How Perceptions of Beauty Change Over Time

R679kcWhat part of your lifestyle do you think contributes the most to your appearance?  Why do you go to such great lengths to look good?  Is there a particular area of your body that you believe is most important?

These are the sort of questions asked by researchers during the Beauty for Life survey, a collaborative effort facilitated by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  ASAPS President Renato Saltz says the survey was intended to help physicians “understand what patients are most concerned about at different stages of their lives.”

Researchers divided the respondents into separate age groups to determine how each generation perceived physical appearance of the self and physical appearance of ones partner.

Respondents in their 20s, 30s, and 40s indicated that a “fit, well proportioned body” was what they found most appealing in another person.  But when it came to their own physical characteristics, the same group was most concerned about their own faces.  The abdomen and hips were said to be areas of significant concern (especially in the 30s), but across the board, patients said they were most conscious of their facial appearance.

Reasons given for maintaining an attractive physical appearance included the following:

  1. Boost self confidence
  2. Make friends
  3. Attract partners
  4. Increase job prospects

In all age groups, cosmetic procedures ranked fairly high, alongside diet, exercise, and skin care.  Through the link below you can easily view the results (in a pdf file) of the Beauty for Life survey.

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