Best Breasts

Surgeons Use Eye-Tracking Tech to Find the “Perfect Boob”

A hundred people stared at breasts — for science.

12. 3. 19 / Kristin Houser
Amazon/Victor Tangermann
Image by Amazon/Victor Tangermann

Plastic surgeons have difficulty assessing the success of a breast surgery because, well, the beauty of a pair of breasts is in the eye of the beholder.

“Terms such as ‘beauty’ or ‘aesthetics’ are subjective and thus poorly defined and understood,” plastic surgeon Piotr Pietruski told Motherboard. “Due to this fact, both aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery suffer from the lack of a standardized method of postoperative results analysis.”

That’s why Pietruski and his colleagues in Poland asked a hundred people to spend about a half hour each staring at naked breasts, all to gather data for a new study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

For the study, 50 men and 50 women each agreed to have their eye movements tracked while they looked at eight types of computer-generated female breasts from different angles. They were then asked to assess the aesthetics and symmetry of the breasts — a mission Motherboard characterized as the search for the “perfect boob.”

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From this eye-tracking data, the plastic surgeons behind the study gleaned insights into what people focus on when they’re assessing a pair of breasts — and as it turns out, participants spent about 75 percent of their time looking at the nipple area and the lower part of the breast.

This information doesn’t necessarily let the researchers know what makes one nipple more attractive than another, per se. However, it does let them know that the area plays a key role in determining a breast’s attractiveness, and that knowledge could inform efforts to improve the outcome of breast surgeries.

In other words, by using eye-tracking tech, the researchers managed to generate objective data on a topic that’s essentially wholly subjective: the idea of the “perfect breasts.”


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