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Perfectly Beautiful Chinese Face

Asian Phi Mask

Asian Phi Mask

What makes beautiful face to look beautiful?

During humanity’s long history many people, including scientists and artists, tried to find an answer to this question. One of the features that most agreed upon was the importance of facial symmetry. As for other descriptors of beautiful face, they vary a lot depending on the culture and race. Thus, any objective attempt to define the archetype of beauty should take in account both the historical period and racial differences.

Korean plastic surgeon Seung Chul Rhee took notion of these limitations and – instead of trying to find the absolute standard of beauty – decided to create 4 types of female attractive faces: African, Caucasian, Chinese and Japanese (few years ago he already did it with Korean type). Rhee took the photographs of famous women broadly recognized for being beautiful and on their basis built the composite faces using the image morphing methodology.

Twenty models were chosen to “contribute” for the Chinese type of beautiful face. In the paper published in medical journal “Aesthetic Plastic Surgery” Rhee summarizes:

The Chinese attractive face has a relatively narrow cheek, slim and thin face, and lantern jaw.

Rhee’s article contains one interesting conclusion (which to some might sound quite banal). It postulates that what we perceive as attractive is not the average of all human faces, but the average of beautiful faces. Thus, there is a distinction between two terms: average face vs. average attractive face. I guess that the next logical step is to claim that most people in order to be attractive need some kind of facial correction by the means of plastic surgery.

Before presenting to you the final result, I want to show the pictures of 12 (out of 20) Chinese women who served as models for the composite Chinese face created by Dr. Rhee. Some of them already “participated” in the quiz “Chinese or Not Chinese?”

Gong Li

Gong Li

Li Bingbing

Li Bingbing

Jiang Qinqin

Jiang Qinqin

Lin Chiling

Lin Chiling

Cecilia Cheung

Cecilia Cheung

Zhang Yuqi

Zhang Yuqi

Zhang Zilin

Zhang Zilin

Tang Wei

Tang Wei

Huang Shengyi

Huang Shengyi

Zhou Xun

Zhou Xun

Gillian Chung

Gillian Chung

Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi

And here is the result. For comparison I put also the image of Caucasian composite face, which its creator himself described as having “somewhat masculine appearance”.

Chinese Beautiful Face

Chinese composite face

Caucasian Beautiful Face

Caucasian composite face

I personally cannot get rid of impression that the unified image inherited most of its features from Zhang Ziyi. Not sure, however, that the famous actress would be ready to change her current looks with this computerized version.

Actually, many people find the images of composite faces “boring”. I have my own hypothesis why. In the beginning of this post I mentioned that one of the widely accepted criterions of beauty is symmetry. But 95% of symmetry in my opinion is better than 100%! Just think – what can be more symmetrical than circle? But for how long can we fix our attention on the absolutely perfect curve?

Not symmetric, Crystal Tao

P.S. Want to see other beautiful and symmetric faces? :lol: Check out the post about 10 beautiful Chinese minority girls or 10 Chinese cities with most beautiful girls.

  • Linda

    Could you repost the image please? I can’t seem to see it..

    • Crystal

      I encountered some nasty problem with images and now trying to fix it.

  • Teacher in China

    “But for how long can we fix our attention on the absolutely perfect curve?

    I don’t know Crystal, I’ve seen some absolutely perfect curves in my time, and I have no problem fixing my attention on them… :grin:

    I agree with you on the composite face though – definitely has a strong Zhang Ziyi impression to it.

    By the way, who is Zhang Yuqi? She’s hot!

    • Crystal

      She is actress.
      I actually think that in this picture Zhang Yuqi has more European shape of face (similar to models that you usually see in “Vogue” or “Elle”).

    • sarin

      They all look stunning. One question ..Did they have their nose job done by the same surgeon?

      • Happy mom of three

        None had nose jobs.  I don’t know what make you think those are nose jobs. Those noses look natural. My sister and one brother have very tall and pointy nose.  Another sister have a tall slim nose, but not so pointy like my older sister and brother. I have a tall nose, but not a pointy tip.  We are all southern chinese people with ancestors originated from Toishan, Canton China.  My dad has really deep set eyes and a tall nose like mine. Three siblings have caucasian bone structure according to white people and also many asian people notice.  My paternal grandma’s has perfect cheekbones  and I think my siblings got it from her.  My mother however, does not have a nose bridge and not the caucasian facial bone either.   Just because you see exceptions doesn’t mean they had plastic srugery.  In fact, my oldest sister had whites asking her if she has white blood in her. Her eyes are glorious like my dad’s.  Big and almond shape.  Too bad I don’t have those big almond eyes.

  • jofuku52

    Zhang ZiLin is the most stunning Chinese woman I’ve ever seen! Where is she now? What is she doing since when she was Miss World 2007? Inquiring minds would like to know….xiexie!

    • Chris

      Agreed! I think she’s the best one of the bunch.

    • Crystal

      Seems to be modelling for Swarowski.

  • Kiwi303

    Well, Zhang Ziyi is alright, and the composite, while somewhat bland, is alright, the two who stand out of me are Zhang Zilin and Jiang Qinqin.

  • Ministry of Tofu

    People come of different shapes, sizes as well as facial features. We each are attracted to a different set of physical features as a means to maintain genetic diversity. Among them some of the universal standards remain unchanged, such as symmetry, which is a universal indicator of good health.

    So here is my theory. The composite pictures look boring because they lack diversity and perhaps exoticism, which does not accord well with our instinct of seeking novel, good genes.

    Interesting article. I enjoyed reading it. :)

  • keius

    Well, the composites are boring because there isn’t makeup slathered on them yet. :)
    Those may well be the ideal baseline. From those ‘generic’ faces, i’m sure any good makeup artist can create any number or variation of styles from those faces. It would be very easy to make those faces extremely sexy.

    Anyway, some of the women used for the composite really don’t belong up there. It’s more a composite of the most ‘well known’ or popular Chinese actresses/entertainers/singers. Beautiful, some of them are definitely not (it’s hard to forget what they look like w/o makeup after seeing those kind of images ) :|

    • Crystal

      Making the standardization this surgeon from the very beginning decided to choose famous and beautiful models.
      And make-up, plastic surgery, photoshop are all “allowed” as long as the result is perceived as more beautiful. There are no bonus points for natural beauty. His only goal was to discover what is the ultimate beautiful face.

  • PL

    Going to reveal my biases here, but for me looking at all of those pictures the stand-out is Tang Wei – and no, not for the obvious reason…. I’m not cautious about my lust… ;-)

    The reason for me is that she is the one who actually looks like a real person with real emotions and a genuine personality. Don’t misunderstand me, I am sure all of the others have personalities, but those idealised photos of them with whatever hideous whitening (AAAargh ! When will Asian girls get the message that they have beautiful GOLDEN skin ??) techniques they are using – probably a combination of make-up and photoshop – make them look like mannequins rather than human beings. And btw, what’s with that strange photo of Zhang Ziyi ? I’ve seen much nicer pics of her, it looks like she’s had a badly done face-lift !

    Okay, rant over. Still, definitely Tang Wei – she also looks like she has a sense of humour in that photo (again, I’m sure the others do, too, it’s just those photos don’t let them shine). Gong Li was lovely back in the 90s, unfortunately (sorry, prob being sexist here) age has not been kind to her.

  • Serenity

    Man. I hate makeup. I’ve decided on this now. Screw makeup. All the Chinese women who are still not applying ridiculous amounts of make-up on a daily basis, I’m telling you, good. Keep it that way.

    I find natural beauty these days to be THE ultimate sexy. All the make-up on display on the pictures here just makes me wonder what is underneath, and whether it is better – or worse. Often worse.

  • ziccawei

    God, all those poor girls are ugly as sin…..

    • Crystal

      Really? Maybe you’re ugly and don’t want to admit it. I hope not!!

  • ~

    A=B doesn’t mean B=A

    This has been done many times in the US. Have a bunch of people rate a bunch of pics. Combine the high scoring ones and then rate it. Usually rates lower than the real highly rated faces

    Also been done with music. Don’t remember who but was someone famous like Beethoven or someone. Something like scientists found a numerical pattern to the composer’s music so they had a computer create a song with the same pattern. Computer’s version sounds absolutely horrible

    • Crystal

      So – maybe we should wait until computer programs become more creative and develop artistic skills ;-)

  • Bored in Melbourne

    I think we can easily apply our own point of view. It’s easy to say that all Asian girls should abandon makeup, embrace their yellow skin. But that is the point of view of an individual.

    The reality is that a well made up woman looks great. She might not look natural but if applied well it certain can enhance beauty. Additionally women are like men, they have certain hang ups and perceived shortcomings and as women know they are judged on looks of course they will be sensitive to perceived weakness. Covering them with make up makes them feel better about themselves and the resulting lift in confidence aid the whole effect.

    In my career I have been to a few of the biggest cosmetic trade fair around the world and they certainly are not going out of business with no shortage of drop dead gorgeous females in attendance.

    All of the above women are strikingly attractive in my view but I would be most likely to start up a conversation with Tang Wei, for the same reason as the other poster. She appears more like a real person to me with some mystery in those eyes. In this way she reminds me of my girlfriend who of course feels that her eyes are too small and not attractive. The normal perceived weakness in beauty of a beautiful Chinese lady

  • Jay K.

    If you like that type of Gong Li face with an hour glass body while still being proportionate, seriously hit up Shenyang in Liaoning Province originally where gong Li is from. From my 2 cents of knowing girls from this city shenyang girls seriously have this type of face. I don’t mean to generalize but each time I’ve seen a girl’s face like gong li they have come from the shenyang/anshan/chengzhou/panjin area of liaoning province
    they seriously have serious curves at the right places.

    dalian is known also for the city that produces tall sexy looking girls. ask any chinese about dalian they all know it’s known for hotties. what is it with girls in china always coming from some port city or some area where there is a major water source, i.e.e chongqing

    as far as li bingbing goes. 黑龙江 girls seem to have this long face ive noticed.

    perhaps i have a positive bias towards girls from the dongbei area since my fiancee is from dalian.

    to end it dongbei girls are tall with girls ive noticed from dalian and haerbin and mudanjiang beings taller than usual think li bingbing style. but if you want more proportion and curves go to shenyang!

    as far as south goes, chengdu and chongqing seriously has the hottest girls no need to suck up to the owner of this site, crystal. we all know cystal is a hottie but in the city of chongqing she is a dime a dozen in chongqing (i mean this in a good way, dont ban me crystal)

    stay away from guangdong girls, seriously theyve got some serious “fugly” issues

  • China Shark Mike

    Yeah, Guangdong ugly girls seem to have a simian face.

    • guangdong girl

      go hell!who are you to judge?

      • haha no


      • Crystal


      • Crystal

        I mean that for China Shark Mike, sincere apologies; not for you, my friend. Thanks for sticking up for the girls!!

    • Kurt

      Ya, I would agree that overall GZ girls are by far the least attractive. I have been all over China, from my observation Sichuan/Chongqing girls are the finest. Out of every 10 girls or so, I would at least be able to locate maybe 1 girl who is fairly attractive. Most other regions, I would say the attractive ratio is probably 5% or less for the population. But, this is only from a single male perspective.

  • Carl

    Personally I can’t tell all that much difference in any of the faces. As far as I’m concerned all asian women are beautiful. My wife keeps insisting that she is plain, average or sometimes ugly in her eyes, but to my eyes, she is as beautiful as any asian women I see either on the net or whenever we are walking the streets of Yanji. It is hard for me to say that one Chinese woman is more beautiful than another. As far as I’m concerned, they are all foxes.

  • Bored in Melbourne

    Well I suppose that my next trip to China researching my upcoming business launch in Chongqing and Chengdu is going to offer the double benefit of the ‘landscape’. So it seems I should also follow up with my contacts in Qingdao and Dalian to open stores there also.

    I will have to resist the temptation to run a catwalk style hiring process (such as I recently saw reported online in Chengdu) when the shops open and leave that side to the local female manager.

  • Dennis

    If they don’t smile, they may be beautiful but not attractive.

  • haha no

    jiang qinqin and the two girls underneath are probably the most beautiful in my eyes.

  • haha no

    its strange how here, the landscape makes the people, and in the west the people make the landscape…

  • jaiolang

    Hmmmm….all pretty faces posted, indeed. One cannot argue.

    And I have seen countless beautiful faces shatter like glass only to reveal a horrible character beneath.

    I think an “interesting” face is a better quality than a face that has been created by the latest fashion marketing and trends. Rather than a visual-type that has just come into popularity and will be forgotten a decade from now, it is the face that conveys true character that interests me.

    Beauty that comes from within. It is generated by good character, sincerity, confidence, balanced ego, and it emerges as a glow to create a truly beautiful persona, no matter what the tape measure tells you.

    There is no cosmetic surgeon on the planet who can create that. They themselves are but another marketing tool of the cosmetic industry. Each face they render makes yet another payment for the surgeon’s personal lifestyle, whether of not the patient ever realizes a benefit for her sacrifice on the operating table. The surgeon rarely ever looses prestige or suffers in any way. It is arguable that the patient ever finds their expectation totally satified.In many cases, the effect of the surgury creates suffering short term, and no true “situational” fix in the long term.

    Better to find the balance within. Work on the character, the education, excercise the brain, excercise the body, build good health, good self confidence and self motivation, and try hard to maintain a balanced ego. Man or woman….the face will glow as a result, without cosmetics or surgury, true beauty that has grown from within.

    And the best part…it cannot be bought with money. The individual must nurture and create themselves. There will never be a duplicate thus. A true gem, infinitely more precious than the individual with a pretty mask and very little within the soul.

    • haha no

      Work on the character, <yeah mine need plenty of work
      the education, < yeah so so.
      exercise the brain, < long since dead
      exercise the body, <not a chance
      build good health, < hummm hospital.
      good self confidence < you gonna finish that beer?
      and self motivation, < so are you? the beer? can i have it?
      and try hard to maintain a balanced ego < wheat, barley, malt and water maybe)

      And the best part…it cannot be bought with money. << agh nooo, thats the worst part.

  • jaiolang

    Okay… Didn’t say things would be easy, but then that’s part of good character. The willingness to take on the hard task with one’s own hands, and create something above and beyond the mundane, the ordinary, all the others.

    Or….one can just wallow is misery and blame one’s problems one anyone else, anything else.

    If cosmetics…makeup….can be used as a metaphor….

    A little bit can be added to enhance something that’s already become beautiful on it’s own. Or it can be caked on like concrete to encase and conceal something that’s not so desireable.

    That can be applied to anybody, anywhere, any time.

  • Jay K.

    hey what happened to this website awhile back it was off the air, i was sad i couldnt read this site made me sad, i want ice cream!

  • Crystal

    Technical issues. You can still experience some “bugs” but hopefully everything is going to be sorted out soon.

    Anyway, from today I am back to blog and forum!

  • Todd

    Oh what an interesting post. If you were to simply show me that unified Chinese girl image, I have a feeling I would just think it to be a picture of Zhang Ziyi, and not look long enough to notice that it’s something else. On closer examination, the cheeks give it away though.

    The interesting thing about this is that I (and, judging by stuff I’ve read online, many others) get told by Chinese friends from time to time that Zhang Ziyi is really not very pretty and that only westerners think she is beautiful. Of the girls shown here, I think she is really the only one who represents an international model of Chinese beauty as opposed to the others who are much more based in a Chinese model of Chinese beauty. So it’s quite interesting to see that the one girl among many coming from a much more global (or much more western, if you really want to get down to it) depiction of beauty would dominate the composite. It could all just be coincidence, I don’t know.

  • haha no

    i dont think that Zhang Ziyi is that beautiful any how. :???:

    to me, the image of a beautiful chinese women happens to be my wife (yeah yeah i know, every man should say that about his wife).
    Im just uploading some photos so you can see and judge for your self,

    Also off topic, but has anyone else noticed the internet great firewall of china has become a bit more relaxed as of recently???

    • Crystal

      Your wife is indeed very beautiful!!!

      As for Great Firewall – it changes all the time: today banned, tomorrow unbanned and vice versa.

  • Joe

    Until the ears are symmetrical she cannot be beautiful. Pretty yes, but not beautiful.

    • haha no

      you know, if a face is totally symmetrical without a blemish, people should think that person is beautiful, however i bet you would not find her beautiful.

      its the imperfections that make people beautiful. like in a mouth, where the teeth are not perfect, or the mark on a cheek, or the way one eye is ever so slightly more open than the other, or even an old small scar going through an eye brow. these are the things that really produce raw beauty. a face with total symmetry and flawlessness is not attractive.
      the most beautiful faces i have ever seen have a flaw or two, most of the women i have every dated had freckles. even my wife has freckles but being chinese i cannot tell her they are beautiful as these chinese do not like them at all.

      Have a good day all. :-)

      • Crystal

        I absolutely agree with you, @haha no.
        Symmetry is good, but absolute symmetry is boring…
        Though some might say that absolute symmetry can be hypnotizing :roll:

  • kibun

    Ummm….just to let you all know a few of the composite faces, like Cecilia Cheung and Gillian Chung are Cantonese. There are good lucking and ugly people everywhere. I have seen many plain faced, epicanthal folds, sharp features in other parts of China.

  • jimmy johanes

    china is big, the northern Chinese really resemble the northern part of asia’s face for instances korea, north korea, mongol, jpaan, while the southern Chinese quite resemble the feature of exotic Laos, Cambodian, Thai, Pinoy look. 

  • Zaima Sweet


  • djkc909

    That’s because Zhang Ziyi is the best! She is the quintessential historical classic beauty of centuries, millennia past, of ancient times. That is why she is so “unique” looking, and everyone else is so “common”. She has inherited the best of the best from her ancestors throughout time. She is so lucky. And so beautiful. I wanna marry her and have children with her! :) I’ve always been in love with her since the 1990’s.

  • Crystal

    Accepting all the different people groups, skin colours, and ethnicities is a subject I am VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT. All the people groups were created by God for God’s pleasure. I cannot understand racism at all. If there can be different colours of pigeons and dogs and cats and other animals, why not of people? Also, true genetics as studied ethically by scientists recently DISPROVES racism. If God objected to the different skin colours I don’t think He would have created them. He made us ALL unique for a reason. As for those who try to defend or espouse racist ideology, I have only one thing to say to them – GET OVER IT! RACISM IS A CRIME AND YOU SHOULD BE LOCKED UP REGARDLESS OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH AS YOU ARE USING, HAVE USED, AND WILL CONTINUE USE YOUR IDEAS TO POISON OTHER PEOPLE’S MINDS AND LIVES UNLESS YOU REPENT AND ACCEPT GOD’S LOVE FOR HIS SPECIAL CREATION, HUMANITY!!!!!!!!