Summary: There’s a notion out there that a perfect angle for your nose exists. And the myth goes that if you remake your nose at that angle, it will beautify your face—or that your face will look perfect. Of course, there’s some truth to this, and there’s a way in which this particular notion takes the available data much too far. Your nose is important, but so are your facial proportions.

The Golden Ratio

Maybe you remember this from high school. There’s a thing called a golden ratio—basically, it’s 1.3:1 or something like that. Think of a movie theater screen. The proportions of the dimension are basically a golden ratio. And for whatever reason, our brain loves this mathematical formula; or, rather, our brain loves the look of it. And so it stands to reason that scientists have been looking for other ratios that the brain is wired to get a kick out of.

Nose Angle

And so, in their search for these pleasing ratios, plastic surgeons stumbled upon something that might be considered “the perfect nose.” Recently, researchers claim to have found the answer, for women at least: 106 degrees, as measured from the forehead. According to their research, a nose angled at 106 degrees, especially if it was facing slightly upwards, provided for the most feminine look.

The researchers essentially asked over 100 people what noses they preferred out of a given sample, and recorded the results. The problem, of course, is that what defines “beautiful” is very much a cultural thing, so while the 106 degree nose might be sheik today, there’s no guarantee its luster will last. And when 106 degrees goes the way of 98 degrees (that is, out of style), you’ll still be stuck with it.

It’s Looking You in the Face

Most plastic surgeons will tell you that your face doesn’t end at the nose, and there in lies the solution to what’s in fashion. The New Jersey plastic surgeons at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery, for example, treat all of their east coast rhinoplasty patients as an entire canvas—that is, they look at the way the nose works with the entire face, emphasizing proportions rather than any one element. In other words, it’s more about ratios than angles. It’s not about giving you the perfect nose, it’s about giving you the perfect nose for your face, and that’s something which will pass the test of time. And sometimes your nose is not going to be 106 degrees. And that’s not just okay, that’s awesome.

So if you’re thinking about rhinoplasty, keep in mind that it’s about what’s right for you. To get started on your new nose, contact your plastic surgeon today.

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