Neoteny and Female Attractiveness [Secrets of Female Beauty]

Many advertising agencies believe that products sell more if endorsed by a young-looking and attractive woman. Many advertisers choose women with neotenous features for their ad campaigns. Neoteny is a very important feature of female beauty and contributes to features that are considered “cute”.

Neoteny is the retention of juvenile/childish features into adulthood. In other words, it means looking young or baby-like. An attractive woman with neotenous features has large wide-spaced eyes, chubby cheeks, soft skin, a cute button nose, and a small rounded chin.  

Women blessed with neotenous features are lucky. Cunningham (1986) mentioned that a combination of large eyes and a small lower face is attractive. When combined with a lack of body hair and young-looking skin that glows, you are looking at a woman with a high degree of neoteny.

Neoteny and Attractiveness

Society is responsible for creating standards of beauty for women time and time again. Media has also played a significant role in influencing what we perceive to be attractive. For many people and not just men, neoteny is an essential factor for female attractiveness.

Famous Hollywood icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly are prime examples. Even the cartoon character “Betty Boop” is an ideal example of how neoteny and female attractiveness are two sides of the same coin.

Here are some other physical attributes that are considered neotenous:

  • Large facial width to height ratio (FWHR)
  • Large forehead
  • Low set eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Small and shorter chin
  • Fuller lips
  • Large eyes
  • Small nose
  • Higher, thinner eyebrows
  • Rounder face with chubby cheeks

Ideally, an attractive woman will have an ideal combination of both neotenous and non-neotenous features. The goal for a woman is to appear youthful, yet sexually mature. Men want to know that a woman is old enough to produce offspring but young enough that the offspring will be healthy.

Prominent cheekbones, for example, are considered an attractive feature because they indicate that the female has lost her baby fat and is sexually mature. However, it’s not a neotenous feature, and many men will actually prefer women with fuller cheeks such as Gal Gadot and Miranda Kerr.

How to Look More Neotenous

As the years go by, your face will eventually lose that natural neotenous look. Muscle aging will cause wrinkles. The eyebrows will start to droop. Your temples will hollow out as fat tissue begins to slowly sink. Under-eye bags will soon follow. The descent of malar fat will cause your cheeks to sag. Your chin will retrude, and there will be a noticeable loss of definition in your face. Your skin will noticeably start to thin.

Sure. Many of us want to look like a baby forever. But how do you get those features if you don’t naturally have them? Are there facial exercises you can do to make your features look younger? Do you go for plastic surgery?

To look more neotenous, practice mewing over the long term to retain any neotenous features. Otherwise, certain plastic surgeries can create neotenous features in the short term.


Did you know that mewing can help reshape your facial bone structure? This technique involves the proper placement of the tongue to help achieve a more defined jawline over time. Mewing is just, in effect, proper tongue posture. But over time, your tongue’s position will help transform the shape of your face and prevent your bones from sinking with age.

While mewing shows optimal results when started at a younger age, it doesn’t mean that adults cannot do it. With mewing, the jawline is usually one of the first facial features that change their shape.

Adults who do mewing will need a longer time and patience to get their bones to the shape that they want.

If you doubt that mewing can work, check out some before/after photos and take a look at some of the science behind mewing. Visit our Ultimate Mewing Guide to learn more about mewing.

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgeries are a thriving business considering the number of procedures performed year after year. Such success is driven by the demand from men and women who want to look more attractive.

In the 2019 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report released by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 18.1 million cosmetic procedures were recorded in the United States in 2019. Of this total, 92% of the surgeries were performed on women, only 8% on males. This percentage is a clear indication of how women obsess about looking young, attractive, and picture-perfect.

In the same report, the different surgical procedures were distributed in 5 age bracket ranges, shown in the table below:

The statistics above showed that nose reshaping was the most popular procedure for young and middle-aged men and women. On the other hand, for those in their 40’s and above, eyelid surgery was the top procedure performed.

Part of the report also showed that relative to men, more women went for forehead lift (88%), eyelid surgery (85%), and nose reshaping (76%).

Forehead Lift

The forehead usually shows early signs of aging, i.e., wrinkles and sagging brows. A forehead lift can achieve a more refreshed and youthful look to the area above the eyes.

If it’s a classic forehead lift, the procedure includes a headphone-like incision (coronal incision) that starts at ear level and crosses the top of the forehead to reach the other ear. The forehead skin will be lifted to remove excess fat and tissue. Sometimes, the surgeon will realign the muscles and reposition the eyebrows higher.

If it’s an endoscopic forehead lift, the surgeon makes scalp incisions less than an inch long. The surgeon will insert an endoscope through one of the five scalp incisions to see the tissues and muscles beneath the scalp. He will use another instrument in another incision to lift the skin of the forehead. He will remove the excess fat and tissue and, if needed, realign the muscles, and reposition the eyebrows higher.

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

As you become older, the muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The eyelids’ stretching can cause eye bags, droopy eyelids, and sagging eyebrows, which will make you look older and unattractive.

Eyelid surgery is a procedure to repair droopy eyelids. The surgeon makes an incision along the upper eyelid fold. He then removes excess fat, muscle, and skin before closing the incision. The surgeon will then make an incision just below the lashes or inside the lower eyelid. He will either remove or redistribute the excess muscle, fat, and sagging skin before he closes the cut.

Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty)

Nose shape can be an important facial feature. Women who are not satisfied with the shape of their nose can have it altered surgically.

This type of surgery is more commonly known as a “nose job,” which surgeons perform on men and women who want the shape of their nose changed.

The surgeon will make incisions inside the nostrils to separate the skin from bone and cartilage. This allows the surgeon to reshape the nose. If the desired nose shape requires additional cartilage, the surgeon may take some from the ear or the inside of the nose. In some cases, a bone graft is used.

Chin Augmentation

The attractiveness of your face depends on your chin’s shape and how it complements your overall look. The surgeon can reshape and enhance the chin through the insertion of an implant. Or, the surgeon can reshape or move the bones.

The surgeon will cut inside the mouth to place an implant in front of the bone, and under the muscles. In case there is a need to move or reshape the bones, the surgeon will make an incision inside the mouth and along the lower gum to get access to the bone. He will make another incision through the bone of the jaw. This incision will allow him to move, wire, and screw the jaw bone using a metal plate to keep it in place.

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