How Leonardo da Vinci Helped Define Modern Cosmetic Surgery
In a recent book by Tony Lester, known as Da Vinci’s Ghost, the influence of Leonardo da Vinci into the modern era is discussed in detail. A Huffington Post article inspired by this book raises several key points about how this influential man shaped modern cosmetic surgery.
da Vinci’s well known “Vitruvian Man” (pictured at right), has long been held as the standard for body symmetry and proportion, key aspects of properly planned body contouring cosmetic surgeries such as body lifts, arm lifts and tummy tucks. Modern surgeons, however, now use these ideas as a guide and a helpful tool, rather than trying to fit every patient to this image.
Vitruvian Man a Timeless Example of Science in Beauty
Part of the significance of da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” is that it helped make a significant shift from the rigid ideas of perfection to a more tolerant and human ideal of beauty. For more than a thousand years, it had been held that the human body should follow mathematical proportions of perfection. da Vinci’s work with human bodies and his detailed study of anatomy helped him to realize that the human body is more complicated than the formulas allowed.
These advances directly contributed to the current theories and beliefs on human beauty, which favor our natural instincts over theoretical perfection. According to Nancy Etcoff, an evolutionary psychologist, “For scientists in this century, the key to understanding human beauty is in our biology not in mathematics.”
As our collective understanding of human beauty and the way it is interpreted by our brains continues to advance, cosmetic surgeons are often at the forefront of the research. Helping patients to achieve their body contouring and facial cosmetic surgery goals requires a harmony between natural beauty and a scientific understanding of proportion and human psychology.
Photo by GeometerArtist on Flickr