Phi: The Symmetry of Beauty
Changing the way we think about, and define, beauty
The Greek letter Phi has been used for millennia to define perfect proportions. Found throughout nature, the solar system, and in the proportions of the human body, Phi is the number 1.618. Also known as the Golden Number, Phi helps define what makes an object or a face symmetrical and therefore, beautiful.
Many Renaissance artists, including and most famously, Leonardo Da Vinci, used the mathematics of Phi (or the Divine Proportions) to create some of the most beloved works of art in the world.
Why do we find symmetrical faces (and objects) more beautiful? Much research has gone in to this question, with evidence that even infants prefer symmetrical faces and objects. There are two theories for why this is. One is the Evolutionary Advantage view which proposes that symmetric individuals are attractive because they appear to us a particularly healthy. The second is the
Perceptual Bias view, which proposes that symmetric individuals are attractive because the human visual system can process symmetric stimuli of any kind more easily than it can process asymmetric stimuli 1.
Phi is a mathematical way of defining symmetry. In the field of cosmetic surgery and aesthetics, Phi can act as a guide for just what a face might need to look it’s most beautiful. Generally, when faces look overdone or over-treated, it is because they are not symmetrical – perhaps someone’s lips are too big for their face, or their cheeks are too high compared to their brows. There is no one size fits all for beauty – and that is something that less skilled and more novice injectors can mis-understand. Using Phi helps guide treatments so that they look their most natural. Our patients love looking naturally beautiful and refreshed – not artificial.
Using something called golden calipers, Dr. Janowski can use these ancient proportions to subtly create your most beautiful appearance. Using a ratio of 1:1.618, the calipers use a fixed measurement to assess other proportions on the face. The fixed ratio used to define almost all other proportions is the intercanthal distance. The intercanthal distance is the space between your eyes, and this distance remains constant throughout adulthood – even as your face ages. Using this measurement, the golden calipers can help define where the apex of your cheek should be, how high your brows should be, the perfect length of your nose, and more.
If your proportions are slightly off, or less than “Phi”, small additions of filler or creative uses of Botox® or Dysport® can correct these asymmetries. After assessing your level of Phi, and doing these (usually small) corrections, your face will be more symmetrical and by definition, more beautiful in a very natural way.
If you are interested in learning more about Phi, the golden calipers, or being assessed by Dr. Janowski, please schedule a complimentary consultation with us.
*Results may vary from patient to patient