Study Puts Ethnic Gloss on Kissable Lips

      March 09, 2007 13:01

      There are significant differences between what Koreans and Caucasians consider kissable lips, a study purports to have found. Conducted by Prof. Kook Yoon-ah of KangNam St. Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, it examined the shapes of 92 people's lips -- 30 Korean models in their 20s, 26 ordinary Korean women, and 36 Caucasian American models in the same age group.

      The team found that the average upper lip size of the Korean models is 20 per cent smaller than that of their Caucasian counterparts, with the lower lips 11 per cent thinner. Besides, the Korean models had thinner upper lips, but their lips were 20 percent thicker than those of ordinary Korean women. This suggests an erotic focus on lower lips.

      Standard shapes of lips based on research by Prof. Kook Yoon-ah of KangNam St. Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, analyzing Caucasian models, Korean models and ordinary Korean women (from left to right).

      This study was conducted in cooperation with Prof. Peter Sinclair of the University of Southern California. On average, the Caucasian models had longer lips (15.2 units) than Korean models (13.2 units), and ordinary Korean women (12.4 units). In short, the West prefers wide mouths for kissing, whereas Koreas like a small but well-defined mouth.

      The difference is also marked in the angle of the upper lips: the angle of Caucasian models was 123 degrees, but in their Korean counterparts it was 139 and in ordinary Korean women 146.

      The team also analyzed the distance from the lower lip to the tip of the chin. Ordinary Korean women had the longest chins with 9.3 units, compared to the Caucasian models with 8.7 and the Korean models with 7.6. Kook said longer chins are an ethnic Korean characteristic but Koreans tend to prefer shorer chins with lesser degree in the angle of the upper lips, which explains why the Korean models had such characteristics. The grass, it seems, is always greener on the other side.

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