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Viewpoint | AAFPRS Advances in Rhinoplasty Featured Article

A Global Perspective of Beauty in a Multicultural World

J. Regan Thomas, MD1; Tatiana K. Dixon, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016;18(1):7-8. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2015.1563.
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This Viewpoint explains why it is important not to assume which culture the patient identifies with most and why it is imperative that a facial plastic surgeon understands a patient’s ethnic identity and aesthetic goals prior to any procedure.

Multiculturism has shaped our perception of beauty over time. Neoclassical canons still have a strong influence on current teachings in nasal and facial analysis and can be used as a loose guideline for surgical planning. However, these canons are based on Greco-Roman ideals and have limited value for analysis and surgical planning of people with multicultural backgrounds. Some attributes of beauty thought to cross cultural lines are described in a theory of evolutionary psychology that includes averageness, youthfulness, symmetry, and sexual dimorphism. Taking these cues into consideration, it is important that the surgeon also listens to the patient and understands what his or her aesthetic goals are. It is also the role of the modern surgeon to help guide the patient and advocate for natural results that fall within the normal limits of the culture of the patient. A natural result that does not disrupt the balance and harmony of the face should be strived for.

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