Aesthetics across cultures: implications for practitioners in multicultural Britain
From rhinoplasties to tanning, and from buttock augmentation to eyelids, this comment piece looks at aesthetics perspectives across cultures and what they may imply for cosmetic practitioners in multicultural Britain
Having lived in four countries across three continents, one aspect of culture that never fails to pique my interest is aesthetics. ‘What is beautiful?’ is a question as old as time, with the answer being collectively constructed by the hands of culture through history.
So, what is beautiful? A large forehead? Round eyes? An hourglass figure? Whether we are hugely conscious of them, or in blissful denial, values woven in society can pose a powerful influence over what many of us decide to do with our bodies. We often choose to believe that aesthetics is a personal choice, stemming from intrinsic motives; but ultimately, the line between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to pursue aesthetic changes is never that clear-cut, and we cannot disregard the role that culture plays in shaping aesthetic views of ourselves. Sometimes, as it may seem, cultural views on aesthetics can be problematic, and it is pivotal for cosmetic practitioners and patients alike to grow awareness on this topic.
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