Everyone wants a tight, firm, flat, and well-defined abdomen to show off in a bikini.
But have you ever stopped to wonder what our culture perceives to be beautiful abs in this age of social media where everyone is showing off on Instagram?
While many women are focusing on the appearance of their busts and behinds, others put a premium on well-toned and chiseled abs. They want to get a well-defined abdomen that shows off their firm muscles — a feature that is a far cry from the flat results of the standard tummy tuck.
If you want to achieve an abdomen you can flaunt not just during the summer but in all seasons, it pays to know about abdominal anatomy and aesthetics. Only then can you appreciate what sets Dr. Siamak Agha’s work apart and above the standard of many plastic surgeons in Orange County and Los Angeles.
Understanding Your Abdominal Anatomy
Top Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Siamak Agha does not only remove excess fat and skin when he sculpts your abdomen. With a deep understanding of human anatomy, Dr. Agha can plan a more attractive core and navel tailor-fit for your body.
When it comes to aesthetics, your abdomen is composed mainly of your belly muscles, fat compartments, and skin. The main abdominal muscles are:
- Rectus Abdominis Muscles – These are what most people colloquially refer to as “abs.” There are two rectus muscles that kiss one another in the midline and are attached together via a connective tissue sheath. In turn, each muscle has tendinous intersections (three bands of connective tissues) that break the muscle into a “six-pack” or “eight-pack” silhouette.
- Obliques Muscles – As crucial components in contouring, your obliques hold your abdominal muscles in place, giving them more definition. They are located on both sides of your rectus abdominis muscles and cover your flanks. Although the obliques are less noticeable than your rectus abdominis, the ideal tummy should have firm, defined obliques that highlight the shape of your abs.
Besides the muscles mentioned above, your abdomen also houses fat compartments of different thickness over the different muscles. For example, the fat compartments over the oblique muscles are thinner than those over the abs.
What Makes Your Abdomen Beautiful?
But keep in mind that beauty is subjective, so every plastic surgeon may have his standards in achieving abdominal beauty.
In the case of Dr. Agha, the standards he seeks to recreate in his surgical practice include:
- Three-dimensional abdominal shape – While most plastic surgeons aim for a flat tummy, Dr. Agha goes a step beyond and aims for beautifully-defined abs. In women, this means abs that are noticeable through the abdominal tissue. The abdominal fat also contributes to your 3D abdominal contour, as the fat layer should be thinnest over the oblique muscles, followed by the fat layer over the upper rectus abdominis muscle. The thickest fatty layer should be below the navel and over the lower rectus abdominis muscles, creating a glimpse of roundness.
- Defined linea alba – The linea alba is the depressed line between the rectus abdominis muscles above the navel. It helps emphasize the abs more and breaks the abdomen to the right and left halves.
- Muscular belly – For women, a beautiful abdomen appears firm with light abdominal muscle definition and no skin laxity. For men, the abs should be a bit more chiseled with visible muscles.
- No fats, tissues, and extra layers – Having low fat layers helps showcase the ab muscles. The skin should also be taut and healthy, free from laxity, weakness, and stretch marks.
- Symmetry – Aesthetics is based on balance, and the same rings true for your abdomen. Your abdominal muscles should be as symmetrical as possible, including the love handles on both sides of your body and the way your body is contoured.
- Centered, vertical navel – Your belly button should be centered and symmetrical, with as little hooding as possible. Its proportions should be roughly equal, with a slight vertical or small oval orientation.
What Makes Your Navel Beautiful?
In 2014, Singaporean researchers tried to determine the ideal navel using computer image modeling on 37 Playboy Playmates. They yielded the following results:
- It should have a ratio of 46:54.
- It should be in the midline horizontal position.
- It should have an oval shape.
- It should be 5% of the length from the lower sternum to the lower vulvar cleft.
- It should either have a superior hood or no hood at all.
Another study conducted by Italian researchers on 81 bikini models showed that the most beautiful navels have vertical oval shapes with superior hooding. The position was less static than previously anticipated, and these results are vastly regarded by plastic surgeons to be as close to the objective ideal belly button as possible.
Still, what makes a belly button beautiful has always been subjective, like all other parts of the body. After all, the navel is nothing more than a scar where your umbilical cord used to connect with the skin. The only difference it has from normal scars is its inability to gain weight and its connection to the abdominal wall.
The Way to Achieve Your Dream Abdomen
For Dr. Agha, the key to achieving a beautiful abdomen and belly button is a careful assessment of the body and an understanding of individual anatomy.
Scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Agha will shed light on these facts, allowing him to develop a personalized plan to help you attain the body you’ve always wanted.