Dr. Vaibhav Shah
It is rightly said that the face is like an open book that reveals an individual’s identity, inner nature, personality, and character. The presenting features and structures on the individuals face like the eyes, ears, nose, lips, chin, etc are very distinctive and are unique to every individual and also represents a gender. A multitude of masculine or feminine features characterizes the face to represent a particular gender.
The following are basic differences in various facial features that represent a male or female appearance:
1. Overall Shape: An attractive female face tends to be heart-shaped. The hairline is curved and decent down to meet at a single point at the chin. While an overall masculine face is more of a square shape with an “M” shaped hairline coming down to the angle of the jaw that is square and wide and roll on towards a broader chin. In a profile view, both kinds of faces essentially are convex, but the female face tends to be flat at the forehead while the male forehead slopes backward. Also, the lower half of the male face protrudes a bit forward giving a masculine appearance.
2. Hairline: The male hairline is usually higher than the female’s and tends to have an “M” shape that recedes at the temples. The female hairline is usually rounded and retreats downwards in the preauricular area.
3. Forehead: The forehead is one of the most important gender markers. The male forehead is usually taller in the vertical direction. The distance from the tip of the nose and the eyebrow to the hairline is much more in males than in females. The bone ridge running across on the forehead just above the brows are much more prominent in males than in females. This is due to the thicker supraorbital margin, literally meaning more bone volume. This is most often referred to as “brow bossing”. Females have almost no distinguishable brow bossing because their foreheads are fairly flatter. Apart from this, makes have a more prominent frontal bone due to the larger frontal sinus volume. This prominent frontal sinus is a very significant perceptible feature.
4. Eyebrows: The eyebrows of a female are usually much more arched with the lateral part at a much higher level than the medial part. A lateral brow lifts to achieve the young feminine appearance is a fashion vogue in today’s aesthetic world.
5. Nose: The female nose is much smaller, shorter, and narrower in an overall appearance. The junction of the nose and forehead, known as the frontonasal junction is much more deeper in males than females. The bridge and lower part of nose called nostrils are much narrower in females than males. Also the tip of the nose is much sharper and usually points upwards.
6. Midface: The midface appears to be much wider in males than females. It is because of the prominent zygomatic arches.
7. Cheeks: The malar area or the cheekbones in females appear more fuller and rounder. They carry more fat in these areas and any fat loss from here appears very distinctively, giving the female a much older appearance. Male cheekbones are usually flatter and appear hollow.
8. Lips: The distance between the base of the nose to the border of the lip is longer in males than in females. The lips are also more prominent in females as compared to that of males.
9. Jawline: The jawline in males is usually wider and more squarish. This is because the angle of the mandible of the lower jaw is more acute. Also, the masseter muscle on the lateral aspect of the jaw is much heavier than in females. This gives a male jawline a box shape while that of a female is a gentle and smooth curve right from the earlobe all the way to the chin.
10. Chin: Female chins are rounded and sharper. This gives a V-shaped outline of the whole lower jawline. Male chins are wider, stronger, and have a flat base. Facial feminization literally means cosmetic surgical modifications to achieve a more feminine facial characteristic. The aim of facial feminization is to alleviate the masculine features into a shape that is more recognized as feminine. Facial feminization surgery is a congregation of surgical procedures that are performed in stages to achieve a more characteristic feminine facial feature than the present. Facial feminization surgery is not a “one size fits all” procedure. It very unique to each face. Usually, it’s tailormade according to the facial features.
The usual candidates for facial feminization surgeries are some transgender women for whom these transformations are essential to manage gender dysphoria and help amalgamate them to the female community. While most patients include the transgender women, some cisgender women who feel that their faces are too masculine also seek facial feminization surgeries.
The elaborate list of surgical procedures that are included under facial feminization surgeries include: