Beauty may only be skin deep, as the saying goes, but as research shows, looking good can also correlate with feeling better about oneself — especially at work.
The New York Times profiled individuals who have undergone cosmetic treatments, ranging from cosmetic dental work to facial reconstructive surgery.
Philip Fear, a 49-year-old physician from Saratoga Springs, NY, had been miserable with his teeth up until last fall, when he shelled out $60,000 for porcelain veneers. Before his treatment, he’d had a gold crown tooth, but he said it drew too much attention to the rest of his teeth, which were discolored by antibiotics used as a child.
Allie Wu, a 31-year-old actuary with a life insurance company, had to have cosmetic dental surgery after previous treatments had left her teeth misaligned and made her chronic jaw pain even worse.
Yet both Fear and Wu say that since their surgery, their lives have improved.
Fear no longer hides his smile and said that he feels a lot more confident in his appearance.
For Wu, she could only chew on one side of her mouth before having corrective treatments. But now, she says that the cosmetic treatments she received have helped boost her confidence.
“My smile looks natural,” she said. “My speech is better. I don’t have a lisp anymore. I can eat. The veneers corrected the color and the functionality.”
And science backs up these claims: This January, two University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee scientists assessed the facial features of 667 chief executives and found that appearance mattered when it comes to getting a high profile job.
It also explains why more people, especially in the United States, are looking for a small but simple approach to improving their appearance, rather than more invasive work with longer recovery time.
In 2012 alone, the number of Botox injections increased 8% to 6.1 million total procedures performed; it’s no wonder, considering that these treatments take just minutes to administer and have lasting effects for up to four months. Over the past few years, more and more Americans have been looking for ways to reduce scars and wrinkles with other non-invasive treatments, such as skin tightening and photofacials.
Yet cosmetic surgeries are still performed worldwide, and sometimes with disastrous results. That’s why TV shows like Botched, which airs on the E! network, profile these plastic surgery disasters and try to have them corrected.
It’s not an issue unique to the United States, either. Lejla Zvizdic, a Bosnian TV presenter, recently went under the knife in the hopes of enhancing her already pretty looks when appearing on camera.
But she was left with something that she now says “ruined her life.” Graphic photos of Zvizdic were released to the press, showing the talk show host with a puffy upper lip, swollen cheeks and infected wounds along her nasolabial folds.
The doctor who performed her surgery claimed that it wasn’t his fault. He blames the results on an anti-allergy treatment for a bee sting Zvizdic suffered while on a vacation, which she took shortly after having her surgery.
Perhaps these incidents make the case for getting small work done to help boost one’s confidence.
As Wu said of her procedures, “I work in the insurance industry, and appearance is not as important for me as it is for someone in modeling. But I feel it gave me self-confidence. I feel more confident going into work.”