Misconceptions about the nature of beauty are very common in today’s Hollywood-inspired society, says Dr. Robert Tornambe, a plastic surgeon and author of The Beauty Quotient Formula, in a recent blog post.
Everyone has a different perception of beauty and he considers it part of his job to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding this elusive ideal.
Although American society usually cites a pretty face, gorgeous eyes, and a nice figure as just a few of the hallmarks of beauty, Tornambe argues that each and every one of us has different ideas about these features. Blonde or brunette? Blue eyes or green eyes? It can be hard for women to find their own beauty in this storm of opinions.
Tornambe rails against the beauty authorities, such as the movie industry, fashion designers, and style experts, who dominate current American notions of beauty:
“The standards and criteria of beauty set by our society have been manipulated and bastardized and are wrong, absurd and unrealistic. Our role models have become 20-something starlets and fashion models whose photographs have been carefully orchestrated, airbrushed, Photoshopped and drastically altered. In person, these people do not look like their photos!”
Women feel inadequate against these fictions, Tornambe says, and so “we must change our perception of beauty and choose realistic role models.” He calls for the recognition of beauty in age and the elevation of older actresses such as Betty White, Helen Mirren, and Penelope Cruz into beauty symbols for today’s disheartened women.
Ultimately, Tornambe says, women must take account of their physical health, psychological health, and personal appearance, and understand these as parts of their personal beauty. Women should seek out and accentuate those parts of themselves that make them beautiful. Cosmetic procedures such as facelifts and breast augmentations can only help in the long term when women are prepared to be beautiful on their own terms.
Interestingly, with a recent trend toward greater specificity in cosmetic surgery for ethnic groups in large cities, it seems that more of the country’s minority women are choosing lines and shapes that suit their unique styles, rather than the cookie-cutter shapes that you can find in Hollywood and magazines. Women are becoming increasingly aware of their unique features and needs, and expressing their own ideals of beauty, instead of trying to assimilate to a mold.