Pretty boys have ski-slope noses, research shows


Nose shape strongly informs the assumptions observers make. Andrew Masterson reports.


A monumental rhinoplasty. By modern standards, Abraham Lincoln's nose would be considered unattractive.

Bettmann/Getty Images

Men with “ski-slope” noses are regarded as more attractive and youthful than men with convex ones, according to a survey published in a cosmetic surgery journal.

In a paper published in the journal JAMA Plastic Surgery, researchers led by Brian Nuyen of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, US, detail the reactions of more than 500 volunteers to being shown a dozen profile pictures of men, each with a differently shaped nose.

The volunteers, 82% of whom were women, and 77% of whom were white, were shown the pictures in random order and asked to score each in terms of a range of attributes, including attractiveness, healthiness, intelligence, success and leadership.

The man with the ski-slope schnozz – defined as having “nasofrontal angle of 130 degrees, and nasolabial angle of 97 degrees” – was judged far and away to be the most attractive. He also scored highly in several other categories, including youthfulness, approachability and femininity.

At the other end of the scale, a man with a pronounced nasal hump was thought by most observers to be the least healthy, least attractive, least approachable – and oldest.

“There was often an association of a ski slope shape and linear contours with more positively associated characteristics and a dorsal hump with more negatively associated characteristics,” conclude the authors.

The association of the nasal hunt with perceptions of advanced age was especially the case among the younger observers, which, the researchers note, is “a generational preference that facial plastic surgeons should potentially mark”.

And although ideas of attractiveness and nose shape were generally consistent among the 503 participants, impressions of other qualities, notably leadership ability, aggressiveness and masculinity, were more evenly distributed and not associated with any specific nose shape.

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/fullarticle/2735737
Latest Stories
MoreMore Articles