The psychology behind our obsession with “natural beauty”
This a very polarizing topic with varying theories on the subject, there is no one right answer yet. Many factors contribute to the stigma of plastic surgery and our obsession with natural beauty. Cosmetics surgery is such a controversial topic that is somehow still redeemed taboo. The negative light shed on the subject is why many of us associate the scarce extreme incidents such as Rodrigo Alves with such a broad field. We let our cruel judgments eclipse an area that was able to restore the confidence and self-esteem of so many lives and reverse injuries.
So why are we obsessed with natural beauty?
1- Aesthetic surgery raises the bar for beauty standards
We have all grown aware in recent years with the unrealistic beauty standards imposed on us by society. Women, in particular, are the biggest victims of these high hanging fruits of beauty ideals, constructed by society just so there is a division between the public. The struggles of women are not just theoretical, according to a data dive men find that women peak in beauty in their early 20’s. Whereas women find partners closer to their age range more attractive. Clearly, there is a gap that, of course, the media perpetuates.
While there is not much we can do to reverse these mentalities rapidly, the strain continues to affect our psyche. With women expected to have riped by their early 20’s, they become very overwhelmed with an inherent fear and turn to aesthetic surgery to stop the hands of time. The nips and tucks are attempts to fit into a mold that otherwise only a marginal percentage can ‘naturally’ fit into.
This is where the stigma arises; the rest fear that succumbing to social constructs is only exacerbating their current struggles. However, the truth is the phenomenon does not work this way. If anything, cosmetic surgery is just a way to make us feel better.
Looking at the issue from a myopic lens as such will only make us overlook the root of the problem. It is not always gloom and doom, and there is no shame in individuals turning to cosmetic surgery as a haven to restore their confidence. By no means are they fueling the development of strict social constructs or the cause of the problem.
2- Cosmetology is seen as vain
Getting a cosmetic procedure solely to improve your looks is looked down upon by the public. Which is why women secretly confide into a select few about their aesthetic procedures brushing them off as reconstructive. It is also why men play their procedures as a necessity, restoring their six packs and guns which they have lost due to ‘inactivity as a result of busy schedules’.
I find it odd how our society encourages us to downplay our self-worth. Before you call hot air, you can find proof to back up this argument in your daily life. Notice how we react when people self-compliment? Instantly name calling: cocky, stuck-up, vain and the list goes on. However, with self hate we are more tolerable, considering it modest too; sure we will prove to the person their worth, but only if they do not believe they are of value, to begin with.
This issue is what breeds the stigma surrounding cosmetic surgery. Getting a procedure done to look better and feel better is for some reason looked down upon. However, the fact remains that this peculiar ironic concept has no factual basis, and it certainly should not stop you from loving yourself and stopping you from resorting to aesthetic surgery to your self-esteem shackles to be free.
3- Sexual advantages
This point comes from an evolutionary perspective. We are all born with the inherent desire to pass on our genetic makeup to future generations. After all, producing is the ultimate purpose for all species. When talking about cosmetic surgery, we are talking about an opportunity for certain individuals to look better and feel better. When doing the math, this translates to being more attractive. In other words, the competition to find a partner is now more challenging for the rest of us.
For those born with ‘natural beauty’ this is terrible news — the advantage they were born with lost some of its value. This is, of course, is absurd when analyzing it from a logical sense, beauty standards are continually evolving and what we find beautiful right now might be what the coming generations label “ugly.” Beauty is entirely subjective since there is no clear-cut definition for it.
Therefore, some of our judgments might not have a solid foundation. Although the fear is a natural reaction, it is essential to step back and reflect on its source.
4- Going over board with surgery
Aside from social issues, this seems to be the most significant factor here. We subconsciously attribute extreme cases to cosmetology. Although these cases are rare, they seem to represent aesthetic surgery as a whole which is often why people preach about embracing your natural beauty. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with carrying your self with confidence for being the way you are, it is not always possible for everyone.
Forcing individuals into conforming to the glamour of natural beauty, is confining them to exist according to our definitions of self love.
Our negative judgments towards cosmetology and praise for natural beauty, might not come from a particular source. Although we only shared a few theories we think are significant contributors to the stigma, the answer is not crystal clear. The issue might remain a mystery, but if you want to take one thing from this article, it is that our brutal criticism for cosmetic surgeries does not have a sound foundation. Our thoughts are merely opinions that social issues alter and determine.
There is no shame in embracing your natural beauty, and neither is there shame in enhancing on specific features. If it means the issue will no longer place a weight on your happiness, then go for it. Remember, you should never consider surgery to please others. No matter what you decide, it should always be for you. Your happiness and mental wellbeing come first.
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