The quest to identify the most beautiful woman in the world has transpired for centuries, across cultures and civilizations. Both art and science have sought to decipher the aesthetic proportions and qualities that define ideal beauty. While perceptions of attractiveness vary based on preferences, one study suggests current beauty icon Bella Hadid most closely aligns with established principles of facial beauty.
The Enduring Fascination with Beauty
The desire to pinpoint and admire exceptional beauty is a universally human trait extending back to ancient times. Greek philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras analyzed the basis of beauty and art in mathematics, leading to concepts like the "golden ratio" used to this day.
Artists through the ages have explored beauty through creative expression. Painters like Sandro Botticelli depicted ethereal, gorgeous visages in works like "The Birth of Venus." Great beauties were muses for creative geniuses.
With the advent of photography and film, fascination with beauty entered the mainstream. Magazines and movies allowed larger audiences to idolize the era‘s most stunning stars, like Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe.
And today, science can supplement subjective opinions on beauty. Advanced technologies enable more data-driven evaluations of what constitutes an ideal face.
The Golden Ratio – A Scientific Measure of Beauty
The golden ratio, represented approximately by the number 1.618, describes a proportion found repeatedly in nature and used in visual arts. This ratio is mathematically tied to the Fibonacci sequence and has an innate aesthetic appeal.
Studies reveal people prefer images structured around the golden ratio. Scientists also believe the golden ratio signifies reproductive health in humans, since it reflects facial symmetry and averageness.
Below are some examples of how the golden ratio manifests in architecture and design:
|Structure/Design||Use of Golden Ratio|
|Parthenon Temple||Ratio of height to width|
|Notre Dame Cathedral||Dimensions of front facade|
|Da Vinci‘s Vitruvian Man||Proportions of human body|
|Credit cards||Ratio of long to short sides|
Given this evidence, scientists like Dr. Julian DeSilva have utilized the golden ratio in facial mapping studies to mathematically evaluate attractiveness.
Methodology Behind the Recent Facial Beauty Study
In 2019, Dr. DeSilva and a research team from the Centre for Health, Law, and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX) at Oxford University set out to determine which celebrity most closely aligns with the golden ratio benchmark of beauty.
The study examined facial dimensions of over 90 white female celebrities ages 20-40 selected based on popularity and diversity of features. Actresses, models, and singers were represented across typical face shapes.
Digital facial mapping techniques were employed, allowing precise measurements between landmark facial points. Proportions between features like eye width to nose length were then calculated and compared to the golden ratio ideal.
Bella Hadid Tops Beauty Rankings
According to the study results, model Bella Hadid‘s facial proportions came closest to the golden ratio out of all celebrities mapped, with an impressive score of 94.35%.
At just 23 years old, her fresh, youthful beauty shot her to fame in the high fashion world. With piercing green eyes, refined cheekbones and jaw structure, and a statuesque figure, her modelesque look catapulted her to become one of the industry‘s most in-demand faces for designers.
Beyond her physical assets, Hadid has earned admiration for speaking publicly about her insecurities and mental health struggles. She once stated, "Social media is not real. For anyone struggling with that concept, it‘s not always what it looks like." Her willingness to be open made her all the more beautiful inside and out.
More Beauties Whose Faces Align with the Golden Ratio
While Bella topped the list, other celebrities also scored well in the facial mapping study for their adherence to the golden ratio. Singer Beyoncé came in second with an impressive score of 92.44%. With her regal bone structure and captivating stage presence, Queen Bey has staked her claim as music royalty.
Actress Amber Heard‘s classically symmetrical face earned a score of 91.85%, ranking high for her refined proportions and angular jaw. Despite her controversial personal life, she maintains striking beauty reminiscent of old Hollywood sirens.
Below are the scores of other stars rounding out the top 10:
The study demonstrates that while Bella topped the list, human beauty has room for variation, with these women all scoring well.
Profiling Past Icons of Beauty
Bella Hadid may represent today‘s beauty paradigm, but many iconic beauties have graced the screen in years past. Their elegant, refined looks still inspire awe decades later.
Grace Kelly – Her aristocratic poise and porcelain complexion epitomized timeless elegance. As Alfred Hitchcock‘s favored blonde, her beauty enhanced films like Rear Window before becoming a princess.
Sophia Loren – With her voluptuous figure and sensual charisma, this Italian screen goddess defined 1950‘s bombshell glamour in movies like Houseboat and Two Women.
Audrey Hepburn – From her swan-like neck to her doe eyes and charming elfin features, Hepburn‘s quirky beauty memorably captured hearts in classics like Breakfast at Tiffany‘s and My Fair Lady.
These legends demonstrate how beauty standards shift over generations but remain alluring despite the passage of time.
International Beauty Rankings
Ideal beauty varies not just over time, but across cultures worldwide. While Bella Hadid represents Western beauty standards, preferences differ globally based on genetic, social, and cultural factors.
Some countries reputed to have very high proportions of attractive residents include Brazil, Lebanon, Ukraine, and the Philippines. High diversity and admixture of ethnicities in places like Brazil likely contribute to their residents‘ broad appeal.
Below are countries considered to produce the most beautiful women based on voting polls and modeling trends:
These preferences highlight the subjectivity and variety inherent in beauty. While data can quantify facial symmetry, true attractiveness shines through diverse features and personalities.
The Risks of Defining Beauty Too Narrowly
While it may be fascinating to pinpoint the statistical front-runner for "most beautiful woman", doing so risks promoting restrictive beauty ideals. The more humanity obsesses over a single standard, the more individuals may feel pressured to conform.
In recent years, campaigns like Dove‘s "Real Beauty" ads have worked to combat limited stereotypes and celebrate natural diversity. The prominence of models of varying sizes, ages, and races today also helps move away from homogeny.
As actress Viola Davis stated, "I am the prototype of a new kind of actress in Hollywood. Women of color usually play the sassy best friend, the girl who‘s always in trouble…Instead of trying to conform, I hope the industry sees me for who I am."
Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder
In the end, beauty remains highly subjective. Mathematical formulas provide data points, but human attraction stems from a constellation of factors.
Symmetry and averageness influence perceptions, but so do motion, personality, and other intangible qualities. Familiarity also breeds attraction, as faces similar to those we know seem more appealing.
And radiance comes from within. As Audrey Hepburn remarked, "The beauty of a woman grows with passing years." Joy, compassion, and confidence ultimately make a woman shine.
Bella Hadid may top beauty rankings, but human aesthetics cannot be fully quantified. Our world gains splendor from diversity in appearances as well as the inner light within each woman.