Sorry Beyonce, but Florence Colgate has stolen your ‘Most Beautiful’ thunder today: the British 18-year-old (above) has been crowned the most naturally beautiful woman in the world. After a public vote, Colgate beat out 8,000 applicants in a contest organized by Lorraine Cosmetics, which sought the most perfect makeup-free face. Applicants who had undergone plastic surgery were turned away.
As you can see, Colgate’s face is pretty much a perfect confluence of various Western Standards of Beauty. As for why she won, rather than assuming youth, symmetry, full lips, high cheekbones, blonde hair and clear, light eyes… there is an actual explanation. Take it away, soft science!
According to extensive studies of ‘attractiveness’, researchers believe the ‘beauty’ of a woman’s face can be summed up in a series of simple ratios.
The ‘perfect’ face has a distance between the pupils of just under half, or 46 per cent, of the width of the whole face from ear to ear – pretty Florence’s ratio is 44 per cent.
Scientists believe the distance between eyes and mouth should be a third of the overall length from hairline to chin on the perfect face – Florence’s face has 32.8 per cent ratio.
According to researchers Florence’s youthful, feminine features, such as her large eyes, high cheekbones, and full lips, are subconscious tell tale signs of fertility, health and good genes.
Colgate says her beauty secret is water (though we’d say western civilization’s biases are in her corner, too): ”My advice is for people to make sure they keep their skin really clean, drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet.” Fair advice, though.
A beauty contest is a beauty contest and whether or not you find them inherently problematic is up to you.
…However, on the subject of using mathematics to reinforce why we find faces like Colgate’s so pretty, there’s one major problem. The experts don’t account for people being attracted to unique, striking, and unusual features–ones that violate these supposedly golden ratios. Angelina Jolie‘s famous lips would eliminate her (they’re too big), Lara Stone‘s strong brow (and gap teeth!), Jennifer Connelly‘s prominent chin, Julia Robert‘s giant grin… the science ignores that often a person’s attractiveness exists in how his or her features deviate from the norm.
So, although Colgate’s face is extremely pretty, it’s also–by design–not terribly interesting to look at. What we’re saying is… we’ll take the weirdos anyday.