The new cult of the body beautiful.
We are living in a hitherto unprecedented era where the body as nature created it is no longer accepted unquestioningly. Beauty is now achievable for us all, its lack is seen as an avoidable failure. What is particularly worrying is the ever-increasing pressure upon adolescents, for, unlike adults, their bodies are the only status symbol at their disposal to market themselves to the world.
Accepting your physical identity is already hard enough as it is during puberty, but at a time when the body has become a cult object, the potential for confusion and distress is even greater. The body becomes a permanent building site, the compulsion to strive for perfection becomes ever more intense; there is always more work to be done, with constant improvements the order of the day. The possibilities seem endless, and anything is worth trying. But does anyone stop to consider the consequences to our health and souls?
More and more young people are seeking medical treatment to have themselves made more beautiful. Liposuction before starting out on a career, collagen implants to create swollen, pouty bee-stung lips for a job at an advertising agency. Huge sums are spent to boost self-esteem, and huge risks are taken. Not infrequently with the support of ambitious parents.
It is high time to take stock of the current situation, to show young people how to steer a safe course through the labyrinth of body products.