By Elizabeth IseOluwa Iruonagbe
Everyone has a physical appearance, but there is always a craving for enhancement. It is
important to look good by dressing neat and with modesty.
However, in the 21st century, physical appearance has gone beyond the normal. People have become engrossed in
their physical look beyond the ordinary. Some people feel inadequate by their natural looks.
There are all kinds of enhancement taking place, some out of the extraordinary. Nose enhancement, face lifting, lightening of the eyes, lips moulding, breast enhancement, liposuction among others are some ways people try to alter their natural physical appearance. We are visual species, and looking good and appropriate to the situation ensures we do not get negatively prejudged.
Research indicates that appearance influences how we perceive things. Feeling confident about one’s body and appearance is also known to boost self esteem and performance. Most people value their appearance to a large extent. However, when appearance is overvalued, it can be problematic, as it gets in the way of other important areas of our life.
The more we value our appearance, the more it can take away from our ability to live in line with other values. The ability to enhance our physical looks has led to lots of confusion in our society.
Robust people go for liposuction to lose weight, slim people go for what is called a “skinny BBL to add weight. People who feel their sclera is not white enough go for eye lightening procedure and so on. While these methods can be used to enhance physical appearance, it is important to remember that true beauty comes from within.
Confidence and a positive self image can go a long way in making a person feel good about themselves, regardless of their physical appearance. Other ways of enhancement are through the use of supplements to increase muscle mass, lose weight or increase energy levels. There are various non invasive cosmetic treatment that can be used such as laser hair removal, botox injections, and microdermabrasion. The weird craze for gender change started in a subtle manner like this. One can hardly phantom what this present addiction will produce, because right now we have people who are willing to commit atrocities to satisfy their urge of enhancing their beauty. We now have people who are completely artificial, the only thing original about them is their soul. People should focus on feeling good about themselves and their bodies, rather than striving to meet an unrealistic idea.
Enhancing physical appearance can come at a cost, both financially and health wise. It is important to weigh the potential benefit and risks before making any decision. For the black community, it is the lack of self belief, low self esteem coupled with neo-colonialism that makes us despise our skin colour. So you see what late Fela Anikulapo Kuti said “White face, dark arse” while preaching against the use of bleaching creams.
Elizabeth IseOluwa Iruonagbe is of the Department of English Language, Lagos State University