We all like to look good and especially if there is an event coming up such as a party, wedding or other social gathering. The personal sensation of looking and feeling good raises self esteem helps build confidence and can cause certain brain chemicals to be released which in turn reinforces the sense of well being.
But looking and feeling good are qualities that are difficult to measure. A measuring tape or ruler cannot be held up against one person and then compared to another. Whilst there are people who are employed to try and do such things, such as in the media, it is only their opinion or a collective view of a very small number of similar thinking people, who make that judgement and then try and impose it on others. As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
At a subjective level people compare and contrast all sorts of things but their comparative basis is premised on what they have believe, have been shown, and perhaps learnt as what beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In turn, this view is then modified by friends, colleagues, and influenced by the media, marketing and a range of other influencing factors.
For example, we all know what it feels like if you find someone attractive that none of friends claim they would look twice at. It takes a very special type of person to stand out from the crowd and “be different”, particularly given in certain contexts it could alienate them. Like it or not, most people confirm to a broad range of societal norms for a range of reasons including popularity, self preservation, work and on occasion, even survival. In truth, the person you are attracted to, is often attractive to your friends, who are not prepared to say anything to maximise their own chances!
However, the perceptions of beauty people hold are also continually changing at unconscious levels when they see other things that they perceive, and then believe, are more beautiful. The fact that experience and learning all give varying and different insights into familiar things makes re-appraising an ongoing feature of human life. The fact that it does not always happen often at a conscious level just shows how clever the brain is.
But is beauty just about perception? Are our beauty ratings and scales just a visual issue? Do people with visual impairment rate beauty the same as sighted people do? Are there other aspects that humans use to determine beauty such as touch? When attracted to something that looks nice, we often touch it to reinforce our initial assessment. We then go and make comparisons with other things in the same category and change our ratings accordingly.
Further, any notion of beauty is reinforced by factors such as family, friends or the media – all of whom hold a varying degree of influence over our perceptions of what is good looking.
So how does this impact on you and whether you want to use aesthetical enhancements?
Well, let’s start by looking in the mirror. Do you like what you see? If you do, then great, but probably you will be able to make some (or several) negative comments about your appearance be it your clothes, figure, state of your teeth, your smile, the fact that the odd nip and tuck would make you feel so much better!
The first thing is that you need to want to change. It is no good someone else telling you, no matter how much you respect their view. If you don’t want to do it then the chances of undergoing any change and making it last are limited. Remember those pounds you promised yourself you were going to lose so you could get into that dress or swimsuit? If you have kept your new weight for at least 12 months give yourself a pat on the back. If you are still on the way, well done, keep going. But in many cases you probably have given up on what you believe was over ambitious challenge or not achievable, aided and abetted by the likes of chocolate bars or whatever your vice may be.
If you could change just one of these negatives into a positive e.g. put on your best dress or jacket, replace your flat shoes with heels, the chances are you will start to feel much better about yourself. If your partner or friend is around and they give you positive comments and compliments the “changed you” then you will feel even better.
But whilst there are some aspects of you that can be changed relatively easily, some of the others may require the intervention of professionals such as dentists or surgeons and will, most likely incur cost. But do not despair! The most effective change starts with small steps that are sequentially built on and in this way they are generally more lasting. A bit like losing weight, the first few pounds you shed encourages you to continue.
Back to the physical changes you could have done to yourself, what is it you want to achieve. Why do you feel that what nature gave you needs changing? The reasons can be several fold but ultimately it is up to you – it is your body after all!