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Why Do We Want to Look Good?

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 106

At the beginning of summer the weather gets warmer, the sunshine gets brighter, our clothing gets lighter, and we suddenly realize that a few extra pounds have been clinging to our bodies since winter. Early summer always causes a spike in sales of gym memberships, diet books, and cosmetic remedies like laser liposuction as people rush to rid themselves of their Christmas dinners before hitting the beach in May.

In reality, laser liposuction doesn't actually use suction; it's only named that because of a similarity to liposuction, which is so well branded. Laser liposuction is a laser treatment that melts fat away beneath the skin. While not by any means a solution for obesity, it is a quick, effective, and minimally invasive way to get rid of pesky pockets of fat that don't respond well to diet and exercise.

The fat pocket that tends to collect under the arms is a favorite target of patients seeking laser liposuction, as is the fat on the neck and under the chin. Once fat collects in these areas, it is very difficult to get rid of it through normal means. Dieting draws fat from other places first, and it's not like there are exercise regimes designed to target the chin.

Our society is becoming increasingly body conscious, as the result of a concurrent evolution in cosmetic surgery and digital photography that has planted and continually reinforces a subconscious body ideal. The result is that even women who would generally be immune to issues related to body image find themselves becoming self-conscious about the hardest-to-target areas of their bodies.

The last few years have seen remarkable improvements in computer imaging technologies, which have had broad applications to medicine. This technology has enabled cosmetic surgery to go through a metamorphosis. Much more elaborate cosmetic surgery is possible, and many procedures that have a demonstrable aesthetic effect can be done with a minimal amount of invasiveness, pain, and cost. One end of the spectrum maximizes what cosmetic surgery can do; the other makes minor cosmetic procedures much more attainable and much more common.

Computer imaging technology has also revolutionized digital photography, enabling higher quality images and proving robust photo editing solutions. In the days of film, a little airbrushing was all a photographer could do to reduce the appearance of flaws. Now powerful software allows pixel-by-pixel alteration, and we rarely see a picture of a person that hasn't been edited in some way. We are surrounded by photography, and specifically we are surrounded by photographs that have been doctored to make them as striking as possible.

These influences have caused the body ideal to evolve. As more people get surgery, those surgical enhancements become part of what we expect people to look like. As we are surrounded by photography that has been edited to improve the way people look, we absorb that look as our ideal. Over time our "normal" becomes skewed by these ideals, and we have less of a response to reality because we expect an enhanced version of it.

In some ways women have a better built-in defense system against these body ideals than men do. Advertisers have been using idealized versions of a woman's body to sell products since the camera was invented, and because of that there have been plenty of campaigns to raise awareness among women. Men, on the other hand, are susceptible simply because they think they're immune - which might be why laser liposuction is immensely popular among men.

Kyle is beauty professional who specializes in laser liposuction.

Source: EzineArticles
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