are full of features. And these features are symbols.
Some features, like large eyes, are symbols of
attractiveness. Other features, like bags under the eyes,
may symbolize unattractiveness. Even though symbols are
just symbols, not truth, they still mean something to
and to ourselves. A symbol may lie about
us, saying we are unattractive when inside, we are
or more symbols are "off", life seems harder.
How painful to see someone frown rather than smile when
he first sees our face. Even though the problem lies
deeply embedded in our culture of lookism, our pain is
Symbols lie about us
One of our features,
say our nose, may be the family gift from our grandfather
yet it may symbolize coarseness or masculinity when it
shows up on a young woman. A receding chin, memory of a
favorite aunt, may be a symbol of weakness. The thin lips
or low eyebrows of an uncle may symbolize harshness.
When we look at another
person, most of us guess what they are like. If she looks
cruel, she probably is, we reason. If he looks tired, he
probably is, we think. This thinking goes on
automatically and we "buy" our own first
impressions. We are wrong as often as not.
Symbols are embedded in
our very language: "She looks like she ate something
bad." "Don't give me that look!"
"He sure looks snooty." "She looks down in
We become like the symbols
The problem of
symbols is even worse: we become what the symbols say
about us. It seems to work like this. The feedback from
our mirrors and the feedback from other people act as instructions.
So, gradually, without realizing it, our personalities
shift to match the symbols. If we look sad, we become
sad. If we look angry, we become angry. "It makes me
mad when someone says I look mad", she declared.
It's a down-hill
spiral. It starts with the feature, the symbol. The
symbol results in psychic pain. Then we become what the
symbol says. This is more painful. The pain shows on our
face, intensifying the symbol. And down the spiral goes.
Cosmetic surgery alters symbols
Cosmetic surgery is about
altering the symbols that tell lies about us. Afterwards,
our faces and our inner beings become more harmonious and
our pain begins to lessen.
Nose: An enlarged
nose can over-power your face and even give a sinister
look. Plastic surgeons can shorten your long nose, or
remove the hump. One woman, five feet two, said, "My
nose would look great if I were six feet two
and male!" Sometimes a nose makes me look a
bit silly, not to be taken seriously. We can narrow
enlarged nostrils, narrow a bulbous tip.
Cheeks and Necks:
Fat cheeks or a fat neck can say you are overweight, even
if you aren't. The heavy-faced can have their
cheeks or neck liposuctioned to give them a more sculpted
contour. Some thin-faced individuals can achieve the sculpted look of beauty by augmenting the cheekbones
with implants or augmenting the sides of the lower jaw to
balance a thin lower face.
Chin: The chin is a
major facial symbol. When soft, it is a symbol of
timidity; when strong a symbol of power. When we view an
attractive face from the side, the chin reaches to the
"balance point." A weak chin doesn't come
out that far. Augmenting it is a simple task which does
more to increase beauty than almost anything. In
addition, one feels more assertive. "I voice my
opinion more. I feel stronger."
Other: We can
soften masculine features on a woman to have her feel
more feminine. Drooping and slow-looking upper eyelids
can be brightened. Familial bags-under-the-eyes can be
removed. Protruding ears can be brought in closer. Low
eyebrows, symbolizing anger, can be raised with a brow
To look more like you
If we all had magic wands,
most would wave it at one of our own features. Even
though cosmetic surgery has no magic wands, you can find
out in a consultation visit what can be done to have your
symbols say the right stuff about you.
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Harvey W. Austin, MD
Berlin MD 21811
Click to... Contact Harvey Austin