In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.
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“If everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other,” sang Groove Armada. Are we in danger of that happening?
Photographer Zed Nelson thinks so. In a series of photographs, he documents what he sees as a world-wide spike in plastic surgery to make everyone look alike.
He told The New York Times:
“Globalization hasn’t just given us Starbucks in Beijing and shopping malls in Africa… It is also creating an eerily homogenized look.”
“The worldwide pursuit of body improvement has become like a new religion… I imagined the project in some way like a body of evidence, perhaps for a future generation, to see a point in history where the abnormal became normal, or at least normalized.”
Might our nearly pathological will to “improve” ourselves – through self-help, through surgery, through diets – be reaching a fever pitch?
Maybe. But what isn’t mentioned in this discussion is money: Only those wealthy enough to afford improvement procedures can have them, leaving the vast majority of the population further marked – in an increasingly visible way – by their lack of resources. So, the better question is: Will the affluent of the world all begin to look the same?