The ideal human
Although bodies come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, it seems that there will forever be an ideal male and an ideal female form that people try to obtain. The majority of men and women have extremely high standards when it comes to how they think they should look, and they are rarely satisfied with their appearance.
Almost every form of media depicts airbrushed images of perfection that perpetuate unrealistic model appearances, and people often come to believe that they need to have a similarly flawless image. There are so many fad diets, treatments, and supplements that claim to be able to give individuals the bodies they long for, and every year people spend billions of dollars on products to enhance their appearance. From blemish-free, unwrinkled skin to a full head of hair to a body free of fat and cellulite, society’s narrow standards of beauty place outrageous expectations on people.
As a plastic surgeon, I am highly aware of people’s infatuation with having the ideal physique. People come into my office every day because they want to improve their body in some way, and they sometimes have extravagant goals that cannot be achieved. While plastic surgery can and does help many people attain their ambitions, some desire features that will not suit their natural characteristics or that are simply impossible to achieve on their body.
I consistently hear patients saying that they want the body of a particular celebrity, but they don’t realize that many of these celebrities have professional trainers and nutritionists to make sure they stay healthy and fit, not to mention a lot of extra money to spend on multiple plastic surgery procedures. Some potential patients want the button nose of Jennifer Anniston or the full, pouty lips of Angelina Jolie, but the rest of the patient’s facial features may not be compatible with these traits and will not achieve the same look. A few patients also request the shape of certain fictional characters, such as Barbie, Wonder Woman, or Superman, which are beyond the bounds of possibility.
While plastic surgery can help patients to get closer to their ideal body and have the confidence they deserve, the patient’s lifestyle and the body they were born with have a major effect on the ability of surgery to achieve their overall desires. Even if one aspect of a person is considered flawless, the chances that the entire rest of his/her body can be perfected, with or without surgery, is highly unlikely. Because of this, the ideal human form is nearly impossible to achieve.
Achieving every element of the portrayed ideal human form is basically impossible, even with plastic surgery. Most people are aware that perfection is not realistic, and the inherent traits of a person are part of what make them an individual. However, for those who wish to correct deformities or improve body parts they are self-conscious about, plastic surgery is a reasonable method for fixing them. It may take a bit of nature and nurture to achieve your desires, and sometimes plastic surgery may be the nurture needed to improve upon your natural features as long as you have realistic expectations. Just remember that almost everyone tends to set the bar too high for their personal image, and absolute perfection is not always most desirable.
The Ideal Female
The ideal woman has curves in all of the right places. Her absence of fat anywhere besides a couple specific locations gives her the famously desired hourglass shape. She always makes time to prepare lean, healthy food and never gains an ounce of fat regardless of her busy schedule. The stresses of life never cause her to splurge on the surplus of delicious, easily available processed foods, and she never misses a day of exercise. Her skin is forever flawless and never ages despite spending time outside to achieve that sun-kissed glow. And even if she has a baby, her body immediately bounces back to its pre-pregnancy shape without the slightest indication that she nurtured a growing child inside of her for nine months.
The Ideal Male
The ideal male is slender and muscular all at the same time. A sharply shaped body with bulging muscles defines the fancied male figure. His body is a perfectly performing machine that maintains form and efficiency despite the trials and tribulations brought on by everyday life. He always eats nutritious meals and never skips a day exercising and working out his muscles. He demonstrates the self-control and resistance to indulgences that we all know Americans are famous for, and he has all of the following characteristics:
- Smooth and silky
- Naturally gorgeous color
- Full, long lashes
The desired female has silky, frizz-free hair with no split ends. Her naturally radiant hair color (who needs dye?) never loses its luster. This lady’s eyelashes are full and long to accentuate her dazzling large eyes.
- Full head of hair
- Trimmed eyebrows
- No back hair
While a head full of thick, grabbable hair is still craved, men are also expected to “manscape” to remove or trim excess body hair. Although the desirability of a hairy chest is still highly debated, the ideal man is often required to groom certain other areas.
- Big eyes
- Button nose
- High, defined cheekbones
- Full lips
- Smooth, wrinkle-free skin
The perfect woman has an oval face with defined cheekbones. Her stunning eyes, button nose, and pouty lips are surrounded by skin that has no wrinkles or sagging. She certainly has no blemishes or sign that she ever had a single pimple during her adolescent years.
- Strong, defined jaw
- Wrinkle-free skin
The perfect male face has the typical strong, masculine jaw covered by tough yet clear and unwrinkled skin. The eyes may be soft and kind while also strong and determined. I’m sure almost any man can pull off that look with his eyes closed.
- Large, perky breasts
- Noticeable cleavage
The breasts of the exemplary female are a minimum of a C-cup but preferably larger. Although her large breasts weigh a lot, they remain uplifted and perky even with gravity and perhaps breastfeeding pulling them downward over the years. She never experiences back pain from the weight on her front side, and her cleavage is all the more superb without a bra.
- Rock-hard, defined pectoral muscles
- No flab
The flawless man’s chest is solid muscle and no fat. There’s no room for “man boobs” here, even if they are caused by a condition that may be out of the man’s control.
The ideal woman’s arms are toned and slender without a smidgen of flab. These long, flawless arms stem from robust shoulders and deltoids yet still somehow maintain thin, feminine qualities.
- Bulky biceps
- Toned triceps
- Shaped shoulders
Entirely muscled arms are the epitome of the exemplary man. Men throughout history have been defined by their robust arms, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. These strong arms are needed for lifting virtually anything, including the many damsels in distress that men come across today who need rescuing from those dangerous fire-breathing dragons!
- Flat and toned
- No belly fat
- Small waist circumference
The model woman has a flat, toned stomach without any fat (who really needs that extra natural layer for childbearing?). Her slender midsection diminishes into an even smaller waist that requires no corset or the like to maintain its shape.
- No flab
- Six-pack abdominal muscles
- Defined lower abdominal and hip region
The ultimate man’s chiseled six-pack abs with a defined v-shaped hip region makes sure to point women in the right direction. His low level of body fat allows the model male’s formed abdominal muscles to show and drive any woman crazy (who, of course, is sure to meet the standards required to be considered the ideal female).
The form of the ideal female legs has changed from classically thin to include more toned muscles. Though still slender, these legs demonstrate power, strength, and sexiness.
- Strong, defined muscles
The ideal male legs have the typical strong muscle mass. Quadriceps are muscular and calves are defined. The male leg should demonstrate strength and fortitude.