A wider margin between eye and eyebrow is considered a feminine feature, while a shorter one is a masculine one. The position and shape of eyebrows and the structure of eyelids play significant roles in differentiating feminine and masculine facial features, according to research by Patel and Malhotra (2021), and Lakhiani & Somenek (2019). Women tend to have eyebrows sitting above the bone at the top edge of the eye socket, arched upwards, creating a larger space between the eye and eyebrow. This makes their eyes appear larger and more open, contributing to their feminine allure. On the other hand, men’s eyebrows sit at the same level or just above the top edge of the eye socket with a flatter shape, resulting in a smaller space between the eyebrow and the eye. This highlights a more intense, focused gaze, considered a masculine trait. Furthermore, women usually have a larger distance between the upper eyelid crease and the margin, enhancing the open-eyed look. In contrast, men have a smaller distance, presenting a narrower gaze, further enhancing the perceived masculinity.
According to Patel and Malhotra (2021), the ideal positioning and shape of eyebrows differ for men and women. Women typically have eyebrows that sit above the bone that forms the upper edge of the eye socket (the bony supraorbital rim). The eyebrows arch upward, with the highest point of the arch located between the outer edge of the colored part of the eye (the lateral limbus) and the outer corner of the eye (the lateral canthus). This high, arched positioning of the eyebrows creates a larger margin between the eye and the eyebrow, which is considered a feminine feature. This often accentuates the eyes, making them appear larger and more open.
In contrast, men typically have eyebrows that sit at or just above the superior orbital rim, which is the bone that forms the upper edge of the eye socket. Rather than having an upward arch, men’s eyebrows are generally flatter in contour. This results in a shorter distance or margin between the eye and the eyebrow, giving a more intense, focused appearance to the eyes, which is considered a masculine feature.
According to Lakhiani & Somenek (2019), the structure and positioning of the eyelids and eyebrows differ between men and women. Women typically have a larger distance, up to 12mm, between the upper eyelid crease (the fold of skin where the eyelid opens) and the margin of the eyelid (the edge of the eyelid where the eyelashes are). This wider margin gives the impression of a larger and more open eye area, which is often associated with femininity.
On the other hand, men generally have a shorter distance, at least 8mm, between the upper eyelid crease and the lid margin. This shorter distance results in a smaller, more compact eye area with fuller upper lids and less of the pretarsal area (the area of the eyelid just above the eyelashes) showing. This creates a more intense and narrower gaze, which is typically seen as a masculine feature.
Hence, a wider margin between the eye and eyebrow is considered a feminine feature due to the perception of larger and more open eyes, while a shorter margin is seen as a masculine feature due to the impression of a narrower and more intense gaze.
Lakhiani, C., & Somenek, M. T. (2019). Gender-related facial analysis. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics, 27(2), 171-177. https://www.facialplastic.theclinics.com/article/S1064-7406(19)30006-9/fulltext
Patel, B. C., & Malhotra, R. (2021). Upper eyelid blepharoplasty. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30571073/