Perceptions of Beauty: How Men & Women Differ

man and woman on beach

It appears beauty isn’t the only thing in the eye of the beholder. Gender seems to play a role, too. At least that’s the takeaway from a recent survey that asked men and women to concoct the perfect woman’s face, using features from beautiful celebrities. It was no major surprise to me that men and women came up with different results.

Many women I see at my plastic surgery practice in Naples have images of movie stars and other celebrities known for their beauty in mind when they picture their own potential. A patient, for example, may want Scarlett Johansson’s pouty mouth, or Keira Knightley’s prominent cheekbones. Men, however, may not choose those same cheekbones or lips as the ideal, as the survey showed.

But is the perception of female beauty shaped more by the standard set by men or by women? In other words, when women get cosmetic procedures, are they trying to appeal to men, or do they want to look more like the image of beauty preferred by women?

My years of experience suggest there is no easy answer. Most women who get cosmetic plastic surgery want to change something about their appearance that makes them feel self-conscious. Whether they have anyone else’s ideals in mind depends on the individual case. Either way, I have found that women are most satisfied with their results when they define their expectations clearly from the start, whatever those expectations may be.

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