mathematical ratio said to explain human beauty
According to The Learning Channel, a plastic surgeon has used a 2,000-year-old ratio considered a model for aesthetically pleasing polygons to create mathematical models of the most beautiful possible human face. Dr. Stephen Marquardt noted that a ratio of approximately 1.618 to 1 has been considered for centuries to construct so-called "golden rectangles" that are considered classic examples of beautiful geometry. He used this ratio to generate a mask consisting of golden polygons that he claims is the most beautiful possible representation of the human face, and found that similar arrangements are found in many beautiful faces.
Dr. Marquardt theorizes that humans, like many animals, rely on pattern recognition to identify members of their own species. Since faces based on the golden ratio are the closest possible to perfect representations of the pattern that identifies a human face, they're often regarded as beautiful, he said. The pattern seems to apply to faces that are considered beautiful from various eras of history, and Dr. Marquardt conducted a study that indicates faces that closely correspond to his mask are considered beautiful across many cutures.
The Web page is from of a section of The Learning Channel's site devoted to a series on the human face that was hosted by actor John Cleese.
(via MegaTokyo forums)