Question: Aesthetics of today are driven by the media and the concept of beauty which changes over time. How do you approach the dichotomy between a timeless aesthetic and the prevailing aesthetic of the day?
The overriding aesthetic of today is still that of natural beauty, the so-called “Golden Triangle”. This formula, which is 2500 years old, defines perfect beauty. It was established by intellectuals as a ratio of 1:1.618, known as “phi”. The ratio applies to a ‘triangle’ of aspects for facial beauty – the width of the mouth to the width of the cheek, the width of the nose to the width of the cheek and the width of the nose to the width of the mouth. It’s one of a youthful, non-operated natural appearance – not looking “wind-swept” or “the hollywood” appearance.
As Plastic Surgeons we are supposed to be in the Face Protection not the Witness Protection Program. Most patients do not want to look like someone else or to look significantly different. People want to look as good as they feel. The wind-swept look of past decades is out.
As Plastic Surgeons we must always keep in mind the concepts of “Timeless Beauty” by performing age-appropriate plastic surgery so that the patient and their plastic surgery will age well and proportionally with them.
For example, when performing a rhinoplasty on a 50 year old, one should make minimal changes in proportion to the patient’s facial features. Likewise, it would not be wise to give a 50-year-old woman large breast implants that are out of proportion to the rest of her body. We need to avoid the infamous “Cat Woman” and overdone distortions seen in the “Michael Jackson nose”. This simply is not good plastic surgery!
The timeless ideal is an oval face with full eyes and well shaped eyebrows. Innate or unique asymmetries are also beautiful. When we turn the clock back through surgery we must try to preserve these unique asymmetries rather than try to make the face look like someone else’s.
Taken from Dr. Rohrich’s interview in Beyond Beauty by Beyond Black Publishing, London UK.