Multiracial Facial Golden Ratio and Evaluation of Facial Appearance

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 12;10(11):e0142914. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142914. eCollection 2015.


This study aimed to investigate the association of facial proportion and its relation to the golden ratio with the evaluation of facial appearance among Malaysian population. This was a cross-sectional study with 286 randomly selected from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Health Campus students (150 females and 136 males; 100 Malaysian Chinese, 100 Malaysian Malay and 86 Malaysian Indian), with the mean age of 21.54 ± 1.56 (Age range, 18-25). Facial indices obtained from direct facial measurements were used for the classification of facial shape into short, ideal and long. A validated structured questionnaire was used to assess subjects' evaluation of their own facial appearance. The mean facial indices of Malaysian Indian (MI), Malaysian Chinese (MC) and Malaysian Malay (MM) were 1.59 ± 0.19, 1.57 ± 0.25 and 1.54 ± 0.23 respectively. Only MC showed significant sexual dimorphism in facial index (P = 0.047; P<0.05) but no significant difference was found between races. Out of the 286 subjects, 49 (17.1%) were of ideal facial shape, 156 (54.5%) short and 81 (28.3%) long. The facial evaluation questionnaire showed that MC had the lowest satisfaction with mean score of 2.18 ± 0.97 for overall impression and 2.15 ± 1.04 for facial parts, compared to MM and MI, with mean score of 1.80 ± 0.97 and 1.64 ± 0.74 respectively for overall impression; 1.75 ± 0.95 and 1.70 ± 0.83 respectively for facial parts.

In conclusion: 1) Only 17.1% of Malaysian facial proportion conformed to the golden ratio, with majority of the population having short face (54.5%); 2) Facial index did not depend significantly on races; 3) Significant sexual dimorphism was shown among Malaysian Chinese; 4) All three races are generally satisfied with their own facial appearance; 5) No significant association was found between golden ratio and facial evaluation score among Malaysian population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Asian People
  • Beauty*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Face / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.