Broadening Our Definition of Beauty

Kim KardashianIt has been reported that the area of greatest increase in plastic surgery requests for the year 2014 was for derrière enhancements. This doesn’t seem terribly surprising given the amount of media attention directed at certain music, acting and reality show stars who have so much attention directed at their bottoms.

Most of what I read about body enhancements through plastic surgery leaves me with concern that people are so frequently needlessly paying good money and taking health risks to achieve goals that usually strike me as rather minor, even unnecessary, and too often completely counterproductive.

One positive note this latest news strikes in me is this increased democratization in our culture’s definition of beauty and female allure. Much has been said in the past about the unfairness of requiring women to be slender in order to be pleased with how they look. Much ink has been expended bemoaning the unfairness of making it difficult for teenage girls to be comfortable in their bodies unless they are among the minority whose genetics gift them with the tall slender appearance so long the ideal for American female beauty. This theme invariably includes strong concerns we have for the negative physical and emotional impacts of eating disorders, obesity and body dysmorphia.

Ideally our standards of physical beauty for men and for women would be broad enough so that people from a wide variety of body types could be pleased with the physical self they have to work with. After all, individually we had nothing to do with what mother nature gifted us with physically. Happiness in this area seems to come from accepting comfortably the reality of who you are physically and embracing a lifestyle that nurtures and protects the healthiest and most physically competent body you choose to live in.

Let’s hear it for the broadening of our definition of female beauty!