Who knew that the Middle Street Fish Bar in Deal, United Kingdom had “the most beautiful woman in the world” working there two nights a week? In 2012, 18-year-old Florence Colgate entered a beauty competition and was chosen as the winner out of 8,000 contestants.
Florence Colgate entered the “Loraine: Naked” 2012 natural beauty competition in the U.K. This means that the contestants could not have had any form of plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancements. She became one of three finalists and was chosen as Britain’s “most beautiful face” in the under-40 competition. The over-40 winner was a woman named Jill Moore (pictured).
But when Colgate’s face was examined further, experts claimed that her face was nearly “perfect.” The original golden ratio,1:1.618, was discovered by the Greeks, and could be found everywhere in nature. According to the “new golden ratio” found in a 2009 study, the ideal distance between one’s pupils should equal 46 percent of the face. Colgate’s pupils are at 44 percent. The distance between the nose and the mouth should equal about a third of the face. The distance between Colgate’s nose and mouth is about 32.8 percent of her face.
Colgate’s face is also almost totally symmetrical, which researchers have previously suggested is associated with beauty. “Florence has all the classic signs of beauty,” said Carmen Lefevre of the University of St. Andrews. “She has large eyes, high cheekbones, full lips and a fair complexion. Symmetry appears to be a very important cue to attractiveness.”
At the time of the competition, Colgate was hoping to attend university and study business management. She was also hoping to maybe take some time off to pursue modeling. By 2015, she finished her degree at Canterbury Christ Church university.
Looking at this photo of Colgate and her mom, you can see where she gets her natural good looks from. Looking back on the competition, Colgate hopes that she inspired more women to embrace their natural appearance. “Women should not have to feel that they have to wear make-up,” she said. “I hope people will look at me and think they don’t need to. I’m very happy with the way I look and I would never have any plastic surgery or Botox.”
Well, that may be easy to say when your face is considered scientifically perfect. But, Colgate’s wasn’t the only face that’s been deemed near-perfect in recent years.
The 2009 study that was used to calculate Colgate’s “perfect” features found that several female celebrities fit their criteria for beauty as well. For example, Elizabeth Hurley, Jessica Alba and Shania Twain were found to have nearly perfect ratios. In the study, researchers asked college-aged participants to choose between two sets of photographs of women’s faces. In one set, the photo was left as is. In the other photo, the woman’s features were altered to reflect the “golden ratio” of 46 percent width between the pupils and the length between the eyes and mouth equaling just over a third of the face. The participants chose the “golden ratio” faces.
Don’t let this study make you feel bad about your own appearance, though. Many people consider Angelina Jolie one of the most beautiful women in the world, but “Angelina Jolie does not have golden length and width ratios.” The study also found that “average” looking faces could have the golden ratio.
It’s kind of hard to validate this new “golden ratio” as truth, when a simple haircut can alter the ratios completely. Just getting bangs can alter the length of your face and make you fall in or out of the golden ratio altogether. “Our study explains why sometimes an attractive person looks unattractive or vice versa after a haircut, because hairdos change the ratios,” said Professor Kang Lee, one of the lead researchers on the study.
Elizabeth Hurley was also the co-host (John Cleese was the other host) of the 2001 BBC documentary series The Human Face. Zara (pictured) was chosen as one of the finalists of a beauty competition and throughout the documentary Zara was featured and her face was tested to see if it fit the original golden ratio of 1: 1.618. This ratio is also called the Greek Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi.
Last year, using the 1.618 ratio, computer mapping was used to discover the most beautiful celebrity faces. Johnny Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, was considered to be the “most beautiful” woman on the planet. Her face was found to be nearly 92 percent accurate to the Greek Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi.
Kim Kardashian came in second place. The women were all analyzed with facial mapping technology by Dr. Julian De Silva. Their features, including face shape were measured on 12 key points and analyzed in comparison to the Phi ratio of 1.618. Kim K was in second at 91.39 percent. But she did have “perfect eyebrows” according to the ratio. Kate Moss came in third, but had a “perfect forehead” and Emily Ratajkowski came in fourth, but had perfect lips.
De Silva then used the technology to create “the perfect female face.” Honestly, it looks a bit extraterrestrial. He created it using the actresses who got closest to the 1.618 ratio for the eyes, the nose, the mouth, etc. He used Amber Heard’s nose and chin, Scarlet Johansson’s eyes, Kate Moss’ forehead, Rihanna’s face shape, and Emily Ratajkowski’s lips to come up with this image.
One major flaw that cannot be ignored about these “beauty” studies is that they don’t include any women of color. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed women like Florence Colgate and Amber Heard and Kate Moss are the ones that these “scientific” studies find to be the “most beautiful.” De Silva’s study didn’t include Halle Berry’s face, which is considered in a high percentile of the “golden ratio.” These studies exclusion of black women and other women of color has received a lot of backlash from the minority community.
One thing that should be taken away from all of this is that these studies might be able to put a number to a “general” beauty, but that beauty still truly remains in the eye of the beholder.