Obsession for beauty: thus parasitizes our minds
We live in a time in which the external image is so important that it has come to condition our lives. The obsession with beauty is nothing new ; However, in a hyperconnected world, social networks and television have enhanced this concern to maintain a physical perfectionism that is worrisome both for its social and psychological impact.
And it is that in a world in which we are subjected daily to an incredible amount of stimuli (advertising, series, publications in social networks, etc.), the lack of time must be compensated by ways of filtering what interests us. And what is the fastest way to do it? Judging aesthetics, appearances. Hence, the obsession with beauty has become a kind of parasite that direct our goals and motivations both individually and collectively; we feed each other.
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What is meant by obsession with beauty?
At Northwestern University they have determined that the obsession with beauty it has become a kind of social disease , something similar to a psychological disorder. Specifically, they have noticed that women suffer such pressure because of their external image, which statistically they are more prone to think obsessively about their image, comparing it with that of others.
In the words of Renee Engeln, professor of psychology and director of the Body and Media Lab department, this obsession with beauty makes women invest all their energies in pretend what they are not and please the public , instead of looking at other goals such as professional or intellectual development, to name a few examples.
The industry of the image and aesthetic products are, to a great extent, the great ones in charge of the obsession by the beauty. Feminist groups and organizations, as well as researchers, assure that this type of companies distort women's perception of their physical beauty .
Some alarming data
According to some sociological studies in which Renee Engeln herself has participated, 82% of women of adolescent age spend a lot of time comparing their bodies with those of models and celebrities . On the other hand, 70% of women in adulthood ensures that they feel better valued and considered when they have tried to resemble those media models.
Within this same group of women, different conclusions have been drawn. Women obsessed with beauty are much more likely to have symptoms of depression, eating disorder and great wishes to undergo surgical operations to change your image.
Another fact that reinforces the concerns for beauty and perfection is that on average, women have up to a total of 35 different beauty products at home, and they invest no less than 50 minutes a day to prepare before leaving to the Street.
The obsession with beauty: barrier for equality
Renee Engeln goes further and sharpens the problem to the social sphere. When we analyze carefully what any woman devotes part of her time and economic resources in "being beautiful" versus what the male sex invests in the same, we locate a gender problem and equality between both .
When the woman of the time consumes an hour of her work to get her hair done and a make-up session and the male partner spends only ten minutes, we have to stop and ask ourselves: what's going on here?
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Does this problem affect men?
It would be very simplistic and hypocritical to say that beauty problems only affect women. Men are also concerned about their appearance, they are pressured to be handsome and are conditioned by some stereotypes.
Now, if someone happens to compare the level of obsession with beauty, you will realize that there is a great gap between both sexes . And this is very easy to measure; it is only necessary to compare the number of plastic surgeries to which women are subjected by that of men.
When we find 80-90 percent of women who undergo a high-risk operation for life and health, compared to the remaining 20-10 percent of men, there is no doubt that this problem affects women unequally.
Is there a solution to the problem?
It is a difficult question to answer. The real problem is that the obsession with beauty it's a cultural problem . It is not a physical pathology, nor a simple wrong choice taken individually.To solve this problem would not be so much to change the routines of the person who suffers this obsession; we must transform culture and reject that absurd idea of feminine perfection, of the ideology of the angelic princess. One can "kill" the messenger, but can not kill the message.
Clearly there is a solution, but the problem we must fight it in the bud, with education and raising awareness in society as a whole. As with other problems of a psychosocial nature, the change can be made by making some small gestures, small actions. If many people join these small changes, it will be possible to take a cultural turn, a turn of values and ideas.
How do you start with these changes? Both individually (stop fighting to be less than others, less attractive than the leading actress in the film) and collective (publicly reject the use of the role of "woman vase", for example). You have to change, first of all, the way you talk, the type of conversation.
As it has been commented from the beginning, the obsession by the beauty is exaggerated in the social technological means (the social networks) like Instagram, Facebook or Tweeter. Before posting a photo and seeking public acceptance, we must ask ourselves why we do it .
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