The desire to look good and feel good is a goal for many people. For some, the reality of dealing with an abnormally large feature like a large nose or ears can be quite troublesome and can lead to an interest in cosmetic surgery to remedy the problem. For those with large chins, the uniqueness of this trait can negatively impact a person’s self-esteem—which is why cosmetic solutions have been created to address this particular problem.
Published: January 27, 2021
Last updated: February 18, 2022
Content Reviewed by AEDIT Medical Advisory Board
While a large, prominent chin was once thought of as a sign of masculinity, society’s perception of this feature has changed a bit over time. In more recent years, this physical trait has continued to be considered as detrimental for most women, and more recently, as a negative trait for many large-chinned men who are interested in a more feminine appearance that’s less Jay Leno or William Dafoe, and more Carey Mulligan or Gwen Stefani.
This article will cover everything you need to know about large chins—including the relationship between the chin and nose proportions, the reasons and causes of large chins, plastic surgery options, and more. We will also cover the impact of pop culture and some tips on seeking out the right doctor to help you get started with your chin reduction.
Having a larger than usual chin can affect people in their everyday lives for a variety of reasons. Ranging from physical to cosmetic concerns, there is no shortage of reasons for wanting a chin reduction. Whether it’s for medical or cosmetic reasons, the end desire is a smaller chin.
Medically, large chins don’t have too much effect on a person’s health. However, in some cases, a large chin can get in the way of proper jaw alignment, which can present chewing issues. This is commonly known as occlusion. Large chins can be the result of acromegaly, which is a condition that causes the body to produce too much growth hormone. This is where gigantism comes from. In cases like these, sometimes a chin reduction is medically necessary to ensure proper function for the jaw and mouth.
Cosmetically, a large chin offers many concerns for a patient. Most chin reductions are done for one of two reasons. The first reason is that their chin is so large it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the face. Examples of this would be when you can’t tell where the chin ends, and the jaw begins. On the other hand, the chin can be large, but make other facial features look small by comparison. For example, some people have a normal size nose but paired with an exceptionally large chin it is perceived to be too small for the face. A chin reduction is performed in this case to bring overall balance to a person’s facial appearance.
Diagnosis: The Relationship Between the Chin and Nose Proportions
While it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there is no denying that most of us consider certain physical characteristics to be ideal over others. The relationship between the chin and the nose and the measurement between the two—as well as the measurement of each feature itself—are certainly areas where certain conditions are considered ideal.
When a chin is excessively large, it can distort the appearance of the nose—creating the perception that the nose is too small for the face. In general, a cosmetic surgeon may consider a chin to be “too large” for the face when it exceeds the standard determined by the “golden ratio,” a measurement that is thought to represent the characteristics of a proportional face. While many people do not meet this measurement exactly, the golden ratio allows cosmetic surgeons to determine more accurately what is considered normal when it comes to facial features. According to the golden ratio, ideal facial harmony occurs when the face’s length, minus its eye-to-mouth distance, divided by the eye-to-mouth distance, equals 1.16—which is the number that the Greeks considered to be the “golden ratio” for beauty. In any case, it should be noted that most cases where the golden ratio is used as a beauty standard are a grey area for researchers, as they’re used in primarily Caucasian populations. Studies involving other ethnic groups like Black, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, or other individuals may not meet the same standards set in these studies.
In the United States, the classic proportions used by most plastic surgeons are inspired by the golden ratio and adapted to fit the personal preferences and physical characteristics of each patient. For the nose to chin, the goal is to have the measurement be as close to equal as possible to the measurements from:
- Hairline to the bridge of the nose
- Bridge of the nose to the bottom of the nose
When the measurement between the base of the nose to the bottom of the chin does not equal the previous two measurements and exceeds them in the distance, the chin is considered to be larger than average.
What are the Reasons and Causes for Large Chins?
Humans are genetically and physically similar. However, within those similarities there exists a range of differences. Environmental, genetic, medical, and developmental factors all affect the size of the chin, and those with large chins should consult a doctor to determine the reason for their larger-than-average chin size.
Genetically Strong Chins: For most people, larger chins are heredity and due to genetics. Those with parents or relatives with large chins might expect to inherit a large chin as well.
Studies have shown that those with genetically higher testosterone levels often have larger chins, which can unfavorably affect a woman’s appearance (and sometimes a man’s) if she or he inherit high testosterone levels from their genetic makeup. In other words, the larger a person’s chin is, the greater the chance is for that person to have higher levels of testosterone. This is why some women have larger chins that are considered out of the normal range for a femininely proportioned chin.
Big Chin from Underbite: Known as malocclusion, this is a condition that is largely due to genetic and environmental factors. Malocclusion is a developmental problem that forces the lower jaw and teeth to protrude beyond the upper teeth. This condition has three classes to denote its severity.
People who suffer from malocclusion have greater risks of cavities, and disorders like TMJ due to the misalignment. Many patients who have class 2 or class 3 malocclusions seek chin reductions and other surgeries to correct this problem.
Chin Size & Plastic Surgery Procedures
Thanks to the advances in medicine and plastic surgery, there is no shortage of options available for a person to reduce the size of their chin. Depending on the cause and severity of a large chin, surgery may be required to correct the problem. Alternatively, there are dental treatments in the case of an underbite.
Chin Reduction: Perhaps the most common solution to fixing a large chin, a chin reduction removes a portion of the chin by shaving down the jaw/chin bone. The chin is surgically made smaller to be more in proportion to the rest of the face. Osseous Genioplasty: This procedure refers to any surgical procedure that reshapes and contours the chin. During an osseous genioplasty for a chin reduction, the surgeon will cut and reposition the mandible to a more aesthetically pleasing position. Dental Treatments (Braces to fix underbite): So long as the underbite is not severe, braces may be a minimally invasive option for patients. Braces can help realign the teeth and jaw bone for minor but dramatic changes in the perceived size of the chin. Before choosing a procedure, work closely with your doctor to identify the cause of your chin size, and to determine the artistic ideal of a new chin that’s right for your facial balance and measurements.
Large Chins in Pop Culture
Large chins have been a big part of pop culture for decades. Considered the classic leading man look, actors with prominent chins like Cary Grant and John Wayne were quite common and popularized the look for men around the world. Fast-forward to today, and that trend still holds strong in the United States—with Jay Leno as one of the most famous and beloved American celebrities known for his large chin. Interestingly enough, a large, strong chin has become a sign of machismo through sports like MMA. Considered the fighter’s chin, there is a cultural bias leaning towards striving for a large, strong chin and its relation to masculinity.
Women, in particular, are not associated with strong chins, and it’s usually considered a male trait. Many actresses are popular and famous for their beauty because of their decidedly feminine features. The most popular choice for women to emulate was Halle Berry, whose delicate features and small, pointed chin denotes the hallmark standard of beauty in the United States and throughout the world. Angelina Jolie is another woman whose small chin, sloping nose, apple cheeks, and overall perfect facial balance closely meets the standards set by the classic golden ratio. Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba, and Kate Middleton are other celebrities whose chin sizes, and bone structures are often referred to by patients hoping to achieve a more symmetrical, beautiful face. Christina Hendricks, yet another example of a celebrity known for good looks, is another notable person whose gorgeous cleft chin is often requested at plastic surgery clinics from London to New York, across Europe, and around the world.
It’s important to note that not all strong chins are seen as detrimental to a person’s looks, even for women. Reese Witherspoon is famous for her genetically strong chin, as is Jennifer Aniston, and the “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss. However, not everyone wants to have such strong features.
Sometimes a large chin is the symptom of an underlying medical problem. The most well-known of these cases brings to mind the British footballer and European celebrity Jimmy Hill, who was famously characterized by his abnormally long chin. Although Hill passed away in 2015, his giant chin is said to have been caused by a severe, class III malocclusion.
Consultation Tips & Conclusion
When it comes to cosmetic surgery, chin reductions and genioplasty procedures have come a long way. Today’s technological advancements in cosmetic solutions for reducing the size of the chin—as well as increasing a weak chin with chin augmentation, a chin implant, or other aesthetic enhancement surgeries—are safer, easier, and much more effective than ever been before.
However, cosmetic surgeries are still invasive and can compromise your health unnecessarily. It is critically important that those seeking cosmetic solutions for reducing their chin size work closely with board-certified cosmetic surgeons, to enjoy a safe procedure and the best outcome possible for your facial characteristics. A licensed, professional surgeon will be able to evaluate, diagnose, and properly guide you through the process of getting a new chin that’s ideal for your face shape.
If you are seeking solutions for your large chin, be sure to research your area’s cosmetic surgeons registered with the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The doctor you choose should be well experienced in providing you with the surgery of your choice, and should also be open and helpful in assisting you with meeting your plastic surgery goals most safely and effectively possible.
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