Beauty or Geometry? Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (1492) paid homage to the remarkable proportions of the human body: arm span equals height, and the ratio of the lengths (foot to navel) to (navel to head) was the Golden Ratio (1.618, the ratio of adjacent numbers in the Fibonacci Series).
Reconstructive surgeon, Stephen Marquardt, took this much further. After extensive analysis of faces deemed to be beautiful, he found the golden ratio everywhere: mouths were 1.618 times wider than the noses, and the widest part of the nose was 1.618 times wider than the tip. He even found the width of a supermodel’s front two teeth to be precisely 1.618 times the height of each tooth! If one must find an evolutionary significance to a preference for facial symmetry, it has been speculated to be an indicator of freedom from disease, and worthiness for mating.
Now, what’s the math behind inner beauty?
Sources: For an interactive Flash game on mathematical beauty (or not) of some famous faces, check out http://www.intmath.com/numbers/math-of-beauty.php
Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Mask photo: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/blinded-by-science