Differences in Breast Shape

Woman body covering her breast
Phillip Chang, MD

Phillip Chang, MD

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

From the beginning of time, the definition and perception of beauty has been shaped by the culture. At times, being large and extremely pale was considered the peak of beauty – which is a stark contrast to the golden and sleek standard that so many women strive for today.

Culture’s definition of beauty dictates everything down to the smallest detail, including the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. Plastic surgeons have noted the trends that have occurred over the years – they are easily observed by simply being aware of which celebrity has become the latest body-image role model. But what many patients do not consider is that the standard of beauty that they desire is neither ideal or natural for their bodies.

The Best Breast Shape: Perceptions Get Studied

A study was recently published that asked how culture, particularly celebrities and those of iconic status, affects how the average individual’s perception of what breast shape is best. The study revealed the difference between patient requests and plastic surgeons’ preferences when it came to breast augmentation outcomes.

Participants of the study were shown twelve breast profiles. All the profiles were approximately the same volume, but differently shaped, to prevent biases related to the size of the breast. The images were presented in a random order, and participants were requested to rank them according to how attractive they were, how natural they appeared, how close they came to the participant’s ideal breast shape, and how close they came to society’s ideal breast shape.

The study divided the participants into three groups: plastic surgeons, clients who had requested plastic surgery, and “lay people” – or average citizens who serve as a point of reference or control group. Of the total 66 participants, 11 were cosmetic surgeons, 13 were female clients, 16 were male “average citizens,” and 26 were female “average citizens.”

Different Opinions on the Best Breast Shape!

The study revealed a distinct difference between the responses of the plastic surgeon group and the client group. The plastic surgeons tended to rate lower the breasts that had a more “concave” look – or less full and rounded. But clients desiring plastic surgery gave these same images high marks. The control group’s results were fairly inconclusive, although they did tend to rate more similarly to the doctors than the clients.

How These Results Impact YOU

The findings of this study are significant, and come in to play especially when a client is conveying the results they are hoping for from a breast augmentation. Generally, clients are hoping for a full, volumized breast – which is what they consider to be the ideal according to societal and personal standards of beauty. Additionally, the breast upper-half fullness look is considered by many clients to be natural while plastic surgeons often disagree.

This can potentially cause some issues in the plastic surgery office if clear communication is not striven for above all else. The best plastic surgeons seek to leave their clients looking enhanced with a natural outcome. But if a client is expecting breasts that are perkier than possible, they will surely be disappointed if reasonable result expectations are not communicated by the plastic surgeon.

Breast Procedures

Conclusion: Communication is Key!

This study prompts the question: should plastic surgeons be more mindful of educating clients on what a truly natural aesthetic, or should clients expect their doctors to adhere to their standard of beauty? No matter what, this study demonstrates that truly beautiful outcomes are the result of clear communications.


Considering a breast augmentation, but nervous about achieving your ideal breast shape?  We invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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