The European Renaissance was one of the most prolific eras for the development of art, sculpture, architecture and mathematics. The Greeks, in particular, were advanced in all of these areas. Using a combination of art and math, the ancient Greeks invented a concept called the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio uses math to map out perfect facial features, and the Greeks used this method to determine a person’s facial beauty based on a scale of 1 to 10.
Take a snapshot of your face with a digital camera, and save the photo on your computer.
Use a graphics program (such as Adobe Photoshop) to calculate measurements with the help of the program’s measurement tool. To calculate more accurate measurements, use the zoom tool to magnify during the measurement process.
Calculate the length and the width of the face. Divide the length by the width. According to the Golden Ratio, the ideal result for an attractive face would be 1.6, as Greeks believed a beautiful face is 1.6 times longer than its width.
Measure these distances with the help of the graphics program. These measurements are a subset of the measurements described in Steps 1 and 2.
a. Top of head to chin
b. Top of head to pupil
c. Pupil to nose tip
d. Pupil to lip
e. Width of nose
f. Outside distance between eyes
g. Width of head
h. Hairline to pupil
i. Nose tip to chin
j. Lips to chin
k. Length of lips
l. Nose tip to lips
Complete these equations using the calculations from Step 4.
1. a divided by g
2. b divided by d
3. i divided by j
4. i divided by c
5. e divided by l
6. f divided by h
7. k divided by e
Compute the calculations in Step 5. Every face is structured differently and will have different measurements, so there will be no similarity in the final set of results. According to the Greek Ratio, a face that has 8 values approximately equal to 1.6 can be described as a perfect–and beautiful–face.
References and ResourcesEric Curts: Search for the Greek God and Goddess
Oprah: The Beauty Equation
Mark Wahl: A Golden Ratio Activity