A compact midface has been argued to be attractive for both men and women on lookism forums and related online spaces (see also midface ratio). The midface is considered compact when the maxilla that is short relatively wide which tends to mean that the face has a high width-to-height ratio. A very long and narrow midface (sometimes called a horseface or long face syndrome) is sometimes argued to be unattractive.
Of course, a very compact/wide or very elongated/narrow faces look unnatural and bad in both sexes in accordance to the goldilocks principle. Consequently, a normal/average midface may actually be more attractive than a particular compact one. There is evidence that faces have become less compact and more elongated in modern societies.
Sex differences[edit | edit source]
Some have argued that an elongated midface affects men more adversely than women, however this appears to be an unsubstantiated claim.
A short midface (in particular a high ratio of upper and lower facial features) is actually a neotenous trait, and women's faces are more neotenous. Women have a shorter philtrum, and while women's upper-to-lower-facial-height ratio is 1.23, men's is only 1.07.. As a result, mid/lower facial compactness may be even more important for women.
Conversely, a long distance between nose and mouth appears gerontomorphic, even apish and brutish as various great apes closely related to humans, e.g. Chimpanzees, have strong forward growth of the maxilla, presumably owing to less self-domesticated nature, consumption of raw rather than cooked meat, and using their mouth as a mechanical tool like many other animals do to eat their prey (rather than using their hands like humans).
However, at the same time, men's maxilla (as well as mandible) is sligthly wider than women's, hence a particularly long maxilla (relatively to the width) may also affect this ratio in men disadvantageously.
References[edit | edit source]
- Sandra Kahn; Paul R. Ehrlich Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic
- Tanikawa, C., Zere, E., & Takada, K. (2016). Sexual dimorphism in the facial morphology of adult humans: A three-dimensional analysis. HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 67(1), 23–49. doi:10.1016/j.jchb.2015.10.001