Dara Singh Handa

 | 1 minute to read

The fallacy of Ideal body proportions

I got a phone call from an old client. She has been maintaining her fitness well. However, she has an issue she wanted to discuss. As per her friend, her face was too lean for her body. She mentioned that she doesn't feel that her face is in proportion to her body, to which I asked her what are the ideal proportions like? Who has set the rules for these ideal proportions? She didn't have an answer to my question. Now let's dig deeper into this conception of proportions:

Many people have seen the picture above in some way or the other. It's Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing of the Vitruvian Man which is based on the correlations of ideal human body proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his 'Treatise De Architectura'. It also talks about the golden ratio 'phi', the golden number 1.618. This ratio is consistent around the human body at different area and also has its significance in the outside world. However, it doesn't suggest as to why they are ideal proportions because there's nothing ideal about a human being. One can be healthier or fitter for the individual endeavour but not ideal. Human beings are an outcome of millions of years of evolution. The genes have crossed over a period of time. All bodies are different and no one body is perfect or ideal. Do not confuse proper body proportions with perfect body proportions. Proportions are for an artist to make their art work look appropriate. For example, babies have smaller legs and bigger head whereas adults have longer legs and shorter head. An artist has to keep these things in mind. . Don't be misguided by proportion. You are the best with what you have. There are certain aspects of your body which you can improve and there are aspects which you can't change with the current scientific advancement. -You cannot change your bone structure and the bone length(leg lengthening surgery for dwarfism has its own demerits). -You cannot change they way you body deposits fat and you cannot choose where to lose from. - You cannot change your Genetics. - You cannot change your muscle insertion and the shape of your muscle. You can only make it big or small. - You cannot change you skin tone with some cream( unless you do what Michael Jackson did). - You cannot look like someone else or have his body. Stop chasing perfection. It's just a subjective term. It will change from person to person. Nothing is perfect but everything can be improved. Try to be better than your current self. Make small incremental goals and you'll be surprised how far you have reached.

Dr Isra Halim


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