General, Research, Technology

Beauty Advocacy: What Do Scientists Think About Wanting to Change Your Body?

I don't know if you noticed, but modern societyliterally obsessed with the idea of ​​being not only beautiful, but also forever young. Today, all kinds of cosmetologists and plastic surgeons make a lot of money by presenting their clients with plump lips, thin noses and curvaceous forms. But what is really behind the desire to make your appearance more attractive, and sometimes completely change it beyond recognition? Many researchers believe that attractiveness is too closely related to the value of an individual in society, which can lead to the emergence of prejudices and psychological conditions such as eating disorder and depression. What's more, some scientific studies suggest that the urge to remake yourself is often a sign of serious mental health problems. In this article, we will try to figure out where the obsession with external beauty and eternal youth came from in modern society.

Some researchers consider the pursuit of external beauty as a way to improve their social status.

What is the meaning of beauty?

In fact, the desire for externalattractiveness is natural for our species. Although today the desire to have "lips like Jolie and ass like Kim" (we are talking about Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and socialite Kim Kardashian) seems meaningless and even destructive, for our distant ancestors beauty was another way to pass on their genes to future generations. This is because some of the traits that people find beautiful may correlate with health and reproductive vitality, but a preference for certain facial and body features could have evolved as a byproduct of our brain's information processing.

Authors of the study published in the journalBehavioral Sciences notes that "a person's physical characteristics and how they are perceived by the brain are under pressure from natural selection to optimize reproductive success." While men and women have different strategies for appearing attractive, both sexes across all cultures agree on who is attractive and who is not. Moreover, around the world, attractive people have more resources and more children than their less attractive peers.

It turns out that our bodies are not only shaped to function, but also to match the image of attractiveness in the eyes of others.

The desire to change your appearance is often associated with deep psychological problems.

It is also interesting that today we spend a huge amount of time and money to become attractive in the eyes of others. All because we feel better when we think we like someone. A part of our brain is constantly busy evaluating attractiveness, which today is remarkably similar across cultures - thank you, globalization.

Meanwhile, the simplest and most obviousthe desire for beauty today cannot be explained solely by the desire to find a partner and continue the family. Such a resource as external attractiveness in the modern world is closely related to career growth and is part of our status rating among representatives of the same sex. But in reality, we very often deceive others and ourselves about our appearance.

As he writes in his book Body, Food, Sex andanxiety "clinical psychologist Julia Lapina," people now produce bodies in the same way as things. They are trying with all their might to prove that they can control their bodies, make them any, and success in this field raises their social status. "

Beyond the beauty industry

According to a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, body dysmorphic disorder or dysmorphophobia, appears in about a third of patients who underwent rhinoplasty - plastic surgery to change the shape of the nose.

Dysmorphophobia Is excessive concern for the perceived ora minor defect in their appearance, which can develop to such an extent that it disrupts the usual course of life. Basically, it is a mental state in which people look in the mirror and see something completely different from what everyone else sees.

Daniela Versace can be safely called a victim of plastic surgery. The very case when the money should have been taken to the office of a psychiatrist, not a plastic surgeon.

During the study, Belgian plasticsurgeons interviewed 266 patients who came to them for nose surgery. Among those who had functional problems with the nose, such as difficulty breathing, only 2% had symptoms associated with body dysmorphic disorder. But among those who deliberately wanted to change the shape of their nose, 33% of patients suffered from moderate or severe bodily dysmorphic disorder.

“Such patients, unfortunately, aremultiple plastic surgeries to correct the alleged defect, which in fact never existed. This can lead to the fact that almost 30-50% of them will try to commit suicide in the future, "the authors of the scientific work write.

The researchers also note that there are potential neurological causes of body dysmorphic disorder, but social phenomena are the underlying factors.

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Obsession with youth

Another factor that compels both men andwomen giving their money to plastic surgeons is an unprecedented obsession with youth. Look at Hollywood actresses, for example Renee Zellweger or Nicole Kidman - in the first case, Zellweger simply lost her unique appearance, and in the second, the talented actress lost the ability to use facial expressions due to endless suspenders and fillers. All scenes with Kidman now boil down to an open mouth and attempts to wrinkle his forehead. Moreover, most modern films and TV shows feature 20-year-old heroes, and the media just love to focus on the achievements of young people.

Today, South Korea is the country with the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery.

The obsession with youth also reflects and perpetuates the widespread in society fear of aging. According to psychoanalyst Eric Erickson, “withoutthe cultural ideal of old age (and even middle age), our civilization does not actually have a concept of all life. " Meanwhile, a string of scientific studies show that life becomes happier with age.

This is interesting: Is it true that aging is a disease that can be cured?

It is important to understand that life does not end at 30,40, 50 or 60 years old. Numerous scientific studies have shown that as we get older, our overall stress levels decrease and we generally feel happier. For example, according to a recent study, while young people tend to seek unusual or exciting experiences, older people are able to more use and pleasure from ordinary, everyday things.

Our fear of aging is probably proportionalfear of death, and modern society is literally obsessed with the ideas of eternal youth and standardized beauty. Today, the younger and more beautiful you are, the more in demand you are, and absolutely no matter at what cost. Perhaps the time has come to rethink social norms and put health and scientific knowledge first? In the end, no matter how hard we try to turn back time with the help of plastic surgeons or make our faces look like the infamous Instagram face, we will still face the inevitable passage of time and the natural biological processes of aging. So is the game worth the candle?