There is a thing known as beauty that everyone assumes is universal. However, it really is not alway. Delving into this topic is always interesting. Dermatologists may think one thing and aestheticians another entirely. What we, in the business, do tend to agree on is what works for skin tightening or fat reduction. But our definitions of beauty may be a little bit different in some parts of the world, or even in the country.
This piece attempts to pull those definitions into one place and identify a standard for beauty that is closer to universal and weaves in bits of information on what all of us can do to be more beautiful.
We can open the conversation on what beauty is by identifying what most agree is not beautiful. Acne. Rosacea. Cellulite. Psoriasis. Scars. Each of these are conditions that affect the way that we look and thus the way that we are perceived by others. In each case the outward appearance is a flaw. One way to look at beauty is by defining it as a perfect state of flawless aesthetic.
Paper wrote a piece on this in 2018 in which it asked the question of its readers: would they want to look perfect? In reviewing a company that builds its brand on this idea, Flawless Cosmetic, they raise the rising rates of procedures and the growing trend of being absolutely ‘perfect.’
The industry of aesthetic enhancements has grown exponentially over the past decade. Today, the secret to aging in reverse and achieving that unnaturally natural look is more attainable than ever. With men now accounting for 10% of all non-surgical procedures, the expectations of our mirror self have become far-reaching. Since 1997, injectable procedures increased in popularity by an astronomical 461%; and since 2000, Botox has increased in consumption by 600%, dermal fillers by 205%, and laser skin resurfacing 198%.
The easy availability of fillers and the ability of non-invasive procedures to transform the way one looks is changing the way we perceive beauty.
Today there is not only beauty, but there is the issue or question of whether one truly wants to be ‘perfect’ and if ‘perfect’ is, in fact, beauty. There are many different definitions of beauty, however, we happen to like the one that Wikipedia presents:
The ascription of a property or characteristic to an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, culture, social psychology, philosophy and sociology. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection. Ugliness is the opposite of beauty.
So, can beauty be defined as the absence of flaws? What about flaws that can be perceived as beautiful? Or does a person have to be perfect to be beautiful?
Does Beauty Mean Perfect?
In April, 2018, Ladders wrote that imperfect is more beautiful than perfect. This is a hard pill to swallow for a lot of TSLMS members and those attending SCALE Music City. That said, they pointed out that:
Now, I think the opposite. Perfect and beautiful aren’t the same thing. Perfect often degrades the work product. Its flaws, the imperfections, the roughness around the edges that generate the beauty… Perfectionism is primarily fueled by a desire for external approval. It’s an indulgence. We’re afraid that if we expose our flaws, we’ll stop getting our daily dose of approvals. So we puff ourselves up and create curated positive portrayals of our imperfect and flawed lives. We round off the edges, airbrush the negatives, and present a perfect image to the public that we carefully nurture and maintain… When we cover up these flaws, we also conceal what makes us human.
That said, there are a number of procedures that can help to make people less flawed. These include:
- Botulinum Toxin, Usually Known as Botox
- Skin Tightening
- Dermal Fillers
Each of these, and other, treatments work to reduce or eliminate imperfections.
Can Imperfect Still Be Beautiful?
We, and our clients, all want to be more beautiful. That is what we work for, and that is why they come to us. But, here is the thing. Achieving perfect beauty is almost impossible- but everyone can achieve an imperfect beauty.
With an imperfect beauty as our standard, it becomes much easier to accomplish the majority of our clients’ goals and most people will applaud us for this.
As Psychology Today illustrates in their article, The Beauty of Imperfection, “Love for others, and no less for ourselves. Love for our virtues and our scars, our strengths and our vulnerabilities. It is this love, according to Ryotaro Matsumura, that can lead to a deeper satisfaction with life. If we could feel it even once a day, it is this love, he notes, together with ‘humility and gratitude for the sun, for water, for nature, for humans – despite all our imperfections – that can infuse our days with more meaning and fulfillment.’ After all, in a lifetime of fleeting moments, one after another, what bigger gift than to stare in the eyes of beauty – whatever form it may take – and to revel in its reflection of love.”
There will always be more people who are imperfect than perfect. And, as a group, we can help them along their path towards achieving a look that is closer to perfection, and even more importantly, more beautiful.