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Aesthetic Body Shape

The idea of an ideal body image continuously evolves along with time passed and the development of society, as well as local culture. Mass media is one of the most significant influences that shape this view. A proportional and curvy figure – as shown daily by icons in mass media – is generally more attractive than a thin and unenergetic one. On the other hand, body parts that are overly plump or flabby can also lessen the attractiveness of an individual. Medically, an individual is said to have a proportional body if her BMI (Body Mass Index) ranges between 18.5-23 kg/m2. BMI is calculated by dividing the body weight with the square body height.

Factors that can hinder a pleasant bodily appearance are as follows:

  • An upper arm that is overly plump or flabby

  • Asymmetrical breasts; breasts too heavy or too big; flabby and loose; relatively small or even flat-chested; nipples too big

  • Plump upper abdomen; plump or flabby lower abdomen; overall abdomen looks fat; umbilicus undefined or hidden; abdomen skin wrinkly due to skin excess

  • Waist and love handle relatively straight or plumpy, and doesn’t posses a “guitar curve” or “ogee curve”

  • “Wings” too fat; upper back plumpy on the sides

  • Buttocks not full or too big; lower edge of buttocks no clearly defined

  • Bloated sides of the upper thighs; overall thighs look fat; the adjacent medial side of thighs meet

  • Knees that are fat on the medial side

  • Calves that appear big

Factors that may cause an unattractive bodily appearance are:

  • Genetics

  • Imbalance in lifestyle between food intake and burning calories

  • “Yoyo” phenomena due to a fluctuating change in body weight or massive weight loss

  • Pregnancy and childbirth

  • Unproportional hormonal response

  • Loosening of intradermal connective tissue

  • Aging

  • Psychological problems

To improve your appearance, plastic surgery is one of the methods you can take. Some surgical procedures available for achieving an attractive body image are:

  • Disposing excess fat by liposuction

  • Disposing excess fat and skin or other structures accompanied by tightening (tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift or lower body lift, breast reduction, male breast reduction, breast lift)

  • Implant placement (breast augmentation, buttock augmentation, calf augmentation, other body augmentation, etc)

  • Noninvasive procedure by neurotoxin (calf slimming)

These procedures have their own indications and requirements that you must accomplish before the surgery.

For the record, you should bear in mind that surgery is not an “instant way out”, but rather a “last resort” if a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and balanced intake still doesn’t suffice to achieve your ideal body image. A patient that wishes to undergo body contouring, for example, will have to maintain his/her body weight for 6 months prior to the procedure. As another example, a candidate for liposuction should have a body weight within 30% range of his/her ideal body weight. Therefore, an overly obese patient is not an ideal candidate for the procedure. Furthermore, all patients must keep a healthy lifestyle during the recovery period to accomplish the best result.

(© Teddy O.H. Prasetyono, 2012)

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