People get aesthetic treatments for a whole range of reasons, but there seems to be a weird - and often quite aggressive - view, from some, that those who choose to get them are just doing it out of vanity or that they’re, somehow, cheating. In this article, Dr Anatalia Moore explains why most patients choose aesthetic treatments like Botox and fillers, and how it’s not about vanity but, instead, confidence.
Aesthetic treatments offer so much more than fantastic physical results. Of course, we all love before and after photos, and rightly so, but, by far, the most beautiful outcome is the sparkling confidence aesthetic treatments can give back to people.
Our sense of self is often linked, in some way, to how we feel we look and how confident we are in our own skin. And milestones in life, joyous or difficult, can challenge us and our connection to our identities.
I often find patients start considering aesthetic treatments around a life changing event. Moving out from home, changing career, weddings and events, becoming parents, menopause and telopause, the list is endless and very personal. The similarity between all these things is that they make us take stock, look back over what has made us ‘us’ and assess how we want to be moving forwards. As we take on different roles and accumulate ‘ life labels’ it is understandable and not at all selfish, that we want to try to retain a sense of self. To continue to see our unique individuality when we look in the mirror.
Now, combine this with the rise in zoom and social media, meaning most days we are met with images of ourselves. Even the most self-confident people can start to notice physical aspects that bother them.
It is only human for us to want our outward appearance to reflect the energy and zest we have for life. Often, it isn’t a specific physical aspect that concerns us, but the way that we feel we come across. For example feeling we look ‘angry’ is often used to describe concerns with frown lines, and looking ‘tired’ can relate to issues such as volume loss in the cheeks and tear troughs and heaviness of brows which lead to changes around the eyes. This is not vanity!
How simply feeling good makes us more attractive
Non-verbal communication is such a large part of human interaction. If your eyes look awake and happy, people will respond to this. They will likely strike up conversation and be more at ease around you. Whereas, if you look unhappy or angry, the opposite can happen. This can be due to the physical feature itself or because we feel that we come across that way. When we feel self conscious, we hold our body in a way so as to avoid attention and interaction. This, sadly, can trigger a cycle of ‘avoid people—people avoid you’. Despite being a simple example this can really help understand why often looking our best makes us feel our best.
If you feel great, you carry yourself differently, holding your head up, appearing open and approachable. All of which are evolutionary physical cues that we as humans find attractive. Interestingly, these things also make us feel great as individuals. Balances of hormones change, so maintaining a generally better mood and also reducing physical stress on the body as a whole.
The impact of our boosted confidence then trickles through into other areas of life. Studies have shown that after aesthetic treatments we feel a sense of well being, heightened satisfaction and confidence across the board.
Aesthetics is not only skin deep
‘Aesthetics’, by definition, is dealing with attractiveness and beauty. However, beauty is not limited to the physical. Of course, feeling attractive is very important - especially when it comes to confidence in romantic relationships and feeling that we are able to be and be seen as sexual beings. Also, consider the impact on the body of reduced stress hormones and heightened ‘happy’ hormones, as well as the potential ‘peacocking effect’. These all mean aesthetic procedures can make us feel physically stronger and well, more satisfied and happier in day to day life, feel better in our jobs and more able to perform and compete. As well as being perceived as a happier individual who is open and approachable.
I love all of the positive benefits that aesthetic procedures can give. However, for me, one in particular stands out from the crowd. This is the way that they can make us feel able to see ourselves again. How their positive effect enables us to stand proudly above and not feel defined by our perceived life labels or roles.
A great practitioner will take time to understand you and your goals, explain things to you and make sure your expectations about what a treatment can achieve are realistic. This not only allows them to suggest the right treatments to meet your physical aims but also to check that they are safe and appropriate for you.
It is so important that your practitioner has an awareness of both your physical and mental health needs. Only by choosing someone with a medical background will you ensure that this knowledge is there and be confident they have your best interests at heart. A medical practitioner will say ‘no’ if they think treatment would be the wrong route for you and then be able to suggest what would be great therapeutic options instead.
I am so honoured to be able to say that my work can truly change peoples lives and even more honoured that people chose to share that journey with me.