In today’s society rife with competition in professional and social spheres, acquiring and maintaining a desirable aesthetic has become a near necessity. In fact, a study performed by University of Texas professor of economics, Daniel Hamermesh, found that workers with above-average looks will make $230,000 more over their lifetime than people who are in the aesthetic bottom seventh. Cosmetic procedures have effectively gone from satisfying vanity to succumbing to inevitability.
The cover article of the latest Time magazine titled “Nip, Tuck, or Else,” conveys the societal shift that allowed, or necessitated, the furious increase in cosmetic procedures. The author, Joel Stein, notes that “…it’s the cheaper, nonsurgical procedures that have become commonplace. U.S. doctors perform more than five times as many nonsurgical procedures as surgeries.” Previously costly and extravagant procedures that were only affordable to those with deep pockets are now being embraced by the mass market. Stein adds, “an industry that was once exclusively for rich Beverly Hills and Manhattan women has been thoroughly democratized. In 2005 more than two-thirds of cosmetic-surgery patients in the U.S. made $60,000 or less. Most people getting nonsurgical procedures probably made less.”
While the article outlines a narrative of rapidly growing societal acceptance for cosmetic alteration, Stein remains objective in his observations – pointing out that “this moralization of aesthetics is mostly our society’s way of controlling what it deems too sexual or too vain.” Victoria Pitts-Taylor, the chair of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Wesleyan University responds, “Our unease with the technological modification of the body hasn’t gone away. We’ve merely refined our judgments about it.”
If you are a member of the Aesthetic Medical industry, we at Acara Partners highly recommend that you pick up the latest Time for additional perspectives within the article and to uncover what appears to be a bright future for cosmetic medicine.