Celebrities like the Duchess of Cambridge and Scarlett Johansson have aided a team of plastic surgeons on a long and fraught journey: the quest for the perfect nose.
A team of U.S. plastic surgeons submitted digital portraits of young white women to focus groups and online social networks made up of people in the same age group and asked them to rate the attractiveness of the images based on previously determined attractiveness scales. The result? The ideal nose for a woman in that demographic is slightly upturned at an angle of 106 degrees.
Kate Middleton as well as actresses Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale were all found to fit this beauty ideal.
"Throughout history artists and scholars have been engrossed in the pursuit of capturing what constitutes beauty," said the study's author Dr. Omar Ahmed. He also called past attempts to find the perfect nose "elusive and ongoing for decades." Of course beauty standards and ideals have changed over the centuries and are often different for each ethnicity or global region. The 18th century's perfect nose, might just be this year's least appealing schnoz.
Why did the surgeons only look at ideals for white women between the ages of 18-25? Because there's a lot of data to work with. The study reports that this population is the most heavily studied in the rhinoplasty (aka nose job) literature.
The study affirms past approximations of the ideal "nasal tip rotation and projection" as far as plastic surgery clients are concerned. "There is a range of rotation that’s usually applied [in rhinoplasties], which is 90 to 100 degrees for men and 95 to 110 degrees for women," said Dr. Charles East, of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. "This study has ended up somewhere in-between."