The entire earth’s population of men will never be able to agree on who is the most physically attractive woman. There is no single set of criteria for what constitutes perfect outward beauty. Yet while the majority of men may differ over whom would top their list of the most gorgeous women, they can usually agree that, for example, Gisele Bündchen is good-looking.
So what makes someone attractive? Some have studied what characteristics make a face attractive. But what about other parts of the body? What qualities make for beautiful breasts? British plastic surgeons Dr. Patrick Mallucci and Dr. Olivier Alexandre Branford researched this in a study titled “Concepts in Aesthetic Breast Dimensions: Analysis of the Ideal Breast“, published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.
How Looking at Topless Models Became Scientific Study
The study reviewed 100 consecutive topless models with natural breasts [not surgically altered] who, based on their selection for publication in popular print media by editors, are “presumably attractive to the general public.”
The goal of the study was to see whether each of the women’s breasts, which were deemed generally attractive, shared common factors. If similar factors could be identified, this could create general guidelines for surgeons to use to achieve more predictable results for patients. Plastic surgeon Dr. Kouros Azar, who offers plastic surgery procedures such as breast lift and breast augmentation in Thousand Oaks, California agrees that predictability in surgery is valuable, as long as a patient’s individuality is preserved.
What They Found
The researchers identified 4 commonalities among the women they studied:
- The “pole proportion,” or ratio between the upper and lower poles of the breast
- The angle of the nipple
- The slope of the upper pole
- The convexity of the lower pole
Today’s Anatomy Lesson: What’s a Pole?
The pole is plastic surgeon speak for the areas above and below the nipple. So the area sloping down from the chest and stopping at the nipple is the upper pole. The area beginning at the bottom of the nipple to where the breast meets the chest again (the inframammary fold) comprises the lower pole.
No, pole proportion is not a racing term. It provides a measurable ratio between the upper and lower poles of the breast in relationship to the center of the nipple (nipple meridian). The average ratio between the upper pole and the lower pole was 45:55, give or take 3 percentage points. Essentially, the distance of the upper pole accounts for 45% of the breast and the distance of the lower pole accounts for 55% of the breast.
The angle of the nipple is also important for an attractive breast. By drawing a horizontal line (the previously mentioned nipple meridian) from the nipple and calculating the angle of the nipple from that line, the researchers found a mean angle of 20°.
An attractive breast apparently has a distinct shape as well. In the upper pole, the researchers noted that a majority of the women (66%) had a concave (inward) slope, about a third had a straight slope, and only 6% had a convex (outward) slope. As for the bottom of the breast, 100% of the women had a convex shape.
The research team compared its model candidates with women who had either natural or surgically altered breasts. They sought to determine whether breasts that deviated from the dimensions of the models were perceived as less attractive. According to the results of the study, breasts were deemed less attractive the further they deviated from the model norm.
Although size may be important to some, it appears to be less important than the aforementioned dimensions. And while these surgeons could have asked a group of men and likely gotten the same results, the numbers are probably helpful for surgeons. Perhaps a follow-up study could involve presenting these photos to a large cross-section of men and women to see whether their opinions match the findings.