These past 2 weeks have been spent in interviewing both my internal advisor, Mr Mccorkle, and my external advisor, Dr. Simran Sethi, to understand the behavioral reasons behind undergoing aesthetic enhancements.
Dr. Simran Sethi, illuminated the function of a medical spa, “a medical practice that specializes in elective enhancement of appearances”. Most of Dr. Sethi’s procedures focus on ethnic skincare, which might be influenced by its location in Fremont. The procedures, chosen to cater to a market with majority women, who are interested in looking younger, focus on age related ethnic cosmetic enhancement, influenced by natural remedies. Another popular procedure seems to be skin lightening, adhering to south asian beauty standards of a fair complexion. On the racial disparity among aesthetic trends, Dr. Sethi draws distinction between stereotypically caucasian treatments, like injectables versus the preference of South Asian women for natural skincare, and attributes the differences to genetics and cultural expectations/norms. She mentions that caucasians have generally been more receptive to anti-aging procedures, simply because the initial marketing targeted them, while south asians have been enamored with skin treatments, given that wrinkling isn’t a big problem among the ethnic group. (I am interested to see the subculture breakdown within South-Asian clients, to figure out which people the beauty standard of fairness impacts.)
In terms of economic reasons for cosmetic enhancements, Mr. Mccorkle did touch on the monetary advantages in being beautiful. On the link between income increase and physical appearance, a Daniel Hamermesh study on Pulchranomics, the science of beauty was cited. A 17% income boost for attractive men, and a 12% income boost for attractive women seems to suggest a strong correlation between perceived beauty and economic status. Additionally, certain professions might lend themselves rationale for aesthetic improvement. Sales, and marketing have been shown to be effected by the appearance of the employee.
When assessing motivation behind receiving aesthetic enhancement, it is essential to consider race, profession and income level. These factors are reflected in the survey, and so far the highest motivating factor seems to be personal desire over professional reasons. As the data unfolds, I will be able to ascertain the differences in motivation among clients.