The disease of ‘Aesthetics’

11 Feb

Whilst evolving into a media saturated world full of idols which are both healthy and harmful, society has begun to struggle in its prioritising of values as well as its moderation of them. Television advertisements for face creams which slow down the process of aging or even out skin tone, bill boards portraying the latest diet trend in a celebrity gossip magazine and cosmetic surgery adverts on the side of buses, what do they all have in common? untitled

The disease of aestheticism, and playing up to its symptoms.

What makes you happy in life?

 The people you surround yourself with?

Your hobbies?

Seeing others happy?

The way you look?

If you consider the way you look to be one of the things that makes you happy, then you suffer in part from an aesthetic disease. With the opening of gymnasiums around the city you live in, the incorporation of make-up counters into the supermarket you do your shopping in and even the integration of mirrors into a shopping mall you frequently visit, all appeal to this disease and your sense of consumerism. Many give into it, few do not.

imagesCA1I4O1XThese days stories of eating disorders adorn glossy magazines and sometimes day-time television, reports of cosmetic surgery going wrong tend to be portrayed in newspapers. You only have to look at the recent articles concerning the PIP breast implants which were placed into many women across our own country and the risk that they placed upon their lives. So why do people continue to strive for the ultimate aesthetic?

In the stone ages it was generally felt that the stronger men were the most intimidating and the hierarchy of the group they adorned was generally arranged according to this, therefore I propose that this has been mirrored in aestheticism today and many generally believe that by looking the most beautiful they can attract beautiful people, or even have the power to dismiss others they do not consider on par in beauty. It also comes back down to finding a mate. In an over-populated world, how do we make ourselves stand out? imagesCAFZ8SYX

The above is perfectly exemplified in my example of the heavily built and bulked up man at the gym. Able to look as though he could lift you and your friend but in fact only capable of lifting half of your body weight. This man has not trained his muscles for strength but for visibility. As a result  of this, our groups are no longer arranged by strength but by aesthetics and the power they hold, so much so that these men (or even women) can even resort to injecting strange potions into their body to look strong rather than simply be strong, (e.g steroids).

Lips can now be full without actually being full. Aging can now be reversed, however you may not be able to express emotions in your face. Buttocks can be firm without being real as can breasts. Anti-aging creams may slow down the process of aging yet you will have to devote yourself to purchasing that cream for the rest of your life. That celeb diet is only a short term fix unless of course you plan on eating cabbages or green food for the rest of your life and you may want to dye your hair a different colour but ultimately you must live with the fact that you will soon want it another colour now that you realise you can change your image by the click of a finger.

The above, all demonstrate the fake quality to such aesthetic desires which we aspire to, to either stay the same forever or become someone different. You will either never be satisfied or if you are have to almost sell your soul to have it forever. Is this ultimate happiness (supposedly) worth a possible sacrifice to part of your life?

When you ask somebody if you look okay or even the old cliché question of whether your bum looks big in this ask yourself whether you are asking it for a comfort issue or for a morale boost. I have long claimed that I dress a certain way and wear make-up for my own comfort but deep down as much as I want this to be true, I know that it is not. I know that it is because looking good makes me happy, okay it may be nice to get an admiring look for a morale boost but I know full well if I get a scorn due to the way I look I won’t be anywhere near as happy as I was initially.

I suffer from a disease of aestheticism, it began with buying make-up then moved on to watching what I ate, to dying my hair and getting piercings and going to the gym, next I know I will aspire to have surgery because I know that is the next step and if I was to ever get it, even then I would not be satisfied. I often wish I had never begun this vicious cycle and been happy with what I had, even now sometimes someone telling me I am beautiful is not enough and it is worrying.

This we see passed onto children around us, nine and ten year old girls wearing make-up and nine and ten year old boys sporting brand named clothing, is it not worrying that the disease is spreading?

imagesCASY6TFTThe cure lies in your own happiness and investing it in a real world. A process which shall not be easy but begins by avoiding the mirror one moment less each day and refusing to purchase that advertised product simply because it will give you something you do not have. Be thankful for what you are and impart that onto your offspring. Pay others compliments and mean them and most important of all, look after yourself in order to live and not just to be noticed.

Aestheticism is a choice.

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