Homogenized Beauty

Christine Whelan | Posted on 04/01/10

"If everybody looked the same, we'd get tired of looking at each other," sang Groove Armada. Are we in danger of that happening?

Photographer Zed Nelson thinks so. In a series of photographs, he documents what he sees as a world-wide spike in plastic surgery to make everyone look alike.

He told The New York Times:

"Globalization hasn't just given us Starbucks in Beijing and shopping malls in Africa... It is also creating an eerily homogenized look."


"The worldwide pursuit of body improvement has become like a new religion... I imagined the project in some way like a body of evidence, perhaps for a future generation, to see a point in history where the abnormal became normal, or at least normalized."

Might our nearly pathological will to "improve" ourselves - through self-help, through surgery, through diets - be reaching a fever pitch?

Maybe. But what isn't mentioned in this discussion is money: Only those wealthy enough to afford improvement procedures can have them, leaving the vast majority of the population further marked - in an increasingly visible way - by their lack of resources. So, the better question is: Will the affluent of the world all begin to look the same?

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