Your Face Is Unique, So Why Is It Never Enough?
The incredible variety of faces in the world is the result of evolutionary pressure to make each of us unique and recognizable. Yet many of us do not value the unique traits each of us was born with. A new study by the University of California explains how facial traits vary more than body traits. The most variable traits are in the “triangle region” between the eyes, nose and mouth. The eyes, mouth, nose, ear, all have unique features and characteristics. All added together, they make a unique you. 1 in 7 billion.
There is no-one else with your exact facial traits
See those curves and ridges of your ear? You’re the only person in the world with that exact shape. The ear is such a unique identifier. In fact, soon you may be able to unlock and answer the phone by simply pressing it to the ear. It’s hardly surprising that Yahoo is currently developing technology to unlock smart phones with an ear scanner. Patterns of elevations and depressions in your lips are as unique as fingerprints. At least, according to another study published in the Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences.
Did you know detectives could use a kiss as evidence? That’s right, lip prints are being used as identification in court in some cases. Although each person is unique, there is an attractive factor that influences the way we see each other and perceive beauty. For centuries and in every human culture, people have always had their own ideal of beauty and physical attractiveness. In ancient Egypt, slender women with high waists and symmetrical faces were seen as beautiful. Whereas in ancient Greece, they worshiped the androgynous figure. Interestingly, men faced a much higher standard of beauty and perfection than women. And of course, to the Italian Renaissance, when a full body, light hair and light skin were thought of as superior indications of beauty.
Our unique traits are still compared to society’s beauty standards
In the 1920s’ women wore bras to flatten their chests and wore clothing that gave them a curve-less look. Skip to the 1960s where an obsession with the hourglass figure was made famous by Marilyn Monroe. Let’s also not forget the heroin chic trend of 1990s when women who looked thin, frail and neglected, like model Kate Moss, became celebrated. They’re all great examples of how feminine beauty standards have changed. Due to social media influence nowadays, these changes occur faster than ever.
Regardless of background, country or culture, women still hold themselves to always-changing beauty standards. They continue to focus on how they can fit into society’s beauty standards. Nowadays, what is sold as beautiful is tall, thin, with white and perfect skin. Those who do not fit into these stereotypes are not beautiful, don’t progress, and are not happy. According to the NYC girls project, “by middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15.”
A report by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has shown that consumers are more obsessed with celebrities now than ever before, so much so that there is an increase in requests for celebrity procedures. This trend is fueled by an all-consuming media society, where every aspect of their lives are lived online and through social media. A survey led by American aesthetic news website ZALEA suggests that 40% of millennials have either undergone a cosmetic procedure or are considering one next year. Plus, they spend so much time on social media. So it’s no surprise that they are being swayed by key influencers and celebrities talking about which treatments they’re having done.
So how can we change the perception that beauty is simply one standard everyone should adhere to?
By acknowledging that beauty is so diverse that it cannot be reduced to a model, by portraying diversity as part of everyday life, encourage confident and empowering women to become role-models and by teaching young women how to love themselves, cherish their unique beauty and own it.
Each one of us has a role in making sure this happens. In the aesthetics industry, it’s imperative to take our patients’ needs and wishes into consideration. At the same time we must provide professional advice around the procedures and treatment they need and in many cases that they don’t need, so that the results can reveal the best version of themselves, rather than changing who they are.
Just as the fashion industry is slowly stepping away from portraying a perfect beauty standard by using models who have distinguishing facial features such as Daphne Groeneveld or Issa Lish of a Mexican and Japanese descent, so is the aesthetics industry.
How do you value your own unique beauty?
Aesthetic doctors are stepping away from beauty stereotypes and standards and have started focusing more on helping patients find their own beauty, preserving it as well as enhancing it.
It’s important to ensure that you receive the best care and achieve the results you are looking for. To do so, here are 5 things to look for when choosing an aesthetic doctor:
- Research online, read reviews and recommendations
- Ask about your doctor’s qualifications and recent specialty training
- Request referrals from previous clients
- Request to see examples of previous work
- Make sure the clinic is set up appropriately to conduct treatments.