February 2018

Is There Maths Behind Breast Beauty? A Question For Research…

I am is thrilled to announce a fascinating collaboration with Plastic Surgeon Olivier Alexandre Branford MA, MBBS, PhD, FRCS(Plast), London, UK.
When Olivier first approached me I was quite stunned to learn from him that there is no official aesthetic guide for plastic surgeons involved in breast reconstruction or augmentation. So the results of procedures are subject to each individual surgeon’s own ideals. This is not true in other areas of plastic or reconstructive surgery. As I often have clients visit me for a shoot pre mastectomy or post reconstruction, this is a subject close to very my heart.
Our paper will be submitted to the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to encourage surgeons to learn from art and artists and to aim for natural results when reconstructing breasts after cancer or to avoid distorted results in aesthetic surgery.
“Although ideal aesthetic proportions for the face, nose and body have been described in art, and have been used to plan aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, the female breast in art has not received such mathematical scrutiny. It is surprisingly not known if breast beauty can be considered archetypal in nature or if it is merely subject to ‘fashion’. It is essential during planning successful breast surgery to have an aesthetic goal, and to make a precise surgical plan” Olivier Alexandre Branford MA, MBBS, PhD, FRCS(Plast).

So where should plastic surgeons should seek inspiration from…? Why Art of course!

 Venus de medici
I am involved as a co-author of Olivier’s paper  entitled:

A Study of the Last 2,000 years of Natural Breast Shape in Art to Inform Aesthetic Surgery: Is breast beauty archetypal or subject to fashion?

Olivier Branford’s key thoughts and research points:
“First the norm for the body’s appearance must be ascertained, but the true surgeon and artist cannot rest there he must discover a norm that is endowed with the aura of an ideal beauty.”
  • Let’s look to art for ideal beauty…
  • Why do we not try to decipher beauty ideals in art to help us better achieve aesthetic goals?
  • How to select the most beautiful nudes in art history? There is no top 100 in art!
  • As surgeons we can learn from artists about natural beauty
  • Breast beauty in art has not changed in over 2,000 years and still reflects natural beauty
  • We should not contribute to distortions of beauty through marketing and poor surgical planning
  • The aim outcome: Positive female body image
D R Millard’s Book: Principalization of Plastic Surgery 1986
Is a treatise on the essentials of guiding the practice of plastic surgery 8th Principle “Know the beautiful ideal normal.” What Millard actually said: “Since the normal is our goal, and reconstructive surgeon must know the normal, be sensitive to it and use it as a guide and challenge. Still the true plastic surgeon will go further to know the ideal beautiful normal.
Methods & Results:
An analysis of almost 150 celebrated Venus nudes Over more than 2,000 years
To determine if there is a recurring mathematical geometric ideal in art that may inform our aesthetic goals as surgeons. From a compiled a list of every celebrated Venus in the history of art analyse according to the principles in 45:55 article (Date range: 115 BC to 2005 AD) there was only a 1.4% change in upper pole to lower pole ratio in over 2,000 years!
Unfortunately as it stands there is little objective data in plastic surgical literature to define an aesthetically pleasing template for breast shape and proportion, so we are both very excited to use a scientific study of art to bring a science to plan excellent aesthetic outcomes!