New Poll: Facial Plastic Surgeons Reveal Top Celebrity Faces Through the Decades

NEW YORK, NY, September 23, 2004 – In an effort to help better understand the dynamics of perceived beauty, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) recently surveyed its members – facial plastic surgeons, true face specialists – to rate the facial features of celebrities over the past four decades and to determine how beauty has changed over time. In addition, the Academy asked its members to identify the greatest advancements and milestones in facial plastic surgery.

“Over the past forty years, the advancements in new technologies, safety and patient results in facial plastic surgery have evolved just as beauty has, and while beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, this survey shows how facial attractiveness transcends through time,” says Dr. Steven Pearlman, president of the AAFPRS.

The following information highlights the celebrity beauty findings from the recent AAFPRS membership survey:

The 1960′s

Peace, love, happiness and wide eyes marked the sixties. Legendary actors Elizabeth Taylor (38 percent) and Paul Newman (42 percent) defined beauty during this decade. Taylor’s porcelain skin and well-proportioned eyes as well as the defined features of Newman’s eyes and lips epitomized timeliness beauty. Fair Lady Audrey Hepburn followed Taylor with 26 percent of the votes, while the tall, dark and handsome Cary Grant rounded out the male category with 38 percent.

Facial plastic surgeon experts agree that facial skeletal proportions are the true determining factors when analyzing facial attractiveness. A well-proportioned face should be divided into equal thirds, with horizontal lines drawn through the anterior hairline, the brow, the base of the nose, and the edge of the chin.

The 1970′s

Disco, bellbottoms, polyester and thick eyebrows characterized the seventies with icons Farrah Fawcett and Robert Redford both receiving 70 percent of the facial plastic surgeon votes. “The seventies embodied leading ladies who had defined features like Meryl Streep and Cher,” said Pearlman. “But Farrah Fawcett’s delicate nose and chin and well-developed cheek bones gave her the face of this decade, while Robert Redford’s nose and strong jaw line illustrated why he was selected.”

The 1980′s

Eighties glamour; big hair and bold makeup represented the beauty ideal of this time. Model Christie Brinkley (49 percent) and actor Mel Gibson (33 percent) embodied the best facial features during this decade while Michelle Pfeiffer (38%) and Harrison Ford (30%) come in a close second.

The 1990′s

The decade of minimalism, grunge and supermodels indicated a change in the ideal face of beauty. Fashion icon Cindy Crawford (40 percent) and legendary bachelor George Clooney (29 percent) symbolized attractiveness in the nineties. “Supermodel Cindy Crawford was likely chosen by our members because of her flawless skin, attractive nose and recognizable lips. Clooney possesses a strong jaw and straight, masculine nose,” said Pearlman. Starlet Nicole Kidman came in second with 14 percent of the votes as did Tom Cruise with 22 percent.

The Present

Catherine Zeta-Jones (31%) and Hugh Jackman (26%) epitomize the current ideal faces of beauty. Charlize Theron (23%) comes in second and Lucy Liu (1%) gets only a small vote. In the male category, Colin Farrell (21%) is right behind Jackman while Justin Timberlake (3%) comes in last. The present faces of beauty represent many features of the ideal. “Zeta-Jones has a short delicate jaw with small chin and nose, all of which are desirable for an attractive female face,” said Dr. Pearlman.

With the celebrities selected, all possessing desirable facial features that represent beauty of yesterday and today, the AAFPRS stresses the importance for prospective patients to have realistic expectations of facial plastic surgery and should seek cosmetic surgery only to enhance features rather than to look like someone else. “Patients who are seeking facial plastic surgery do not necessarily want to ‘look’ like a celebrity, but rather want to enhance their own features. The AAFPRS urges patients to make an educated choice when selecting a surgeon if he or she is considering facial plastic surgery,” adds Pearlman. A surgeon should be board certified by boards affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) or equivalent boards like the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The Academy’s 40 th anniversary is being recognized this week in New York City at the AAFPRS annual meeting. Approximately 900 facial plastic surgeons from around the world will be at the four-day convention filled with presentations, exhibits, social events, workshops and panel discussions on the latest in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery.

The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by calling 1-800-332-FACE or by visiting the AAFPRS Web Site, www.AAFPRS.org.

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