Koreans Don't Have Big Faces, Study Finds

      March 26, 2010 09:20

      A study by the Korea Food and Drug Administration seems to contradict the stereotype that Koreans have bigger faces than Caucasians.

      The KFDA measured the facial dimensions of 387 adults and 304 children and adolescents between 2007 and 2009 and found that the average Korean male's face was 419 sq.cm in area or about 92 percent the size of Caucasian males' 453 sq.cm. The face of the average Korean woman measured 371 sq.cm, a little smaller than the average Caucasian woman's 380 sq.cm.

      Experts say the faces of Koreans appear to be bigger due to a kind of optical illusion. "Koreans tend to have relatively flatter facial features than Caucasians so they could be perceived as having bigger faces, but from a three-dimensional perspective, Caucasians have bigger faces," said Cho Yong-jin, head of the Face Research Institute.

      The faces of Koreans tend to spread out sideways, while those of Caucasians protrude. "Even if the actual face is small, prominent cheek bones or jaws can make a face appear bigger," said Park Sang-hoon, a plastic surgeon at ID Hospital.

      However, the KFDA said it used data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the facial dimensions of Caucasians and acknowledged that errors could be possible due to differences in measuring. The KFDA measured the faces of Koreans, while facial sizes in the U.S. data were determined by taking the entire area of a person's head and deeming the face to take up one-third.

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