Embracing the Beauty of Your High Forehead . . . You are Altogether Lovely

Left, how I usually snap pics of me, forehead cut off! Center and right, forehead in all its glory!

“Loving yourself is the greatest revolution.” – Unknown 

The photos of myself above show on left how, on most days, I cut part of my forehead off when taking photos of myself with my cell phone. The other two show my high forehead in all it’s glory! Going about my daily life I rarely think of my high forehead. As a child and teenager, I was not teased, no one ever said a word about my forehead. I had never heard of the phrase “5 finger forehead” until researching the writing of this blog post.

The term means that all five of your own fingers fit in the space of your forehead. It can be used as a derogatory term as well.

Woman’s Beauty in Middle Ages.

When in my twenties a family member mentioned that I should have bangs or a hair style that hides my big forehead, I am sure they were well meaning. But they don’t have a high forehead and I am sure thought they were “helping me” to be more beautiful. But I became much more aware of my high forehead after that conversation. I have at times in my life had bangs, but I have two cowlicks (as well as very wavy hair) and bangs don’t like to stay down, so I tend to not choose bangs.

You may be wondering what constitutes a high forehead? The exact definition is “defined as a forehead which is larger than that of 70% of the population. In males, this is 2.8 inches (7.1 cm), and for females, it is 2.4 inches (6 cm).” (1) If you are curious, my forehead is about 3 inches, measuring from the bottom of my widow’s peak, a little more if I measure from at my hair line above my widow’s peak.

Although studies have also shown that large foreheads on females are considered attractive by males, it’s not that black and white. The female face that is found most attractive by males also includes balanced features, so a high forehead is just part of the equation that also includes high eyebrows, large eyes, a narrow nose with a pointed tip, high cheekbones, full lips of equal proportion, a narrow tapered chin that is not over-sized or too small, and an oval face shape are found to be the most alluring. If you happen to have prominent dimples it’s a bonus likable, facial feature. Of course this is what is considered to be the most beautiful female face today. Throughout history, the face of beauty has changed and it ebbs and flows.

Saint Justina of Padua – 1490s by Bartolomeo Montagna

During Medieval times a high hairline was sought and a high forehead was considered one of the features found most attractive. The above painting of Saint Justina of Padua was painted in the 1490’s by Bartolomeo Montagna. He painted the saint as an elegantly dressed woman depicting the fashion that was popular during the time period of the artist. As you can see she has a high hairline and forehead. Queen Elizabeth I’s super-large forehead also made her a beauty in her time.


Women not graced with a naturally high forehead would pluck the hair at the hair line to create a higher forehead. “The late Middle Ages liked its maidens with high foreheads, long necks, sallow complexions and lacklustre eyebrows. Added to that, the “babeliest” of Medieval babes rocked low sloping shoulders and protruding stomachs. Many women resorted to potions of vinegar or quicklime to erode their natural hairline (often taking the skin with it), whilst to keep foreheads as unsullied as possible, eyebrows were tweezed within an inch of their lives.” (2)


My high forehead would have served me well in Medieval times! I will admit, I have my good and bad days when seeing my high forehead in photos and will often give in to the urge to crop the photo to give my face a more balanced look and less forehead. Other days, I am a proud member of the high forehead sisterhood and embrace my forehead and kind of like it, especially coupled with my widow’s peak. My widow’s peak has it’s own childhood story! I love my widow’s peak, and the fact that only a few of us have one in the family, my maternal grandmother, my niece Elisabeth, and me. But as a tween, I shaved it off! I laugh thinking about it now.

Filippo Lippi´s Madonna with Child and Two Angels (1465). 

It all boils down to self-acceptance. Not always an easy feat to master, I know. As Christians we are to live in the world but are not to be of it (John 17). We are affected as women by the world, its beauty standards, we would have to live in a cave alone to not know about and be affected at least in some way, for it is all around us. But finding our worth and beauty in God is the key.

He formed, loved you, and knew you, He knitted you together in your mother’s womb:

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13 (NLT)

He loved us before he formed the world. He chose us in Him to be holy and unblemished before Him, in love:

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ [in Him] to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4 (NLT)

We are valuable to God:

“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Luke 12: 7 (NLT)

We are worth more than rubies and pearls:

As a virtuous woman of God we are worth more than precious gems, far above rubies, and pearls, no amount of precious stones can be equal to our worth. We are priceless, precious, rare, dear, fine, treasured, and cherished. (Proverbs 31:10)

We are beautiful, for we are a new creation in Christ:

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Portrait of a Lady in Red by Anonymous. Painted between 1460-1470. Italian (Florentine) School.

He is there for us:

“Then Jesus said, Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT, NIV).

Remember we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:1). “God loves beauty. As Thomas Aquinas stated, God “is beauty itself.” (3)

I embrace the Father of my soul, in a complete love, our perfect Father who loves us with a perfect love. Knowing that my value comes from Him, my Abba, for I am beautiful to Him, I am  “altogether lovely”.  ♥♥♥

16th century fashion and beauty. 1575-1600.

“Our job as Christians is to remember the difference between the beautiful and the pretty,” because pure beauty is found in goodness and truth. When we gaze upon ascetically pleasing objects or witness kind deeds in this world, we are at best seeing imperfect versions of the pure beauty that can only be found in God. (4)

“The atoning work of the Lord Jesus is the epicenter of all that is true, good, and beautiful. The cross of Christ may not be pretty, but it certainly is beautiful.” (4)

In Revelation Jesus is described as “His face like the sun in all its brilliance” and it reminds me of the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew,  “[Jesus] was transfigured before them, His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light” -Matthew 17:2.

♡ His magnificent beauty! ♡

JoAnn McFatter perfectly describes Jesus’ powerful, magnificent beauty in the song below.

Lyrics to the song “Beauty” by JoAnn McFatter

What can make the angels cry, 

Cause their wings to hide their eyes? 

What can make the angels cry, 

Cause their wings to hide their eyes? 

All your beauty, oh Lord, your beauty, 

Making the angels cry, 

Causing their wings to hide their eyes. 

Oh it’s your beauty, Wondrous beauty, 

Your majesty, your splendor, the light, 

The wondrous light, Causing the angels to cry. 

Your marvelous light, Causing the angels hide their eyes. 

Transcendent beauty, transcendent beauty 

Holy, Holy (x18), 

Lord It’s your beauty, 

your beauty Standing right there, 

standing right there, right in front of your glory,  

In front of all the Holy, Holy Bowing down, 

bowing down Standing right there, 

from of your glory, standing right there, 

in the midst of the Holy Holy 

That’s where we want to be, 

Just to glance of your beauty, of your beauty. 

Your beauty (x2), beauty (x3) 

How can I find a way, to tell of all your ways 

My God the maker of everything. 

How can I find a way, to declare of all your ways 

My God the maker of everything. 

What will silence all the words, 

through the ages men thought must be heard? 

What will silence all the words,  

with thought just must be heard? 

Oh it’s your beauty, simply your beauty, your beauty, beauty, your beauty 

Open up, open up my eyes (x3), to see you 

Open up, open up my eyes (x3), 

to see you Open up, open up my eyes (x3),

to see you Open up, open up my eyes (x2), 

to see you Lord you take away the veil, take away the veil.

References:

  1. What Is Considered a Big Forehead? – Magnum Workshop
  2. Medieval Beauty — AUTUMN MOON BEAUTY + WELLNESS
  3. Patrick Sherry, Spirit and Beauty (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 70; see also Thomas Aquinas 1a.iv.2; xiv.6.
  4. Albert Mohler, “Can Beauty Save the World?” Chapel Sermon, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, September 1, 2016. Will Beauty Save the World? – AlbertMohler.com

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

About Anna Kasper, ACDP

I am an avid Genealogist. I am currently a student at Phillips Theological Seminary (one of the few Catholics!). I am an ACDP - Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence (Sisters of Divine Providence of Texas). If you are unfamiliar with what a Religious Associate (also called an Affiliate, Consociate, Oblate, Companion) is exactly, visit my about me page for more information. In community college, I majored in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies when at university.
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