera (Panasonic Z30) with Lumix lens. To do this, the distance between the photographic equipment and the subjects was 150 cm.

In order to take the photos in natural head position, subjects were asked to stand up and look straight into their eyes' image in the mirror located on the wall in front of them at the same level which was as their pupils. In this position, the lips had to be relaxed, adopting the position they normally show during the day.

Previously, glasses were removed and the operator ensured that the subject's forehead and neck were clearly visible during the recording of the projection.

All 50 photographs were then converted to black and white (Silhouette), using the adobe photoshop program (CS3- version 10.0), and then, cropped to include only the facial outline [Figure 1].

Elimination of beauty interferers such as skin and hair color, and therefore, attracting the judge's attention to the most critical area for orthodontics (soft tissue profile outline) are considered to be the advantages of the silhouette in the evaluation of profiles.

The use of the visual analog scale was based on the work of Howells and Shaw and several studies done by Phillips and others. [13],[14],[15],[16] All these authors stated that the visual analog scale allows ratings to be given quickly and provides more flexibility than numeric scales.

The panel of judges consisted of four orthodontists (two men and twowomenh), four junior dental students (two men and two women), two senior dental students (a man and a woman), and 10 laymen (five men and five women) with no dental training. Therefore, there were 10 men and 10 women on the panel to eliminate sex bias. The ages of the panel members varied from 20-55 years.

A 100 mm visual analog scale score sheet was created to record the judges' esthetic scores for each silhouette on a scale of 0 (least attractive) to 100 (most attractive).

The silhouettes were then placed into a power point slide show to be displayed for the judges. They were then asked to score the profiles according to their preferences for what is more or less attractive.

To assess intra-assessor reliability, the judges rated the entire samples once again approximately 3 weeks after the first rating with the same method.

At the next session, 50 images were again showed randomly to the 20 judges for a clear evaluation using the visual analog scale.

In this way, at the end of two sessions there were 40 scores for each subject, then the mean of the scores was considered for grouping the profiles.

The profiles were then placed into five groups: excellent (80-100), very good (60-80), good (40-60), moderate (20-40), and poor (0-20).

In the second part of this study and in order to evaluate the Divine Proportion in subjects' profiles, five anatomic landmarks were identified on each silhouette as follows:

  1. Trichion (Tr): The superior border of the anatomical forehead, the hairline.
  2. Soft tissue nasion (N): The most concave point of the tissue overlying the area of the frontonasal suture.
  3. Subnasale (Sn): A point located at the junction between the lower border of the nose and the beginning of the upper lip at the midsagittal plane.
  4. Stomion (St): The median point of the oral embrasure when the lips are closed.
  5. Soft tissue menton (Me): The most inferior point on the soft tissue chin.


After identification of mentioned landmarks, six linear dimensions were measured by the adobe photoshop program (CS3- Version 10.0) and the following ratios were then calculated: (R1) Tr to Me (1.618): Tr to Sn (1.0), (R2) Tr to Me (1.618): N to Me (1.0), (R3) Tr to Sn (1.618): Sn to Me (1.0), (R4) Sn to Me (1.618): St to Me (1.0), and (R5) N to Sn (1.618): St to Me (1.0).All the manual procedures were undertaken by the same operator and all of these processes were repeated two times to reduce errors.

The Student's t test was used to compare the subjects' profile proportions. In this study, P < 0.05 was used as the level of statistical significance.


   Results Top


[Table 1] indicates that 32% of the subjects had very good and 38% had good smiles, but just 10% of cases had excellent soft tissue profiles and none of them got the score of 100.

According to [Table 2], in 25 subjects with higher esthetic scores (group A), the R1 and R2 ratios (with the mean of 1.58) were closer to the Divine Proportion, but none of them had the mean of 1.618.

Similarly, [Table 3] shows 25 subjects with lower esthetic scores (group B), R1, R2, R3, and R4 were closer to 1.618, respectively.

Analytical statistics of proportions are presented in [Table 4]. The Student's t test was applied to all variables to determine the differences in profile ratios in group A and B. The findings represent statistically significant differences in ratios R1 and R2 among the two groups (P < 0.001).

In addition, similar results were found in R3 and R4, but the result of the t test showed no statistically significant difference in R5, between the two groups (P = 0.37).


   Discussion Top


Various disciplines have studied the nature of facial beauty. Individually, they provide partial answers; however, when viewed together they begin to weave provocative insights as to its biological significance. It is intricately related to the Divine Proportion, and all living creatures have the genetic potential to develop it.

As it was mentioned previously, few studies applied silhouettes for proportional investigations. In one study, Barrer and Ghafari assessed profile silhouettes before and after orthodontic treatment. The results supported the use of the silhouette in the evaluation of profiles. [17]

This study showed most of the subjects with good and very good profiles, but only 10% of their profiles were excellent [Table 1].

This could be explained by the fact that in the present study silhouettes, not profile photographs, were assessed by judges. Elimination of some beauty factors such as skin and hair color could affect the judges' ratings. By focusing their attention just on the soft tissue profile outlines, it might be difficult for them to rate black and white photographs. For this reason, just 10% of the profiles were scored as excellent. Perhaps, most of the judges needed more beauty factors for rating a profile as excellent.

In this regard, Spyropoulos and Halazonetis also stated that facial attractiveness is influenced by the soft tissue outline form, but factors other than the profile outline such as hair style may be more influential in facial esthetics. [18]

According to the data in [Table 2], although, neither of the proportions had the mean of 1.618, the subjects having higher esthetic scores (group A) Tr-Me:Tr-Sn and Tr-Me:N-Me with the mean of 1.58, were closer to the Divine Proportion.

Similarly, [Table 3], shows subjects having lower esthetic scores (group B), Tr-Me:Tr-Sn with the mean of 1.53 were closer and N-Sn:St-Me was further away from the Divine Proportion.

According to the data in [Table 4], Tr-Me:Tr-Sn, Tr-Me:N-Me, Tr-Sn:Sn-Me, and Sn-Me:St-Me were significantly different from those in group B. It means that the mentioned ratios in subjects with higher esthetic scores were closer to the Divine Proportion as compared with subjects in group B.

It suggests that Tr-Me:Tr-Sn and Tr-Me:N-Me with the mean of 1.58 were more effective in the perception of beauty in profiles (P < 0.001); therefore, orthodontists and surgeons could make patients more beautiful by approximating these ratios to Divine Proportion.

According to previous studies, in 1995 Amoric showed that the golden proportion is found in many cephalometric measurements. [19]

Jefferson also showed that the facial beauty is directly related to the Divine Proportion. The findings of the present study partially agree with Jefferson's study because the results of our investigation showed that a relationship exists between the Divine Proportion and the perception of beauty. [4]

In this regards, Kawakami et al., investigated the balance of eyes, nose, and mouth in typical Japanese individuals, based on the golden proportion. They suggested each ratio can be used for preoperative and postoperative esthetic analysis in maxillofacial surgeries. [20]

Medici Filho et al., in 2007 revealed a relationship between the Divine Proportion and facial esthetics in frontal photographs. [21] In contrast, Moss et al., used three-dimensional techniques to evaluate facial esthetics, measuring various widths within the face, and found none to be in the Divine Proportion. [22]

In 2001 Baker and Woods investigated the changes in facial proportions as a result of combined orthodontic/orthognathic surgical treatment. The results showed no correlation between changes in esthetic ratings and changes in the measured Divine Proportion. [8]

Shell and Woods compared the Divine Proportion in surgical and nonsurgical Class II patients after treatments. Moreover, they concluded that the achievement of the Divine Proportion seemed to have little, if any, influence on overall esthetic outcomes. [23]

Thus, the authors conclude if the Divine Proportion is to be used as an aid to treatment planning, it should perhaps be used along with other factors.


   Conclusion Top


Taking the limitations of any photographic and facial measurement studies into account, the following conclusions can be made:

The more attractive the profiles, the closer the facial ratios are to the Divine Proportion.

Tr-Me:Tr-Sn and Tr-Me:N-Me are the most influential ratios in the perception of the beauty of profiles.

N-Sn:St-Me ratio has the least effect on perception of the beauty of profiles.


   Acknowledgment Top


We would like to thank Dr. Habibollah Esmaili, Medical Statistician, for his assistance in the statistical analysis .This study was supported by a grant from vice chancellor of research of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.

 
   References Top

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6.Decker JD. The divine proportion. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2004;126:19A-20A.  Back to cited text no. 6    
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Correspondence Address:
Arezoo Jahanbin
Department of Orthodontics, Member of Mashhad Dental School Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.44530

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