The Risks of Extreme Treatments for Beauty

From a young age, women are taught that self-inflicted pain is necessary to create physical perfection. They endure plucked eyebrows, shaved legs and breast implants because they believe that beauty is worth suffering for.

Using ERPs, we showed that explicit facial attractiveness processing potentiated implicit empathy for pain processing, partly supporting the “beauty-is-good” stereotype.

Painful Procedures

As a society, we must acknowledge that beauty does not always come without pain. If you’re willing to go to extreme lengths to beautify yourself, chances are you will suffer at some point, whether that be from a chemical peel that burns your skin or a surgical procedure that causes you to lose hair. This type of self-inflicted pain can have a lasting effect on your mental health and may also cause you to develop unhealthy patterns of self-sacrifice that affect your life long after the pain has passed.

While it’s important to note that the pain experienced during an aesthetic procedure is generally temporary, the idea of embracing pain as a form of beauty is an issue worth exploring. It is impossible to maintain a healthy relationship with your body if you think that inflicting painful beauty treatments on yourself is necessary. It is a toxic dynamic that can lead to eating disorders, body dysmorphia and unhealthily intimate relationships. Yet, getting a beauty treatment is worthwhile if you are satisfied with yourself.

In the event-related potentials from the Pain Judgment Task, we found that explicit empathic processing to more attractive models’ pain inhibited implicit attraction processing. Furthermore, in the Attractiveness Judgment Task, N170 and N2 amplitudes of more attractive models’ painful pictures were larger than those of non-painful less attractive faces, which suggests that facial attractiveness potentiates implicit empathy for pain processing. These findings support the “threat value of pain” hypothesis.

If we continue to encourage a population that seeks a pill for every pain and devalues the beauty of suffering, we will see a huge fissure in our societies between those who embrace pain as a dignified aspect of humanity and those who find beauty in passive activities like art, museums, nature, and passive beautification. The schism in perspective will be damaging to our global community and will create two classes of people who view life in very different ways.

Long-Term Complications

Pain isn’t just unpleasant, it can be dangerous. Many of the treatments pushed by the beauty industry involve painful, long-term complications. These include invasive procedures, permanent scarring, unforeseen medical issues and the risk of infection. For some people, these long-term complications are often life-threatening. This is especially true for women and the elderly.

The longer a person is exposed to pain, the more likely they are to develop psychological and physical problems. For example, some people can become addicted to painkillers and other drugs used during surgery or other painful treatments. This can lead to a variety of psychological problems including depression, anxiety and mood swings. In addition, those who experience pain for a long period of time are at a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Those who have the means, money and health to avoid pain will cultivate a different view of beauty than those who suffer. The wealthy will find beauty in quick, anesthesia-aided procedures that set standards of beauty far above what poorer populations can achieve. This will widen the chasm between those who embrace a life of suffering and those that love a kind of beauty detached from blood and tears.

Even though avoiding pain can be beautiful, running from it will eliminate a part of our humanity. As a result, we will become more polarized. The rich will grow to appreciate passive forms of beauty such as art and museums while the poor will cultivate a sense of beauty that is more proactive in nature, working through pain to achieve a goal. This is a very dangerous prospect for our global society.


two jade rollers 1024x683 - The Risks of Extreme Treatments for Beauty

Although suffering is inevitable in life, the ability to control pain can help create a more beautiful world. For example, the desire to eliminate pain is one of very few characteristics that unites people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. In addition, a common desire to resolve pain can bring together those from disparate religious beliefs and political affiliations.

However, the pursuit of beauty often involves painful sacrifice. Women may endure invasive cosmetic procedures to achieve the perfect nose, chin, or breasts. Men may meticulously pluck their eyebrows or enlarge their penises through plastic surgery in order to look attractive. Moreover, some art forms, such as ballet, require dancers to suffer in order to create award-winning results. For example, dancers wear pointe shoes – shoes with hard shanks inside them that support the weight of a dancer’s entire body on their toes. This can cause severe foot injuries and arthritis, as well as back, knee, and hip problems.

The study used event-related potentials to track observers’ neural responses to pictures of more and less attractive faces, along with their corresponding emotions. In the Pain Judgment Task, amplitudes of the N1 and P2 waves for more attractive facial images were larger than those for non-attractive images, suggesting that attractiveness potentiated observers’ explicit empathy for pain. Similarly, in the Attractiveness Judgment Task, N1 and P2 amplitudes for more attractive facial images were larger than those of non-attractive faces, suggesting that attractiveness enhanced implicit empathy for pain. These findings partly supported the “beauty-is-good” stereotype7.

Nevertheless, not everyone has the resources, health, or mental capacity to escape from painful beautification practices. Those that avoid pain risk destroying a very real form of beauty, leaving behind millions of people who find beauty in suffering. Just like the tree that falls in a forest and makes no sound because there is no one to hear it, the beauty of suffering can disappear if nobody witnesses it.

Mental Health Issues

Mental health is an important part of overall wellness. It affects how well you function in life and how resilient you are to deal with stressors. It also affects your physical health, such as sleeping patterns and immune system. However, many people avoid getting treatment because of the stigma associated with mental illness. This can have disastrous consequences. In fact, studies have shown that people who are depressed or anxious live shorter lives than those who don’t have these conditions. Fortunately, people are working to destigmatize mental illness by openly talking about it and advocating for treatment.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness points out that mental health problems can be treated with various therapies and medications, including traditional biomedical treatments and complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). CAM includes herbs and supplements, meditation, prayer, yoga, and other practices that are not traditionally associated with standard healthcare. Psychiatric disorders can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and some may require hospitalization so they can be monitored or have their medication adjusted.

Getting treatment early is key to improving your symptoms. It also helps prevent the condition from escalating to a point where it becomes more difficult to treat or manage. If you notice signs of a mental illness in a loved one, encourage them to get professional help. If possible, offer to go with them to an appointment.

The best way to get the treatment you need is by visiting your general practitioner. From there, a mental health specialist can help you develop a treatment plan that may include psychological therapy and/or medications. Depending on the severity of the condition, rehabilitation services can also be helpful.


A society that prioritizes a plastic appearance over mental and physical health can create an unhealthy dynamic with our bodies. This can lead to eating disorders, body dysmorphia and a toxic relationship with our physical appearance. In addition, it can have a detrimental impact on our emotional and psychological well-being.

Running from pain threatens to eliminate a form of beauty from our lives, and it will eventually leave us with only two classes of people: those who have found the beauty in living through suffering and those that have cultivated a passive beauty that is detached from blood and tears. This could cause a widening of the societal gap between these two groups and will only further divide our world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *