Attractive Eyes

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been looking into the aesthetics of the eye area in males and what gives them attractive eyes. I have noticed that there are two trends that male models seem to collectively share.

The first is a high palpebral fissure width-to-height ratio, in other words the width of the eyes is large in comparison to their height.

The second trend is the tendency of male models to have a prominent positive medial canthal tilt (a ‘teardrop’ shaped medial canthus). Bashour and Geist published a study (‘Is medial canthal tilt a powerful cue for facial attractiveness?’) in 2007 in which the eye with such a teardrop shaped medial canthus was preferred 93% of the time in female subjects. Anecdotally the same seems to apply to males given the quantity of male models with the feature.

My questions are twofold:

1) Whether you have any thoughts on the contribution of each feature towards eye aesthetics, and any thoughts on whether the two are at all related?

2) Whether the two features can be worked towards via surgery; and if not, what is the reason behind this?

A: While I would not disagree with the two attractive eyes characteristics that you have cited as being attractive for either men or women, neither feature of the eye can be surgically changed. The width of the eye can not be altered as that is controlled by the dimensions of the orbital bones. The medial canthus is a fixed tendon of the eye whose position and angulation on the inner eye bone can not be surgically altered.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana