Have you ever wondered what the world would look like if everyone looked alike???
Well… have a look at the contestants. This will give you a fair idea.
I have been reading about this a lot these days… not that I deliberately read about plastic surgery, it just is all over. Celebrities who have undergone the knife to improve (or sometimes botch) their looks and bodies or denying any apparent procedure at all are always making news. Every page has before-and-after pics of them pointing differences (as if that was necessary).
Having lived in Thailand, I was aware of the Thai fascination for western looks and colour. You could tell by the number of whitening lotions that graced the shelves of retail stores and the use of heavy make-up and diet pills to achieve the desired look; a slim figure, light eyes, skin and hair, slim nose and oval/heart shaped face. But I guess it’s a pan south east Asian trend now.
If we talk about numbers, definitely US tops the chart, but if we consider rates relative to population, South Korea leaves everyone way behind. The reason is the underlying conviction that beautiful people are wired for success and attract all things better in life. For most South Koreans surgery is a passport to finding a better and high paying job, husband from the high echelons of society or merely being accepted and treated better in the society. A bizarre yet a painful truth for most SE Asian cultures. Japan too is in the race coming up with outlandish products as cheap substitutes for surgery as not everyone may be able to afford it. The senior market (men and women hitting mid-life crisis) around the world is also growing by leaps and bounds, sometimes for clinical reasons and sometimes behind the smokescreen of boosting ones fragile self esteem. Surgery is so rampant now that countries like Korea and Thailand are heavily cashing on their medical tourism and why not?
Humans are visual beings. Agreed. They are attracted to all things beautiful. Agreed. Yet it is sad to see how the concept of beauty is narrowing down to one single checklist. I am not personally against surgical procedures to enhance looks but I wouldn’t trade my features for a set standard in beauty.
Our world is full of diversity. Every living creature has its own identity. The beauty of our world lies in it’s differences, not uniformity. The point is that diversity begets the possibility of an adventure of stumbling upon something new and beautiful in its own way. The fascination of different yet beautiful people and cultures makes our human experience worthwhile. The absence of this fascination would only turn us into robots with no zeal and longing for the magic of the unseen and unexpected… What would be the point? It’s all the same.