A year 2000 study, entitled In search of the ideal female umbilicus found that “…the most aesthetically pleasing umbilicus is small in size, T or vertical in shape, and possesses a superior hood or shelf.” The authors, based at the University of Missouri Division of Plastic Surgery made no observations, however, regarding the notion of an umbilical signalling hypothesis. The idea that that the umbilicus, together with the surrounding skin area, might be an honest signal of individual vigour. This possibility has now been addressed by Aki Tapio Sinkkonen, Post Doc Researcher and Principal Investigator at the Department of Environmental Sciences, at the University of Helsinki. who reminds us that :“The importance of umbilicus in social context is supported by the facts that several medicinal companies perform umbilical surgeries to increase the aesthetic value of their customers’ abdomens, and that umbilicus has been characterized as a sexual symbol in psychology. For these reasons, I suppose that a symmetric umbilicus signals high fitness.” He suggests a practical application for his newly developed umbilical signalling hypothesis : “…the symmetry, shape, and position of umbilicus can be used to estimate the reproductive potential of fertile females…”
See:Umbilicus as a fitness signal in humans, Vol. 23, January 2009 The FASEB Journal.