Your face is arguably the first thing people notice. Aside from perceived attractiveness, facial features signal a person’s gender to the outside world. Of course, this can be troubling or uncomfortable for some people when genetically their facial structure doesn’t match their self-image or their way of life. Luckily, there are medical and surgical options available to help patients feel more confident in their looks.

What makes a face more masculine or feminine?

The bony structures of the face differ between the sexes. Subtle differences of the forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and jawline work together to cue the world to view a face as masculine or feminine.

Masculine Face Structure
Compared to feminine faces, men classically have more prominent and angular facial features. Testosterone is the driving force behind masculine facial features. Genetics also influence the way a person’s facial bone structure develops.

Some of the common masculine facial features often include a prominent chin with or without the cleft in the middle of the chin and a squared jawline with more pronounced definition at the gonial angle (angle of the jaw next to the earlobe). Men tend to have a strong brow bone that protrudes further than their female counterparts, with straighter eyebrows. A nose that is straight or with a dorsal hump is considered more masculine than a nose with a gentle curvature and a lift at the tip of the nose. Masculine lips also tend to be thinner.

Feminine Face Structure
Generally speaking, men have chiseled features and larger bones, while feminine faces tend to have softer, rounder contours.

For example, the brow ridge is often softer or not present in women. Rather than straight eyebrows, aesthetic female eyebrows are considered to have a slight arch at the lateral third of the eyebrow. While lips come in many sizes and shapes, women often have fuller lips than men. Their chins are also typically smaller with a softer jawline that comes to the shape of a V. While nose shape varies widely thanks to genetics, a small curvature with slight lifting at the tip of the nose, called a supratip break, is considered more feminine.

Can the facial structure be changed?

Yes! Absolutely. Whether it involves structural changes to your facial bones or soft tissue changes to your eyes, nose, or lips, there are many surgical techniques available in plastic surgery to enhance your face shape. These surgical procedures are highly personalized to each patient.

Also known as facial bone contouring, both Facial Feminization Surgery and Facial Masculinization Surgery involve surgical changes that can be made safely to the bones of the forehead, nose, chin, and jawline to enhance facial features and to match the individual’s identity and his or her way of life.

Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS)
Facial Feminization Surgery is offered to patients who feel that their facial features appear “too masculine” and hope to achieve a more feminine face by addressing the facial bones, jawline, forehead, eyebrows, nose, and lips. FFS is a fully customizable procedure, taking your unique facial anatomy into consideration. For example, shaving down the brow bone can create a softer female face. A small, shapely nose is possible with feminizing rhinoplasty. Genioplasty (chin reduction) and jawline contouring surgery can soften a square jaw. Jaw reduction surgery is perfect for creating a heart-shaped face, also known as “V-line” surgery.

In addition to facial bone contouring surgery, some patients will also benefit from dermal fillers or fat grafting to certain parts of their face for enhanced femininity. Lip augmentation for fuller lips is one of the most popular requests. Cheek filler can create the appearance of lifted, contoured cheekbones — a hallmark of the feminine face.

Facial Masculinization Surgery (FMS)
Masculinizing face surgery is a bit different. Feminine features usually lack the prominent bony structure that gives masculine faces a strong, angular look. Therefore, there is not enough bone to be reshaped. So shaving the bone is not generally an option.

Facial implants placed at the chin and the angle of the mandible, or soft tissue fillers to augment and define the facial structures are better for this. Some patients see the best result with a combined approach. An important feature of the masculine face is the jaw. Jaw contouring is one of the most popular masculinizing face procedures. As a maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Ort has extensive knowledge and training when it comes to surgical and non-surgical jawline procedures for a wider or more squared jawline that suits each patient’s face.

The possibilities are extensive. To learn how facial bone shaving, facial implants, and injectable fillers can make your face appear more feminine or masculine, Seattle facial plastic surgeon Dr. Yirae Ort will be pleased to offer her medical expertise at your consultation.

Consultation with Bellevue facial plastic surgeon Dr. Yirae Ort.

The best Seattle plastic surgeons know that even just a few mm can make a big difference. Therefore, facial plastic surgery is best left in the hands of a specialist. As one of the few facial plastic surgeons in Seattle trained in maxillofacial surgery and cosmetic surgery fellowship trained, Dr. Ort is very comfortable with bony surgeries for the face.

Dr. Ort’s goal is to sculpt facial features that match your aesthetic goals. Face shape, symmetry, and proportions play a role in shaping a harmonious face. As a facial bone surgeon with knowledge of the latest facial reconstructive techniques, she will design a surgical plan that helps bring your vision of the ideal face to life.

Would you like to enhance your facial features so they appear more feminine or masculine? Dr. Yirae Ort’s facial bone shaving surgery may be the right choice. In combination with facial implants and dermal fillers, the results can be truly extraordinary. Schedule your consultation today.