Here is an excerpt from Livescience describing why humans are obsessed with their bodies and what they are doing to them.
By 2015, 17 percent of U.S. residents will be getting cosmetic procedures, the industry predicts. Some would call it self-edification, of course, or art, or a way to kill time or perhaps rebel against authority. But in general, and given that people have died from cosmetic surgery procedures, what makes so many people so intent on artificially remaking themselves?
First, it’s worth noting that while options at the body shop have never been more varied, the practice is ancient, often tied to cults and religions or power and status, and in fact much of the modern nip, tuck, paint, poke and plump procedures are benign compared with some ancient practices. People have reshaped their heads, elongated their necks, stretched their ears and lips, painted their bodies or affixed permanent jewelry for thousands of years.
Perhaps the strongest motivations nowadays are to be beautiful, however one might define that, or simply to fit in with a particular group.
The lure of beauty can’t be denied as a prime motivator to nip and tuck. Studies have shown that shoppers buy more from attractive salespeople; attractive people capture our attention more quickly than others; and skinny people have an easier time getting hired and promoted.
“There’s this idea that if you look better you’ll be happier. You’ll feel better about yourself,” says psychologist Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families. “And logically that makes so much sense, because we live in a society where people do care what you look like.”
A sign of the times, as Baby Boomer age: While cosmetic surgery sales sagged during the recession, wrinkle-blasting laser treatments have skyrocketed.
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