Faces Of Beauty: Yesterday & Today

American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Polls its Membership to Reveal Which Stars Embody Present-Day Appeal and Everlasting Allure

New, York, NY, January 15, 2003 — Academy Award-winning actress and current Bond girl Halle Berry has another title to add to her already impressive list. A six-year veteran of People magazine’s “The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World” list, Berry has just been named the “modern-day ideal face of beauty” for 2002 by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).

In an effort to help better understand the ideal of perceived beauty that exists today and to see if that ideal has changed over time, the AAFPRS polled its membership – facial plastic surgeons – to rate the features of past and present Tinseltown stars. So, while Berry may have taken the title for “modern-day beauty,” Fair Lady Audrey Hepburn was a winner (with 20 percent of Academy votes) when it came to naming the female celebrity whose face represents “timeless beauty.” And among the men, 25 percent of the facial plastic surgeons chose legendary bachelor George Clooney as the male “modern-day ideal face of beauty” and the tall, dark and handsome Cary Grant as the face of “timeless beauty” for men.

While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, facial plastic surgeons agree that the 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. Attractive faces tend to fit within these parameters, which reflect a proportional facial skeleton.

So why did Halle Berry rightfully earn the modern-day ideal face of beauty nomination by 19 percent of the Academy? “Ms. Berry was likely chosen by our members because of her unblemished, smooth skin, full lips, large eyes, and delicate yet defined facial skeleton,” says AAFPRS President Dean M. Toriumi, MD. “She has a great smile and seems very sincere when viewed by the public,” he adds, affirming the truth that real beauty also comes from within. Runners-up in this category include Catherine Zeta-Jones and Elizabeth Hurley (each received 17 percent of the votes) and Nicole Kidman (with 11 percent of the votes).

Interestingly, Audrey Hepburn’s face has very similar structural features to Berry’s. Toriumi cites the graceful Hepburn’s angular facial bone structure, full, well positioned eyebrows and captivating eyes as reasons why the AAFPRS chose her to represent enduring loveliness. In comparing the facial proportions of Halle Berry and Audrey Hepburn, Toriumi finds that both have “striking eyes, full lips, and a long columnar neck.” However, despite these similarities, he feels that the overall perception of facial beauty today has changed to some degree from years past. “Today, beauty transcends race and color and is truly dependent on the harmonious relationship of facial features,” states Toriumi.

So, how does hunky George Clooney compare? Physically speaking, George Clooney was selected because he possesses a strong jaw, deep brown eyes, an “ever-perfect” olive complexion, and a strong and straight masculine nose, says Toriumi. As with Halle Berry, some of George Clooney’s attractiveness is attributed to his charming personality. “Clooney is known for his sense of humor, often seen in interviews making wry comments, jokes, and pulling pranks,” observes Toriumi. “Thus, his appeal seems partially to stem from a persona, which is a blend of warmth and humor.” Following close behind for the title of male modern-day face of beauty are heartthrobs Brad Pitt and Mel Gibson – tied for second place, each with 20 percent of the vote. On the other hand, *NSYNC teen idol Justin Timberlake received zero votes from the surgeons.

Like Clooney, timeless beauty winner Cary Grant has a well-proportioned face with a broad forehead, expressive brows and a strong chin with a characteristic dimple. However, Toriumi finds that the major common features between the two – a strong, straight nose and well-defined jaw – are two ideal masculine traits that have endured through the years. “These features of attractive males have withstood the test of time.”

Although Berry, Hepburn, Clooney and Grant all possess enviable facial features that represent the ideal beauty of today and yesterday, Toriumi stresses that it is important for prospective patients to have realistic expectations of facial plastic surgery. According to Toriumi, the majority of facial plastic surgery patients today seek to enhance the features they already have rather than want to look like someone else. Popular options today include noninvasive and less expensive procedures, such as Botox and chemical peels – all designed to improve existing appearance. No wonder then that 55 percent of the AAFPRS surgeons said that an overall younger appearance and the removal of fine lines was the number one request by patients who visited their offices in 2002.

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.FACEMD.org.