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Earlobe proportions and attractiveness

Mowlavi et al.(1) assessed the relationship between earlobe proportions and attractiveness in a sample of white North Americans.

The following diagrams address the proportions evaluated and how they were varied.

Anatomical landmarks of the intertragal notch (I), otobasion inferius (O), and subaurale (S).

Fig. 1. Anatomical landmarks of the intertragal notch (I), otobasion inferius (O), and subaurale (S).  Earlobe proportions comprise of two components: the cephalic component (intertragal notch-to-otobasion inferius distance; I-O distance) and the free-margin caudal component (otobasion inferius-to-subaurale distance; O-S distance).

Earlobe: intertragal notch-to-otobasion inferius distance varied.

Fig. 2. Range of I-O distances assessed (5 to 20 mm).  Evaluators were asked to rank, in order of most desired to least desired, ear shapes in life-size female and male sketched profiles in which the I-O distance was altered.

Earlobe: otobasion inferius-to-subaurale distance varied.

Fig. 3. Range of O-S distances assessed (0 to 20 mm).  Evaluators were asked to rank, in order of most desired to least desired, ear shapes in life-size female and male sketched profiles in which the O-S distance was altered.

Male and female judges rated similarly.  For both male and female sketches, the I-O distance was preferred at either 5, 10, or 15 mm rather than at 20 mm; and the O-S distance was rated as follows: 5 mm > 10 mm > 0 mm > 15 mm > 20 mm.

Therefore, people are less particular about I-O distance than about O-S distance.

The following image shows the outline of Marquardt’s mask, which he claims to be the outline of the “ideal” female face.

Marquardt’s Phi mask.

Fig.4. Marquardt’s Phi mask.

The I-O and O-S distances cannot be assessed in Marquardt’s mask, but the ear lobe length in Marquardt’s mask is 34.2% of the ear length. 

The authors used 14 combinations of I-O and O-S distances in their sketches for attractiveness judgments; they avoided sketches of the combination of high values of both these distances since these combinations would obviously look ridiculous.  The following diagram shows the top 3 rated sketches by both male and female judges.

Top-rated sketches regarding earlobe proportions.

Fig. 5. Top-rated sketches; from left to right: #1, #2 and #3.  #1 corresponds to I-O = 10 mm and O-S = 5 mm.  #2 corresponds to I-O = 5 mm and O-S = 10 mm.  #3 corresponds to I-O = 5 mm and O-S = 5 mm.  The top three rankings for male sketches had the same proportions, respectively.

In the #1 and #2 choices in Fig. 5, the ear lobe is 23.4% of the ear length, clearly strikingly different from Marquardt’s mask.  Once again it is shown that Marquardt’s mask isn’t close to what most people find attractive.

In a sample of 100 predominantly white individuals, the ear length ranged from 56 to 81 mm (average = 65 mm) and ear lobe length ranged from 13 to 25 mm (average = 18 mm)(2).  In this sample, the ear lobe length was 23 to 34% (average = 28%) of ear length.  Therefore, Marquardt’s mask has ear lobe proportions at the extreme of white populations.


  1. Mowlavi, A., Meldrum, D. G., Wilhelmi, B. J., Ghavami, A., and Zook, E. G., The aesthetic earlobe: classification of lobule ptosis on the basis of a survey of North American Caucasians, Plast Reconstr Surg, 112, 266 (2003).
  2. McKinney, P., and Cunningham, B. L., Aesthetic facial surgery, Churchill Livingstone, New York, pp. 222 (2002).


thank goodness no one gives a fuck about ear lobes. lol.

What do you think about the media hyping up Jessica Alba as "the worlds most beautiful woman"?

8D: The earlobes are indeed not important unless they are seriously misshapen, but you need to look at this article, the two preceding articles and the article that follows this one in light of your argument that Stephen Marquardt of is right and I am wrong. Marquardt is wrong on multiple counts.

Tim: I am not sure about Jessica Alba being portrayed as the most beautiful girl in the world, but she is indeed being portrayed as very attractive. This may be a form of marketing to the Latino community, which has reached a sizeable number in the U.S.

More Caucasians I know than Latinos think Jessica Alba is gorgeous. If you're in doubt, go to celebrity gossip websites where there are always posted photos of Alba and almost always, the comments are in admiration of her.

I don't understand how you don't find her the least bit attractive. She has the perfect face.

Her personality, on the other hand, makes me want to choke her.

Sarah: Why would the webmaster of a feminine beauty site appreciate the looks of a woman with a face as masculine as Jessica Alba's? Something along the lines of marketing to the Latino community is obvious if you consider how Susan Storm Richards (Invisible Woman) is supposed to look like and then look at the woman that has been cast in this role in the recent Fantastic Four movies.

Regardless of her ethnicity, with blonde hair Jessica Alba looks 100% Caucasian to me. She made a perfect Sue Storm.

She may have a TINT of masculinity to her, but in no way is she obviously masculine as you make her out to be.,%20November%2014%202005/

You're also crazy if you think the only reason she is so popular in Hollywood is because she is used as "marketing to the Latino community." Tell me then, Erik, is that why almost all the Latinos I know hate her arrogant, overrated ass when 98% of all the white guys I know would cut off their right arm just to have a chance with her? It's always Jessica Alba this and Jessica Alba that with them.

I personally think she is overrated as well, but overrated or not, she's still beautiful according to today's standards, ESPECIALLY in comparison to all the women in your "attractive women" section, who are average at best.

Seriously, though. Let's do a little test. Put a side by side comparison of Jessica Alba in a bikini with any one of your "attractive women" in the nude, and see who men like best.

Sarah: White women have all hair colors and do not need a particular one to look white. Jessica Alba, on the other hand, is unable to look white in any hair color. How can you not see this?

I tend to avoid addressing the looks of actresses with no background in modeling or a history of having participated in beauty pageants. I am not aware of Jessica's past, but another individual has pointed out her being ranked #1 by FHM magazine, and it may be appropriate to address her looks, but if I do so, then it will be in a separate entry and I don't know when.

erik seems to me that when you look at the way white men behave towards there white women and treat them that they are bored of there plain old looking women.....

Though you argue femininity is a correlate of beauty which do you think is more powerfull overalll by powerfull I mean which do you think would be preffered/choosen/most desired beauty or femininity? because although feminity is a correlate of beauty it does not follow that looking feminine equals looking beautifull.

Also erik what is your views on persian women and them being the so called most beautifull women in the world idea.

Sunil: Your comment about white men does not make any sense. Femininity and beauty are not independent, and this is why your question cannot be answered, though it is certainly possible for a less feminine woman to be more beautiful than a more feminine woman because there are numerous correlates of beauty apart from the extent of femininity.

I have never heard about Persian women being regarded as the most beautiful in the world. In my opinion more attractive Persian women are closer to European norms than their less attractive relatives, i.e., there does not appear to be anything special about the Persian look.


all i was saying was that i personally think white women are plain looking but then thats merely my opinion

Considering that Hispanics are classified by the Census as white Jessica can't look anything other than "white." (This, admittedly, despite that the general populace doesn't consider them white.)

However, I agree she doesn't look Nordic, not even with blond hair. Erik, you seem to have a very limited concept of beauty -- a dangerously distorted opinion. Beauty knows no "race" and it comes in every color.

Shawn: The census definition is irrelevant since it is not supposed to closely match genetics or physical appearance.

I don't have an especially limited concept of beauty. I do not dispute that it comes in all colors, but this site has a narrow focus because it is targeting people of European ancestry; addressing other populations is extra work that I do not need to do and hardly have the time to.

About earlops I find it quite difficult to see nice one among majority of people. but I think I have the nice earlops since many people say that. I find all of my family such as my parents, sister, grand parents and me have long earlops. also I'd like to add more information about the smooth angle at the middle of earlops'curve make the earlops look more prettier. from my observation, I find that the west Indian tend to have long earlobs and beautifull ears' shape more than european which I find my friend who is completely 100% european has small rounded ears without the "I-O distance".

After read this article I have looked it up on internet and have surprized that the most beautifull ears tend to be the ears of Indian people who live n Jodhpur ( the west of India) and some arabs also southern european. in the same time most of northern european tend to have short round ears and have no I-O distance.

example of beautifull Indian, arabs and southern european ears.

You’re also crazy if you think the only reason she is so popular in Hollywood is because she is used as “marketing to the Latino community.” Tell me then, Erik,

Erik : I totally agree with sarah, latino themselve do not find jessica alba is attactive. I have watched latino serie. all of their actresses tend to look 98-100 percent nordic with blond hair on the soap opera which always meddling about racist. I know real mexican in mexico like white people. their history in 18 century. u need to use caucasian pedigree when u entered the job.
u also can look at this link on utube:

the actress on utube is mexican which very poppular in mexico. she looks almost like nordic woman and her style's like jean harlow or malilyn monroe on the flim the showgirl and the prince. I have watched several of mexican series. all of them are soap opera, the actor and actresses dyned have curly blond hair and the climax of the stories are always about the actress is the daugther of european's landlord and was abandoned from her upper class life because of the jealously of the bad actress which always used original latino woman who looks like jennifer lopez or salma hayek played ( which I find they are attactive and sexier more than the main actress) and then the secret is explored when the landlord could find out that the son with his new wife has tanned skin and dark hair. I find their movies are damn stupid. always the women who could be poppular actress among american people look attactive and sexy like J.Lo and salma hayek always played as the maid, bad character or farmer on the latino's series.

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