OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relative importance of bilabial prominence in relation to other facial profile parameters in a normal population.
METHODS: Profile stimulus images of 38 individuals (28 female and 10 male; ages 19-25 years) were shown to an unrelated group of first-year students (n = 42; ages 18-24 years). The images were individually viewed on a 17-inch monitor. The observers received standardized instructions before viewing. A six-question questionnaire was completed using a Likert-type scale. The responses were analyzed by ordered logistic regression to identify associations between profile characteristics and observer preferences. The Bayesian Information Criterion was used to select variables that explained observer preferences most accurately.
RESULTS: Nasal, bilabial, and chin prominences; the nasofrontal angle; and lip curls had the greatest effect on overall profile attractiveness perceptions. The lip-chin-throat angle and upper lip curl had the greatest effect on forehead prominence perceptions. The bilabial prominence, nasolabial angle (particularly the lower component), and mentolabial angle had the greatest effect on nasal prominence perceptions. The bilabial prominence, nasolabial angle, chin prominence, and submental length had the greatest effect on lip prominence perceptions. The bilabial prominence, nasolabial angle, mentolabial angle, and submental length had the greatest effect on chin prominence perceptions.
CONCLUSIONS: More prominent lips, within normal limits, may be considered more attractive in the profile view. Profile parameters have a greater influence on their neighboring aesthetic units but indirectly influence related profile parameters, endorsing the importance of achieving an aesthetic balance between relative prominences of all aesthetic units of the facial profile.