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What kind of nose do Koreans have?

Koreans, like other East Asians, typically have a flatter and wider nasal bridge with a less prominent nasal bone structure compared to other populations. The nose often lacks projection at the tip and has rounded, “single-folded” eyelids. This distinct nasal and eyelid anatomy reflects underlying skeletal differences and has been influenced by Korea’s geographic isolation as a peninsula.

Do most Koreans have a flat nose?

It’s a common misperception that Koreans and other East Asians have universally “flat” noses. In reality, there is diversity in nasal shape among Koreans, with many having a gentle slope or medium projection rather than a pancake-flat bridge.

That said, the average Korean nose does tend to be flatter and wider, with less protrusion compared to the narrow “high bridged” noses often seen in Western populations. Anthropological research indicates the average nasal index (width to height ratio) for Koreans is around 85, higher than the Western average of around 70.

The flatter nasal bridge and less angulated nasal bone structure among Koreans reflects differences in the underlying vomer and nasal bones. The wider nose better warms and humidifies air in Korea’s temperate, continental climate.

What is the ideal Korean nose shape?

Beauty standards and the “ideal” nose shape have changed over time in Korea. In traditional Korean culture, a rounder, flatter nose was often preferred as being soft and youthful.

More recently, the influence of Western media has popularized a taller more protruded nasal bridge as the ideal. As a result, Korea has one of the highest rates of rhinoplasty (nose jobs) in the world, with 1 in 5 women getting surgery.

The most desired nose shape today has a smooth gentle slope, slightly narrowed tip, and an overall natural look. An overly pinched or scooped “ski-slope” bridge is considered unnatural by contemporary Korean beauty standards.

Do Koreans get nose jobs to raise the bridge?

Yes, rhinoplasty to increase the height and projection of the nasal bridge is extremely popular in Korea. Seoul is sometimes dubbed the “plastic surgery capital of the world,” with thousands of clinics performing rhinoplasty.

Bridge implants made of silicone or Gore-Tex are often used to raise the profile without overly narrowing the width. In some cases cartilage from the ear or ribs is grafted to reshape the nose.

Nose surgery is so common in Korea that it is considered a standard coming-of-age gift for graduating high school. While often maligned abroad, it is seen as a pragmatic option for enhancing natural beauty.

Are “double eyelid” surgeries also common?

Yes, blepharoplasty to create “double eyelids” with a visible upper crease is extremely popular. The procedure makes the eyes appear larger and is associated with refinement and success.

East Asians often have an anatomical single eyelid, with increased fat tissue obscuring the presence of the underlying crease. Surgery creates a crease by removing fat and tightening muscle.

As with rhinoplasty, double eyelid surgery has been criticized abroad while considered routine self-care in Korea. The popularity of both reflects Korea embracing Westernized beauty standards.

What other common Korean nasal features are there?

In addition to a flatter bridge, Koreans often have a wider, rounder nasal tip that lacks definition. The nostrils face more forward than angled upward.

The columella, the strip of tissue between the nostrils, also tends to be short and under-projected. This gives the nose a smoother transition into the upper lip.

Koreans also typically have thicker, oilier nasal skin. Enlarged pores around the nose are common and often managed with skincare.

How does climate impact Korean nose shape?

Korea’s temperate climate with cold, dry winters has influenced natural selection of nasal traits. The flatter, wider nose increases the respiratory surface area inside the nose.

This allows incoming air to be warmed and humidified efficiently before reaching the lungs. A narrower protruding nose would reduce this beneficial function.

Interestingly, anthropologists have observed a trend toward narrower nasal anatomy among ethnic Koreans who have emigrated and grown up in other environments.

What other factors influence Korean nose shape?

Genetics and shared ancestry are key factors. Koreans and others from Northeast Asia share common descent from cold-adapted populations that migrated from Siberia.

Facial structures like the nose evolved to be well-suited to the region’s continental climate. Koreans are closely related to Han Chinese and Japanese who have similar nasal anatomy.

Korea’s relative geographic isolation has also allowed its characteristic features to persist through the millennia without much outside influence until modern times.

Do any Koreans have a “high nose”?

Most Koreans have a relatively low and wide nasal bridge. However, there are some Koreans with naturally taller, narrower noses, often classified as a “high nose.”

In some cases this is likely the result of mixed European or Western ancestry during Korean migration patterns and periods of colonization.

There are also genetic outliers in the population whose facial development and nasal anatomy falls at the narrower end of the Korean spectrum.

Those born with a naturally prominent nose often come to appreciate it, in contrast to pervasive surgery trends. Embracing natural diversity is an emerging priority.

What’s the takeaway on Korean nose shape?

The archetypal Korean nose shape reflects evolutionary origins in Northeast Asia and contains structures optimized for the region’s climate.

While flat and wide by Western standards, diversity exists within the population. Beauty ideals are shifting from uniformity toward celebrating natural features.

Ultimately, the Korean nose communicates a shared history and identity – one Koreans can take pride in while also thoughtfully navigating modern beauty pressures.


Koreans typically have flatter, wider noses with less protrusion compared to Western populations. This shape provides physiological advantages in Korea’s cold, dry climate. Beauty standards have favored narrower, higher bridges in recent decades, fueling popularity of rhinoplasty. However, celebrating the diversity of natural Korean noses is increasingly valued over uniformity. The distinctive Korean nose ultimately reflects a proud cultural heritage and identity.