Does Amber Heard really have the most beautiful face in the world?  An expert explains why the golden ratio test is fake

Does Amber Heard really have the most beautiful face in the world? An expert explains why the golden ratio test is fake | Pro Club Bd

According to cosmetic surgeon Julian De Silva, Amber Heard has one of the most beautiful faces in the world. The claim has been reused for a number of years and recently resurfaced in the wake of Heard’s (widely reported) trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp.

But what is this claim based on?

Well, according to De Silva, Heard scores very well on the “Golden Ratio Test.” This test evaluates a person’s facial beauty based on how close their facial proportions are to the golden ratio. But is it really a formula for beauty?

The Pythagoreans and the Golden Ratio

About 2,400 years ago, the Pythagoreans first discovered the golden section, also known as the “divine part”. It’s a mathematical value called “phi,” represented by the Greek symbol φ, which is approximately equal to 1.618.

The Pythagoreans were a mystical cult of mathematicians who attached mystical, philosophical, and even ethical meaning to many numbers. They chose the pentagram as their symbol. With its five-fold symmetries, it symbolized health for them.

Pentagrams contain the golden section φ.
author provided

Pentagrams are mathematically intriguing, not least because they have the odd ratio φ. In the pentagram shown, the four bold black lines lengthen by φ at each step. So the long horizontal line is φ longer than the bold side length.

Similarly, imagine six circles of the same size arranged in two rows of three and nested within a large circle (as shown). The radius of the large circle is φ times larger than the diameter of the small circles.

φ is present in this selection of circles.

The golden ratio is also related to the famous Fibonacci number sequence (which reads 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…). The ratios between one number and the next get closer and closer to φ as the numbers get larger. For example: 13/8 = 1.625, 21/13 = 1.615, 34/21 = 1.619 and so on.

Fibonacci numbers and their golden ratio are surprisingly widespread in mathematics. They also occur naturally, creating pretty spirals in some flowers, pine cones, and the swirling arms of certain galaxies.

Fibonacci numbers are found in the diaper of the sunflower (Helianthus).
L. Shyamal/Wikimedia

Plato’s realm of ideals

Influenced by the Pythagoreans and their love of beautiful mathematics, the Greek philosopher Plato (423-347 BC) proposed that the physical world was an imperfect projection of a more beautiful and “real” realm of truth and ideals. At least no Perfect Triangles or pentagrams exist in real life.

According to Plato, these truths and ideals can only be seen in the physical world by reasoning or by creating symmetry and order that allows them to shine through.

This has greatly influenced Western thought, including modern science and its acceptance of universal laws of nature – such as Isaac Newton’s laws of motion or Albert Einstein’s equation for special relativity: E = mc2 .

One of the promoters of Plato’s ideas was the Renaissance mathematician Luca Pacioli. In 1509 Pacioli published a written trilogy on the golden ratio entitled Divina Proportione with illustrations by Leonardo da Vinci. This widely influential work sparked the first public interest in the golden ratio.

It also promoted the Platonic idea that human bodies should ideally meet certain divine mathematical proportions. Da Vinci expressed this ideal in his famous illustration The Vitruvian Man.

The Vitruvian Man is believed to have been completed around AD 1490, some 1,800 years after Plato’s death.
Illustration by Leonardo da Vinci

The Myth of the Golden Ratio in Ancient Art

Adolph Zeising expanded on this idea in his books published between 1854 and 1884. In his last book The Golden Ratio he claimed that the most beautiful and basic proportions are related to the golden ratio not only in bodies but also in nature, art, music and architecture. This led to the widespread claim that ancient Greek art and architecture exhibited the golden ratio and were therefore beautiful.

But as Mario Livio describes in his book The Golden Ratio, this has been debunked as a myth. There is no record of the ancient Greeks mentioning the golden ratio outside of mathematics and numerology, and studies show that φ is very rarely observed in ancient Greek art and architecture.

Voted the most beautiful building in the world in 2017, the Parthenon in Athens is said to have φ to its proportions. But careful calculations show that this claim is wrong.

But the myth persists. Today, the golden ratio is promoted in art, architecture, photography, and plastic surgery for its supposed visual beauty.

Marquardt’s mask

One of the proponents of the golden ratio as a beauty ideal is the cosmetic surgeon Stephen R. Marquardt. In 2002, Marquardt claimed to have discovered that the golden ratio determines beautiful facial proportions. For example, he claimed that an ideal face would have a mouth φ times wider than the nose.

Marquardt then created a geometric face mask that depicts “ideal” facial proportions for the benefit of cosmetic surgeons and orthodontists – in his words “as a paradigm of the ideal aesthetic end result”.

He also claimed the mask could be used to objectively assess beauty, leading to the test of the golden ratio.

The face mask from Marquardt is also known as the “quiet front mask”.

Marquardt’s claims were very influential. Plastic surgery is often guided by golden ratio measurements, and golden ratio testing apps are popular.

The golden ratio test is debunked

To study “attractive” faces, Marquardt measured the facial proportions of film actors and models. So it was his research on this select group of people that led to his claims and the mask.

But Marquardt’s claims have since been disproved and the golden ratio test disproved.

Studies show that Marquardt’s mask represents neither Sub-Saharan Africans nor East Asians nor South Indians.

In fact, it mainly represents the facial features of the small population of masculinized Northwestern European women. This is a look, one study notes, “as seen on models.”

In fact, evidence suggests that while facial ratios can correlate with perceived facial beauty, these ratios depend on biological and cultural factors.

A study on the winners of Miss Universe 2001-2015 illustrated this impressively. These winners are considered very beautiful in many cultures.

However, unlike masculinized models from Northwest Europe, the correlation between their facial proportions and the golden ratio of Marquardt’s mask is “statistically significantly invalid”.

This makes it clear: there is no magic number that determines beauty in general.

Who is the prettiest?

Researchers have identified some “platonic” traits of facial beauty, including averageness and symmetry, sexual dimorphism, skin texture, emotion, and randomness.

However, there is currently no evidence that the golden ratio φ determines facial beauty — or any visual beauty at all.

You can (informally) test this yourself. Below are rectangles with the ratios φ:1, 3:2, 1.414:1, 4:3, and 1:1. Does one of them have a beauty that surpasses the others?

Which of these rectangles do you think is the most beautiful?

Read more: Is there really an ideal body shape for women?

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