Before she shot to fame, Florence Colgate was just a normal 18-year-old living in the English county of Kent. And like many young people her age, she was studying for her high school exams.
In her hometown of Deal, meanwhile, the grammar school student also had a part-time job working two shifts a week at a local fish-and-chip restaurant. This position didn’t require the teenager to wear make-up, so she didn’t – and she looked just as good without it, too.
And because she was so pretty even with a fresh face, it seemed fitting that she compete in a beauty contest. As a result, customers at the fish-and-chip joint, along with her own friends and family, all encouraged her to do just that.
This competition, however, had a twist – specifically, it aimed to seek out the best of Britain’s natural beauty. And in 2012 the British TV show Lorraine had asked the public to send in their best head shots, with a view to finding the best-looking women the country had to offer.
The only rule to the TV competition, though, was that the contestants must not have had plastic surgery. And as Colgate fitted that bill and was naturally pretty, she seemed like a shoe-in for the contest.
After being coaxed on, then, Colgate sent in a photo of herself to the show showing her wearing very little make-up. And while her entry was among 8,000 others, she beat much of the competition to rocket into the top five.
And soon after that, when the votes were all tallied, there was even better news for Colgate. The public had named her as Britain’s most naturally beautiful woman. She’d won!
However, it wasn’t just the British public who thought she deserved the recognition. Indeed, science had something to say about the matter, too. But the two opinions may have been interlinked, as research has suggested that people often rate a woman beautiful based on whether she fulfills a series of facial ratios.
Luckily for Colgate, though, these ratios fit her almost perfectly. According to studies on the matter, a beautiful face has a distance between the pupils that is 46 percent of the width of the whole face. Unsurprisingly, Colgate’s distance measured 44 percent.
Not only that, but scientists have said that the “perfect” distance between a woman’s eyes and mouth is considered a third of her whole face. Colgate’s measurements, meanwhile, come in at a near-flawless 32.8 percent.
Of course, clearly Colgate is an attractive blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman, with youthful looks and high cheekbones. But cold, hard mathematics also explained exactly why she deserved the recognition.
What’s more, her face is not only almost perfectly proportioned, but it’s also nearly completely symmetrical. And symmetry is another top trait in what we find beautiful, according to scientific studies.
Not surprisingly, then, many celebrities have perfectly proportioned faces. For example, the Daily Mail put singer Shania Twain and actresses Liz Hurley and Jessica Alba also in the “perfectly formed” camp.
Kent locals, on the other hand, had other explanations as to why Colgate was crowned as the nation’s most naturally beautiful. Some suggested instead that it was all down to the sea air in the region; others jokingly claimed that there was a secret ingredient in the fish and chips she served.
Whatever their theories, though, they’re at least bolstered by Carmen Lefèvre, a researcher at the University of St. Andrews, who has confirmed to the Daily Mail that Colgate does indeed have “all the classic signs of beauty.” In addition, Lefèvre added that, as previously stated in studies, “symmetry appears to be a very important cue to attractiveness.”
She continued, “Although we don’t realize it in everyday interactions, in most people’s faces the right and left half are actually quite different.” Not everyone, then, is cut out to be as beautiful as Colgate.
But science aside, what did winning the competition mean for Colgate? Well, apart from the pride of being called the most naturally beautiful woman in the country, she also won a trip to London.
And while in the British capital, Colgate met with a modeling agency. There, she had a set of photographs taken for the health and beauty store Superdrug, which had sponsored the competition. And, even better, these snaps would later appear on billboards and posters across the United Kingdom. showing Colgate as the face of the brand.
After her competition success, though, Colgate went on to work as an au pair in France. She then moved back to England and took a job as a receptionist in London. More recently, however, she has worked as a personal assistant at a private equity firm.
And if we can learn anything from Colgate’s recognition as the country’s most naturally beautiful woman, it’s this: beauty is not always just in the eye of the beholder. As it turns out, in fact, science has a big role to play in it as well.