Obsession with beauty is not a new phenomenon, both women and men have been concerned about their looks virtually since the dawn of time. Admittedly, painting the face and body with woad would not today, be considered flattering but at the time it was the catsâ€™ pyjamas!
Sometimes beautification was used to impress the gods rather than their fellow human beings or to signify their rank in society. The latter is achieved today by a hair style by the hottest stylist and a dress by Prada or Chanel. In ancient Egypt, eye makeup, wigs, lipstick and shaving were all employed to make the body and face beautiful.
A lot of time has been spent trying to analyse beauty, is it the lips or the eyes, or is it how they relate to each other? Do big eyes make a face beautiful?
At the University of New Mexico Professor Victor Johnstone discovered that the perfect face was a female 24 years and 10 months old. He did this on a computer using a programme that attempted to mimic the evolutionary process by randomly choosing faces which were then selected by their beauty. The best ones were chosen and used to create the next â€˜generationâ€™. This process was repeated a number of times resulting in a shorter face with full lips. In the male face smaller eyes and a strong chin are more favoured, intimating maturity. If you look at some of the famous movie stars such as Robert Mitchum or pop stars like Rod Stewart, you would hardly say that they were beautiful, or perhaps you would, for beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
Nature, however, may have the last word when it comes to the perfect beauty because of an interesting concept called â€˜the golden mean or sectionâ€™. This is a mathematical equation discovered by Pythagoras in 600 BC., who noted that certain things in nature, the spiral of a snailâ€™s shell, the seeds and flowers of a sun flower the way the petals of a rose grow, all seemed to conform to the same structural concept. Over the centuries, it has been used in painting and architecture by some of the best known people, like Leonardo Da Vinci and Corbusiere. In the human body it has been found that there are certain relationships between the different parts that conform to the â€˜golden meanâ€™, in fact, Dr Lowey of the University College Hospital in London, England, measured the faces of some of the most famous fashion models and found that they came nearer to the proportions of the â€˜golden meanâ€™ than ordinary people. When comparing the distance between the nose and the hairline and then to the chin it is the same relationship. Beauty can be defined as 1.618.