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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Dec;130(6):843e-850e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31826da0c1.

Nasal aesthetics: a cross-cultural analysis.

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Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn, USA.

Erratum in

  • Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 May;131(5):1208. Ng, Ruben [corrected to Ng, Reuben].



Plastic surgeons often approach nasal aesthetic evaluation with the aid of seemingly objective measurements. However, ideal measurements of an attractive nose, as suggested in the literature, might not apply on a cross-cultural basis. Given these controversies, this study aimed to investigate the cultural and ethnic impact on nasal shape preferences.


Computerized images of a model's nose were generated in which the nasal width, root, tip, dorsum, and projection of the lips and chin could be altered. A survey containing these images was sent to over 13,000 plastic surgeons and lay people in 50 different countries, with a total response rate of 9.6 percent. Demographic information about the interviewees was obtained.


Preferred dimensions of the nose were broken down according to geographic, ethnic, occupational, and sex variables. Interregional comparison revealed that plastic surgeons from Latin America and the Caribbean overall prefer smaller and narrower noses, with more projecting tips, lips, and chins. Similar trends hold true when analyzing results from the general public. Significant differences were found comparing preferences between plastic surgeons and the general public. Plastic surgeons preferred wider nasal roots and tips and, in combination, more projected nasal dorsi, tips, lips, and chins.


No universal parameter can define ideal aesthetics of the nose across cultures and ethnic backgrounds. As demonstrated, geographic, ethnic, and cultural factors influence aesthetic perceptions of patients and surgeons.

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