Brazil.

A country known for major income disparity.  And a country known to place a high premium on beauty.

It’s not the least bit shameful to undergo plastic surgery down there.  Even poor — and I mean REALLY poor — women will save up to go under the knife.

Is that pathetic or empowering?

In his NY Times Opinion piece, ” A ‘Necessary Vanity’,” Alexander Edmonds explores the huge emphasis on beauty in Brazil.  He quotes a plastic surgeon saying that what he offers is a form of emotional therapy.  That is, people feel much better about themselves when they feel more beautiful.

While that argument didn’t convince me, Edmonds’s analysis of the economic benefits of beauty did.  For people, especially poor women, beauty is a form of capital that helps them rise in their social and economic environments.  If beauty is a way out of poverty, isn’t that a good thing?

In addition to all the arguments given for plastic surgery/pursuit of beauty, can’t we just contend that different things in life provide joy, including beauty?  And, as such, we shouldn’t we be able to reward ourselves with it? Many marvel at the price people pay to go to Disneyland or to buy a new car, even when they may not be able to afford it.  But the emotional benefits of these expenses are high.  So we justify them.

Well, so too with beauty.  If we want beautiful things or we want enjoy our own personal beauty, and we can somehow pay for it, then I say “go for it.”

Comment or tweet me your thoughts @beautyskew

 

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