A strong jaw structure is an appealing feature for both men and women. A great-looking jawline is one of the first features that people will notice. It’s not just men who aspire to have a good jawline. Since it became a fashion trend in the 70s or 80s, prominent jawlines have never left the scene.
The ideal jaw (gonial) angle for females should be 122 ± 4 degrees. The ideal facial width to length ratio between women is 1.3:1. The bizygomatic arch should be 70% of the vertical facial height, and the bigonial width should be 70-75% of the bizygomatic width in women.
The Neoclassical Canon
Facial aesthetics go way back to the early renaissance days, where sculptors and painters made sure their art subjects had excellent facial symmetry. These guidelines are called neoclassical canons, and up until the present time, these subjects were the standard for beauty and facial morphology.
As time goes by, different professions started using neoclassical canons. Aesthetic surgeons, anatomists, and medical artists still use the rules to figure out which faces are attractive or for corrective facial surgery. However, several research pieces try to debunk these canons as they are not universally acceptable, especially in the 20th century (Burusapat et al. 2019).
Ideal Facial Proportions for Females
For an individual to assess if they have excellent facial proportions, there will need to be an assessment done in natural head position (NHP). The NHP is a standard and reproducible position of the head while the subject is looking at a distant object while maintaining eye level. The photograph taken while in NHP is ideal for facial analysis.
Facial types should be analyzed on the facial index, which is the ratio between the width and length. Facial types are either long, short, or square.
The ideal facial width to length ratio between women is 1.3:1. The bizygomatic arch, a measurement from the lateral point of the soft tissue spreading out over the zygomatic arch, should be about 70% of the vertical facial height. The bigonial width measurement is measured from one ramus to another and should be about 70-75% of bizygomatic width.
A study on the craniofacial norms of 19 to 25-year-old North American women showed the following average facial dimensions:
- The facial width is 130 mm.
- The facial height is 173.3 mm.
- The height of the lower face is 64.3 mm.
- The height of the mandible is 43.4 mm.
- The width of the nose is 31.4 mm.
- The width of the mouth is 50.2 mm.
These measurements should create the perfect harmony of a woman’s facial structure, but the study is only for women living in North America (Woelfel et al. 2014). However, don’t put too much stock into the above measurements, as you can still be completely harmonious with different skull and facial sizes.
What Affects Your Jaw Shape
Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Bella Hadid have well-defined jawlines. This is largely due to their excellent forward growth. Their submental area is also flawless without a hint of a double chin or extra fat.
You need to have healthy skin. No matter how prominent your jawline is, if your skin sags, your jawline is in trouble. Bad genetics and sun damage may have long-term effects on your skin. You can use skincare products that serve as sun protection and battle signs of aging.
Rapid weight loss can also lead to saggy skin. Don’t balloon up to 500 pounds, because ever after getting the weight off, you’ll be dealing with saggy skin and stretch marks.
The bone composition of the mandible is primarily responsible for giving you that excellent jaw angle. Our bones also experience degeneration, and as we grow older, the bones can thin out.
The most important thing you can do to ensure that your bone structure remains youthful and attractive is mewing.
The masseter muscle is the chief muscle in charge of defining the mandible. It’s also one of the body’s strongest muscles that works hard when you are chewing, biting your food, and clenching your teeth. The platysma, which is the muscle in the jawline and neck, should also be given importance. You might have what people call turkey neck appearance when the platysma ages and the surrounding tissue sags.
A double chin can be depressing, especially to people who are not overweight. It’s the first body part to fatten up and the last one to go. Older people are more prone to getting a double chin, and it might look like they have a pouch under their jawbones. Treatments such as lipolysis, mesotherapy, or a weight-loss program can help you get rid of a double chin. A sharp and prominent jawline will appear after removing the extra fat.
However, the appearance of a double chin can have a more insidious cause: the hyoid bone. For more info on the submental region and the hyoid bone, see our article.
Tips for Getting a Prominent Jawline
It may sound unfair, but the reality is that some women are just more physically attractive than others. Although not all women are born with a great facial structure, there are still things you can do. The following tips are practical and can help you get the jawline of your dreams.
First, here is an episode of Looks Theory explaining the importance of the mandible.
The two most crucial jaw exercises that you can do are chewing gum and mewing. They’re easy to do and will not cost you much. All you need to do is commit to doing it thoroughly, and the earlier in life you start doing it, the better.
Mewing is an orthotopic treatment that focuses on proper tongue posture. All you have to do is to keep your lips shut, and keep your tongue on the roof of the mouth. The upward pressure your tongue creates will encourage forward and upward growth of the whole face. The gonial angle will increase as you get facial upswing. This isn’t an “exercise” it’s more of a posture, and it only works because you’re doing it 24/7 for years.
You can read about our ultimate guide on mewing here.
If you happen to read about prehistoric humans and their facial structures, you know that they have a well-defined jawline and great teeth alignment. As humans become more modern, orthodontic issues also arise. We get elongated faces, our mouths can’t accommodate all of the teeth, and there’s even a need to remove wisdom teeth due to lack of space.
Gum chewing allows the masseter muscles to work, thus creating a larger jaw. This exercise also builds up the bone in the gonial angle, influencing the shape of your jaw. You can start by chewing gum 20 minutes a day and chew for long minutes as you get comfortable with it.
It will build up your masseter muscle over several months, improving your jaw. Any bone changes will take years, however – decades if you’re an adult.
If you don’t have any jaw definition, you can ask for fillers to be injected into your jaw area. Generally, fillers are gel-like materials that are inserted into the tissues of the face. Fillers are generally safe because they use hyaluronic acid, which is also made by our bodies. The effects are temporary, so if you’re not fond of the results, the doctor can easily dissolve the material. The b biggest drawback however is that they don’t hold their shape. Even the before/after photo you see above will only look that good right after injection. Fillers smush and can migrate.
If you want to read more about how you can get a good jawline, check out our article.