“Dye that hair.” “Are you out of makeup?” These phrases about my appearance were uttered this week by people I’ve never seen in my life, who I have no idea who they are — and from whom, therefore, I’ve never asked for their opinion —, during the exercise of my role as a presenter. Time and analysis have made me deal better with this kind of thing, which is regrettably recurring, although I still don’t agree that people feel free to be so clueless explicitly like that. But, well, they are. And surely you, woman, have heard (or are constantly hearing) unsolicited suggestions about your appearance.
Now, imagine if, in addition to nonconformity and some anger or laughter, depending on the day, this caused serious concern about having a hair or skin that the subject thinks is more suitable for me, including not having to go through the embarrassment of this public “charge” . Because it has a name, it’s called aesthetic pressure. And that’s how she acts on us. About men, to be vigorous and athletic, and about women to be… Well, to have completely different bodies and faces than they usually do.
I’m not free from that pressure, of course. I venture to say that none of us are, to a greater or lesser degree. Unfortunately. I thank the goddesses every day for being a teenager before social media existed. I don’t know if I could stand it, maybe I suffered from image distortion. Maybe I would work madly to earn some money that would allow me to do cosmetic procedures that would transform my face and make me look like an Instagram filter. Maybe I really did find it necessary to freeze and eliminate belly fat, make my boobs bigger, reduce my waist, lift my butt, slim my thighs and nose, retread my calves, eat less bread, and cut back on beer to feel good about my body. Read that last sentence again. Does it sound normal to you to need all this to like yourself?
A global survey coordinated by Dove on self-esteem, image and body confidence in December 2020 shows that only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful. Of the total, 72% feel enormous pressure to be beautiful. We are generous, but only with others. And 80% of women agree that they all have something beautiful about them, but they don’t recognize their own beauty.
The “dye this hair”, which can come from men or women, is the raw and direct verbalization of this gear and can lead to body dysmorphia. To achieve that face and body that people say are ideal, but that almost no one naturally has, successive interventions are carried out that can end up in serious personality disorders.
What’s going on?, I asked journalist and beauty and wellness researcher Vânia Goy. “It’s a temerity. The amount of ‘before and after’ photos on social media not only encourages women to look for procedures but also makes them seem simple and risk-free. There professionals seem overqualified, but the choice needs to go further. of a well-stocked Instagram profile. Price is another important factor: it is necessary to be suspicious of values that are very different from those practiced in the market. We follow cases of deceived women, who underwent filling using, for example, industrial silicone on the buttocks and mouth”, warns.
Despite the advance of campaigns that contemplate and understand how beautiful different bodies are, the practical results still seem timid. The same study cited above shows that 84% of girls aged 13 — thirteen! — have already used a filter or application to change their own image in photos on social networks. And 78% of them tried to change or hide at least one body part they said they didn’t like before posting. This research calls “digital auto-distortion”.
It’s really a temerity that girls so young already suffer from distortion of perception of their own image. Examples of unhappy endings abound. Recently, former model Linda Evangelista went public with the terror she went through with the irreversible side effect of aesthetic interventions on the body. Or influencer Stephane Matos who had problems after a succession of unsuccessful nose surgeries.
There are even profiles dedicated to reporting cheated women and botched procedures.
Why, really? To be “prettier”? Prettier according to whom, people? We are all sick, altering our bodies in sometimes fatal ways for models of beauty that don’t even exist.
In a deeply unequal country like Brazil, if even those who have resources have problems, imagine those who don’t. There is a greater chance of falling into the hands of charlatans, unprepared professionals or even suffering successive mutilations.
Daiana Cavalcanti had an abdominoplasty with the doctor Bolívar Guerrero Silva, very popular on social media and who sold meat for payment of packages for aesthetic procedures. One of them was called “x-tudão”. The practice is illegal, according to the Federal Council of Medicine (which has not been of much use lately). Doctor Bolívar is accused of holding the patient hostage, who had a necrotic body part, in private prison. He is arrested.
The hospital he runs, Santa Branca, in Duque de Caxias, Rio, continues to function normally, and surgeries continue to be sold illegallyall normal, circling, circling.