Does Being Attractive Matter?

Everyone can point to someone that is confident and successful despite or perhaps unrelated to his or her looks.  However, for those wanting to stay competitive in a youthful industry, like Hollywood, success appears to be firmly linked with physical appearance.  How about for the rest of us?

Many of my patients describe concerns about specific facial features as,  â€œseeming out of sync,” but they are not quite able to pinpoint why.  It is generally accepted that facial symmetry correlates to attractiveness, as do perceptions of youth and health.   The rationale behind symmetry preference in both humans and animals is that symmetric individuals rate a higher mate-value.  Scientists believe that this symmetry is equated with a stronger immune system, indicating more robust genes and a better likelihood that offspring will survive.  This theory is supported by research showing that standards of attractiveness are similar across all cultures.   Does being attractive still really matter today?

Gordon Patzer tackles the question.  He is a former Dean at Roosevelt University in Chicago  and well-known researcher in the study of cultural bias based on physical appearance.  Patzer calls his theory the Physical Attractiveness Phenomenon or “lookism.”   Lookism is basically the behavior of treating people differently based solely on their level of physical attractiveness.  Lookism can create an unfair advantage, often with a negative affect for those being judged harshly.  As a plastic surgeon, I see the issue from both sides.  When patients describe concerns about specific facial features seeming out of sync, asymmetry is often the cause, but sometimes patients are just bothered by changes due to aging.   General attractiveness concerns that top this list include crooked noses, droopy jowls and baggy eyes.

Part 2 continued tomorrow.

During consultation, patients may also report feelings of diminished self-esteem, often related to their perceptions of their own attractiveness.   Cosmetic surgery is very effective in correcting physical problems.   By making outward changes, we can often see a positive change in a patient’s attitude toward their self-image.   This attitude shift is common with both my female and male patients alike.   While cosmetic surgery is certainly not the answer in every case of low self-esteem, I am pleased that many of my patients express feeling better about themselves, following surgery.  Some of my patients have contributed blog posts to share their personal reflections about surgery and can be found in Patient Comments.

One Response to “Does Being Attractive Matter?”

  1. SJ Says:

    I am 30 years old and had breast augmentation surgery two weeks ago. I am a mom of three and before I had kids I was a full “B,” but after breastfeeding was left with uneven, unattractive, saggy breasts. I am very active and exercise regularly so I was confident about my body, but not happy with the after effects of breast feeding. After a friend recommended Dr. Bashioum, I made the decision to have breast augmentation surgery and made an appointment to find out more information. I am amazed at the level of care and professionalism of Dr. Bashioum and his staff. From the receptionist, to the nurses, to the office manager, to Dr. Bashioum, they all have this amazing way of making you feel totally comfortable and there is no doubt that they truly care about the insecurities of woman and about helping them overcome. After my initial appointment, any nervous feelings I had were gone immediately! The office was not stale or uncomfortable like other doctor’s offices, but very comfortable and homey.
    I made the decision to go with 375 cc on one side and 400 cc on the other because my breasts were uneven to begin with. On the day of my surgery I was completely comfortable and was treated very well. I walked into the surgery room, was given an IV and “something to help me relax” and I was out. Before I knew it I was sitting upright and the surgery was over. Right away, I was amazed at how great my breasts looked. After a few days of recovery, some soreness and swelling I was back at work and a new woman! Right before my 2 week post surgery mark I went bra shopping.
    Today, exactly 2 weeks after surgery, I feel great…only have some minor numbness left and my breast look AMAZING! My incisions, which were made under my breasts, are barely visible. I am 100% thrilled with the results and LOVE the way my breasts look on my body.
    I highly recommend Dr. Bashioum and wouldn’t even consider going elsewhere for any cosmetic work. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Dr. Bashioum, Sandy and the entire crew!

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