The price of beauty

By in Opinions

Opinions Writer

What is it about beauty that captivates and sometimes pisses us off?

     Let’s face it — beauty trumps ugly in most circumstances. It has been proven that physically attractive people have better career opportunities.
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According to research by Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle published in the Journal of Labor Economics, “attractive people earn about five per cent more in hourly pay than their average-looking colleagues, who in turn earn nine per cent more per hour than the plainest-looking workers.”Â 

     We live in a culture obsessed with beauty. Long gone are the days when girls’ night in meant wearing your comfiest clothes, pigging out, gossiping and watching television; people now throw Botox parties. There was even a TV show that included people dating “in the dark” just to see if looks really mattered. And just how many magazines are dedicated to making you beautiful? 

     Take a look at any celebrity from when they first started their careers and compare them to how they look now. Carrie Underwood was just a regular looking blonde with an average body type when she won American Idol in 2005. Four years later, 20 pounds lighter with longer, blonder hair, she looks like a “star.”Â 

      Now, let me make myself clear — just because I am stating these facts does not mean I believe they are acceptable. I wholeheartedly disagree with any standard of beauty. What makes one person beautiful is different from the next. And who are we to gauge a person’s appearance solely on our own beliefs? Yet I do not see anything wrong with trying to look your best. However, how far is too far?

     I will be the first to admit, I covet beauty. Most people do. However, what I don’t covet is someone else’s standard of what I should look like. I refuse to alter my appearance to qualify for any such thing.

      A couple weeks ago, I saw a TV show about DIY plastic surgery. One woman bought Restylane — a substance used for filling out wrinkles — off the Internet, and followed a tutorial on YouTube on how to inject herself and plump her face up. She was lucky she didn’t harm herself in the process.

Two other women were not so lucky; they wanted their butts to be fuller, so they went to an unlicensed practitioner. Both ended up in the emergency room and almost lost their lives. Because of improper technique, they can barely sit down comfortably as their bottoms are literally full of lumps.

Horrified as to why anyone would take such risks to their health, I wondered what the price of beauty really is. Do we really want to look like aliens who do not age or can’t blink? I certainly hope not.

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photo Candice Wouters