If you see a headline telling you that a new study shows that arms are the most important aspect of feminine beauty, don’t believe it. In looking for a catchy, surprising headline, the media often misrepresents scientific finding, as is the case in this story. One headline on the story reads: “It’s not legs or breasts that make men go weak at the knees–to catch a fellow’s eye, show a bit of arm.”  The article goes on to say that “long shapely arms . . . are considered more attractive than endless legs.” But before considering arm lengthening surgery (if it doesn’t exist, someone is sure to offer it in the near future, understand that the real point of the study is that beauty is made up of not just one feature, but a complex interface of many features.

The study was published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology’s September issue, by a team of researchers from Hong Kong, China, and Australia. At least one of the authors, Robert Brooks, has consistently railed against the notion that the Waist-to-Hip ratio (WHR) is a significant, universal aspect of feminine beauty, and has published several studies to that effect. In this most recent study, he foregrounds the notion that sexual selection (e.g. mate selection on the basis of attraction) operates on the entire body, not just one or two features.

To demonstrate the effect, researchers used nonlinear selection analysis, a statistical approach used by evolutionary biologists to analyze the effects of a complex configuration of traits on the fitness of an individual. They applied this analysis to a surface model of 96 Chinese women’s bodies that were rated for attractiveness by Chinese and Australian men and women. After determining the relative agreement between the two populations, the researchers demonstrate that the nonlinear response surface method better fit the perceived attractiveness of the models than any model based on one or a few features. The results highlight the interrelation of features such as the size of the abdomen, the breasts, and the length and girth of limbs in creating an attractive appearance.

Although the mathematics is complex, the insights are simple: beauty isn’t just a feature of the size of your breasts or the shape of your tummy: it’s an overall impression that the shape and proportion of your body give. This has always been the central tenet of Dr. Vasdev Rai’s cosmetic philosophy, and one of the reasons why he has been able to give so many of his patients such satisfying results. A tummy tuck or breast augmentation is never undertaken without consideration for its effect on the overall proportions of your body.

To learn more about what makes Dr. Rai’s approach special, please call or email the Cosmetic Surgical Center today to schedule a consultation.