There’re so many types of face shapes! Round, square, oval, diamond, heart… Today, let’s look at the names of 7 most common face shapes in Chinese.
1. 蛋型脸 (Dànxíng Liǎn), or Egg-shaped Face
Egg-shaped pace is also known as 瓜子脸 (guāzǐliǎn), or oval-shaped face, where 瓜子 (guāzǐ) means “melon seeds”. It’s viewed to be the most beautiful type of face by traditional Chinese beauty standards. Forehead (额头 étou) and cheekbone (颧骨 quángǔ) in this face shape are equally wide, and slightly wider than lower jaw (下颌 xiàhé). The face width is about two-thirds of its length.
But even though egg face shape has been traditionally viewed as the “perfect” face shape, today it’s not considered as perfect and attractive.
2. 长型脸 (Chángxíng Liǎn), or Long-shaped Face
As you can guess it from the name, long-shaped face is slightly elongated, with forehead, cheekbones, and jaw almost equally wide. Face width is less than two-thirds of the face length.
Chinese think that women with long faces look rational (理性 lǐxìng), concealed and full of wisdom (充满智慧 chōngmǎn zhìhuì), but also easy to give people a somber, arrogant impression.
3. 倒三角型脸 (Dào Sānjiǎoxíng Liǎn), or Inverted Triangle-shaped Face
People with an inverted triangle-shaped face have a wide forehead, a narrow jaw and a narrow chin. Chinese find the jaw lines of this type especially cute and good-looking.
This face shape used to be an iconic beauty standard back in the 90s. Chinese people think it exudes a charming (妩媚 wǔmèi), soft (柔弱 róuruò), delicate and unique temperament, but it is also easy to leave a thin, mean impression.
4. 方型脸 (Fāngxíng Liǎn), or Square-shaped Face
In a square face shape, forehead, cheekbones and lower jaw are of equal width, which makes this type of face resemble a square.
From the Chinese point of view, this type of face gives a strong impression. It is a perfect combination (揉合 róu hé) of charming beauty and a strong personality (坚强个性 jiānqiáng gèxìng). However, many women themselves believe that this face shape doesn’t seem to be very gentle.
5. 圆型脸 (Yuánxíng Liǎn), or Round-shaped Face
Just like in the case with the square-shaped face, forehead, cheekbones, and jaw of a round-shaped face are of almost equal width. The biggest difference between the two is that the round face’s edges are smoother, and the face resembles a circle rather than a square.
Chinese say that women with this type of face shape look more lively (活泼 huópō) and cute. You get an impression that it is easy to become friends with them. Yet at the same time, they might seem a bit childish and naive (幼稚 yòuzhì).
6. 三角形脸 (Sānjiǎoxíng Liǎn), or Triangular-shaped Face
Triangular-shaped face is also often called 梨型脸 (líxíngliǎn), or “pear-shaped face”. This face shape features a narrow forehead, and a very wide jaw. Overall, the face resembles a triangle with a wide lower base and a narrow upper point.
According to Chinese people, this face can can give a feeling of sincerity (亲切 qīnqiè), kindness, and delicacy. Yet some people think that this face shape lacks elegance.
7. 菱形脸 (Língxíng Liǎn), or Diamond-faced Shape
In a diamond-shaped face, cheekbones are wide, while forehead and jaw are relatively narrow.
This way, the face looks rather narrow and sharp. Chinese people believe that it gives a strong sense of sensuality. But paired with the right hairstyle and accessories, this face can also show its unique and beautiful side.
[If you’ve enjoyed this post, take a look at Modern Social Groups in China.]
[Besides – it’s a Year of Pig now! How much do you know about Pigs in Chinese culture? Check out our post.]
What’s your face shape? What qualities is it associated with in your culture, and is the Chinese view different?
Share your thoughts in comments – or tweet us at @thatsmandarin!