The Idea of Beauty and Its Biases: Critical Notes on the Aesthetics of Plastic Surgery

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Abstract

Summary:

Two biases affect the idea of beauty often embodied in aesthetic surgery. The first one is that the living body is the sum of different parts; the second one claims that beauty results from the sum of beautiful elements. Taken together, these 2 biases explain most of the aesthetic surgery procedures, in which a localized improvement is supposed to impact on the whole body image. In this article, I put into question these 2 problematic assumptions, showing that Western and Eastern aesthetics, on one side, and philosophical reflections, on the other side, support a different conception of beauty. In particular, an alternative idea that opens to authenticity and imperfection and focuses on the living body rather than on the mere anatomical surface is proposed here as a more adequate concept of beauty for aesthetic surgery.

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