Are We Obsessed With Looking Perfect?

By on March 1, 2014

By Dr. Glenn Murray of Absolute Cosmetic Medicine

Until recently I would have said no we are not, but having been in the industry of cosmetic medicine & surgery for nearly 20 years I think there has been a large shift in people’s perceptions of how they should look. The huge explosion in social media and the digital camera has mean that we are under the microscope as never before.

It is quite disturbing to me that especially the younger generation from 17 – 35 seem to be picking out all of their flaws as never before. With my generation it was always about looking fresher & as good as we could for our age and most accepted that some imperfections were the norm.

Now with Photoshop and professional photography, this seems to have gone out the window. Many people post photos online that are their very best pictures – in the best lighting and possibly with the use of Photoshop it will have them looking like they don’t in day – to – day life.

With timeline we are constantly bombarded with pictures of people looking their best and often from people that are attractive & extremely comfortable with posting multiple photographs of themselves online.

For those of us that look average, or maybe a little bit below this can be quite daunting and breeds insecurities to say the least. I am in the industry of helping people looking better for their age or their circumstances and obviously this is better for my hip pocket but it still does cause me great concern.

The most concerns I feel are for the younger people that are absolutely bombarded with this social media explosion. Many I feel have lost contact with what is average. The top 0.5 percent of beautiful people taking their best photographs and putting them online is not an average. Watching reality TV shows or shows that have very attractive celebrities with an army of makeup artists etc. is not the average.

Although this is beneficial to my business this does put more strain on me as a Doctor in explaining that complications do occur, that results do vary and that not every procedure is a perfect procedure. The cosmetic surgery college that I belong to also has strict rules about operating on people under 18 years of age. I think this is wise as it seems children as young as 12 are on social media & being bombarded or exposed to these glamorised pictures. Many of the TV stations also show us advertisements that also tell us that we are too fat, too old and too ugly and need to look after ourselves.

So even those in my age group are bombarded with this growing beyond wellness industry. It is now the glamorous industry.

On the other side of the coin there is the health benefits. Looking after your skin and your body, keeping out of the sun, eating well and using good skin products is actually good for us. But once again it must be all done with a realistic bent. Looking our best is proven to help self-esteem and I am always joyous to see a happy confident patient enjoying their refreshed new look.

I feel one of the most beautiful things about people is their sense of humour and a great personality. I have dealt with many beautiful men and women who have not developed their personality and to me they don’t look as attractive. Although this more narcissistic person is a well-known character in many reality TV shows I’m sure that there are many beautiful people that are this blessed with insight who avoid going down this road.

Overall, do I think that we are obsessed with looking perfect, no I don’t but it does concern me that we are heading in that direction and that possibly we need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of striving for this perfection?

The main purpose in life is to be happy. A cosmetic procedure may help with this goal but it is not the only aspect of life we should be looking for perfection in.

Dr Glenn Murray is an Australian-based health professional and the Medical Director at Absolute Cosmetic Medicine. With being Cosmetic Doctor for over 15 years he understands how body image can affect an individual.

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Are We Obsessed With Looking Perfect?