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Our Obsession with Body Image

Our Obsession with Body Image

We spend $7 billion dollars a year on cosmetics.  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 14.6 million procedures were performed in 2012; breast augmentation being the most frequently performed surgery.  In 2011 Americans spent $10.4 billion on plastic surgery.

We’re somewhat obsessed with our body image, and with good reason.  According to the American Psychological Association, attractive people are more likely to get a call-back after a job interview and earn higher salaries.  Dr. Daniel Hamermesh is an economics professor at UT at Austin who has studied the cost of beauty and tells KTRH the reason attractive people are more successful is because, “even though beauty doesn’t matter anymore for things like reproduction, we are still back in that era and in anything you do, we think beautiful people are going to be better at it and we like to have them around.”

Glamour Magazine included a survey of 300 women in their February 2011 edition that found 97% of women will have a negative thought about their bodies sometime today.  On average, women have 13 negative body image thoughts daily.  For some women it’s 100 per day.

“The message that women need to be attractive, women need to be thin, women need to be looking their best at all times, is a constant message that is driven into the psyche of most women.” says, Dr. E, Fred Aguillar, an associate professor of plastic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

What is driving our obsession to take unnecessary risks with plastic surgery, cramming our feet into six-inch heels that are destroying our feet, and giving more thought to calories than nutrients? 

“I think it starts very young,” psychotherapist Mari Jo Rapini tells KTRH.  “I think when we’re little girls our mother, and our grandmother, and any women in our immediate family contribute to the worry, and so until we can change ourselves as parents it’s just going to keep trickling down in each generation.” 

 

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