The "Golden Ratio" Facial Attractiveness Theory

If you're unfamiliar with the "golden ratio" attractiveness theory, here's a description from some guy on reddit:

"Someone with desirable facial characteristics, such as the 'golden ratio' and good skin completion and other features (Depp and Efron). We know that facial attractiveness has a subjective element to it, however studies have also shown that there is a common set of characteristics (as already said, golden ratio etc) which a majority of people are attracted to. Chiseled cheekbones and a strong jaw for example have always been an attractive trait since the dawn of time.

Off the top of my head:
  • Skin complexion. A good complexion indicates healthy skin and hence a healthy diet, making the person more likely to live longer and be healthier.
  • Strong cheekbones and jaw. Possibly indicators of good testosterone levels growing up?
  • Golden ratio. This is the tricky one, but it does exist as most of the 'hottest men' in the celebrity world tend to have the same ratio of eyes to nose, to mouth, to ears, to forehead etc. I would simply say it's deemed the perfect ratio because that is the ideal evolutionary positioning of your facial features and the fact you meet this ideal indicates, again, a good environment growing up with a solid diet. Not eating properly, especially in a tribal environment, can affect your hormonal and endocrine development which in turn could affect the development of your facial features and thus affect the 'golden ratio' from being achieved."

I have a few questions concerning these ideas:
  • Do Asian and Black men not have completely different ratios? How would an Asian or Black woman even judge their male counterparts, and how would they feel about men from other ethnic groups?
  • If I'm naturally stronger and eat more healthily than some guy with the "golden ratio," do I still have unhealthy genetics? If I ate healthily from birth, would my round jaw have morphed into some square jaw?
  • If a male had good testosterone, would he not be acne-ridden for a long time even while eating healthy? For those early years, he would be regarded as "ugly" despite having high testosterone (which is a positive trait). Is that not contradictory?
  • Why would nature care about whether or not I have pretty looks? How would that help against a bear clawing my face off?
  • Does the greatest fighter of all time, Fedor Emelianenko, have bad genetics? He looks like this.
  • I'm sure Nick Jonas has a good facial ratio since he makes girls go gaga, so can you tell he has diabetes just by looking at him? On the other hand, every time I go to the doctor, they say I'm perfectly healthy, but I've been labeled as ugly in the past.
  • Even if I give this theory the benefit of the doubt, I don't see how or why it would matter in today's society. With cosmetics, a person with (supposedly) bad genetics can trick us into thinking they're a model. Can instincts look past makeup or plastic surgery? It should be able to, since the advancement of humanity's genes depend on it, no? Or maybe our instincts are actually shoddy as hell since we're domesticated like dogs.
I can go on, but in case you can't tell, I think this "golden ratio" has nothing to do with nature. Most UFC fighters have great genetics (regardless of enhancement drugs) but look nothing like modern pretty boys. It's similar to how many women "naturally" find guys with a thin waist and six-pack attractive, but most power-lifters have giant abdominal regions, simply because being powerful will make your core grow no matter what. My point is that there's a difference between what's currently attractive, and what mattered during the "dawn of time.” Look at Asian pop stars if you want blatant proof on how genetics and looks are not correlated. They're weak yet considered sexy, which is fine, but makes no sense if you want to discuss caveman theories.

Here's more of this "we know what's naturally attractive" idea:

"Instinct knows, and instinct cares. Literally watch a programme (as opposed to figuratively watching a program) on the Animal Discovery channel if you want to see just how powerful instinct is in controlling our behaviour. A lion is not conforming to a 'social norm' when it mates with a female lion, it is simply basing its attracting to her on instinct - pure and simple. That instinct defines what criteria is attractive and what criteria is unattractive. In the case of humans the criteria is vast, but with facial 'aesthetics' it encompasses a number of things as I already said including the golden ratio, cheekbones, complexion, jawline, hairline... Honestly to deny facial beauty exists objectively (objectively to an average human, that is) is flat out unreasonable, for the reasons I've already highlighted above."

That lion analogy is a horrible equivalent. The difference is that a lion actually has to kick ass. Until I see a caveman painting showing what the desired male looked like, as he beat uglies over the head with a club, I'll continue believing that guys like this were the ones beating the shit out of pencil necks:

If a sexy guy's genetics are so great, he should be able to stop that ugly brute, right? I say this because in the end, that's what good genetics boil down to: who wins in a fight. Whoever has the solid bones and muscle without the sicknesses and frailty. The fact of the matter is that having Johnny Depp's face ain't gonna help you when you're getting clobbered by a 270 lb juggernaut. The only reason looks are winning these days is because laws protect us, so hawt guys are free to procreate without being physically challenged by ugly mofos. Laws aren't natural the last time I checked.

Trends come and go. Hairy men are sometimes attractive, sometimes they aren't. Thick women used to be attractive, now skinnier girls are. If you think beauty cannot be conditioned to the point where we believe it's instinctive, look at how peopleclaim modern girls "naturally" prefer tall men even thoughtribal women do not care about male height. Remember - humans can be brainwashed, and slapping a science label on anything these days will make public schoolers believe it. Seeing Superman saving the world a hundred times will imprint an image of what an ideal male looks like. If you think the media has nothing to do with prejudices, and if you think prejudice has no effect on mating, then you're the one being unreasonable, lestwe believe that Asian men are just naturally unattractive to theirown women (which is absurd).

Until an absolute number can be assigned to beauty across all races, I'm calling bullshit on this whole idea. Something like height or breast size is an absolute number. There is no absolute beauty standard that can be applied to all of humanity. Don't get the wrong idea either - this isn't sour grapes. People can call others sexy or ugly all they want. Just don't try to push ugly people farther down the social ladder by pretending like shallowness is doing nature's work. If I'm naturally the strongest man in the room and I'm free from sickness, don't tell me I have the worst genetics just because my face is the ugliest, because that makes no sense.

Disclaimer: one person in the comments got the impression that I'm telling weak/sickly people to be beaten, commit suicide and go to hell. Yes, that escalated quickly, and no, the message here is that without an iron will and strong body, a good face is nothing but for show. I'm saying combat is what mattered ages ago, not clear skin or facial symmetry. Justin Bieber has countless fangirls who lust for him, apparently meaning he's “genetically superior,” but if a hundred and forty pounds soaking wet is what girls are programmed to breed with, then God help us if there's a war and civilians must take up arms. Woops - I forgot we gave our guns away ages ago.

Seriously though, I'm not implying that petite guys should be damned to purgatory. I'm saying, I wouldn't bring you with me to take down a lion with nothing but spears (even if you looked pretty), lest we starve for the week or get mauled by said lion. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm certain my point is understandable.


  1. Pencil neck reporting in. I suppose I shouldn't because due to my physique I guess I deserve to spend my entire life inside a shell of bandages, before my family realizes their mistake and shuts off the life support without a second thought or any remorse. In fact, I never should have been born; my father should have suffered that fate because he refused to do such holy, wondrous activities as tackle football and wrestling.

    You put way too much value on the abilty to fight. I know it's a mortal sin to simultaneously have a penis and express this, but violence should only be, at the very most, a last-resort option. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hell where all the non-brutes who can say anything intelligent and non-judgmental are.

    1. I think this post was too long and you completely missed the point.

      The guy I quoted said that the "golden ratio" represented good genetics in prehistoric times. What does this mean? It meant that these guys were supposedly the kings of jungle kicking everyone's asses.

      I'm saying that you can be ugly and strong, or conventionally attractive and weak. Or would you like me to lie and pretend like a 120 lbs guy would have been able to hunt as well as a 200 lbs man back in the day? That would be flat-out dishonest.

      Either way, no where did I say that guys like you should die in modern society. I'm just saying, you would've had some trouble centuries ago with physical labor, whether or not you have a nice face.