Studies from the University of Toronto’s psychology department show that people who use more invasive anti-aging methods such as Botox injections or surgery are viewed more negatively than those who use milder techniques such as sun-avoidance and facial creams and younger adults are more negative about using anti-aging methods than older adults.
The only reason I’m posting this is to pose a question: Why? Why are these viewed less favorably? Why, specifically.
My motivation for asking is two-fold:
A) I’m curious as this is an interesting phenomenon but doesn’t seem to have an explanation offered yet. (The article does make a somewhat vague reference to people disliking how “vain” it is, but that’s a surprising and somewhat unbelievable explanation considering how acceptable - and even lauded - vanity seems to be in our society, at least as I see it.)
B) I’m curious as to how this might or might not be relevant to futurist and transhumanist ideas about literal anti-aging (i.e. immortality) - an interest of mine which I wrote a few posts about on Aug 12.
Some people are averse to literal anti-aging, though for a variety of reasons (“death gives life purpose”; “the world can’t survive that way”; “each age has something to teach and offer”; etc.). Is this a related phenomenon? Or are the study’s results more about the vanity of it, as the article hints? (So, for instance, would those in the study look down on, say, LASIK surgery, which is very invasive but seems to be more about restoring vision than vanity?) Or perhaps the explanation is that its a faux-youthfulness: Afterall, it’s still fairly easy to tell when someone’s had plastic-surgery. Somehow it doesn’t quite look natural or normal, especially when it’s a newly youthful feature contrasted with any otherwise older body. That is to say, perhaps it’s the disparity which turn many off, or the shallowness of the technique - but not shallow in the sense of “vanity is bad”, but shallow in the sense that “it’s not real; it’s literally only skin-deep”. Perhaps its the extent of effort for the quality of return? That is, an expensive, invasive, and mildly dangerous technique to simply look a bit younger, and even then, often not so convincingly. (Which, again, might exclude something like LASIK which has actual, practical results, and creams, which, though also vain, are not expensive or dangerous.) Or perhaps it’s simply an expression of agism: People don’t like old people pretending they’re young?
I’d love to see a followup study which asked about “deeper” and “realer” anti-aging techniques, ranging from lotions, to LASIK, to a hypothesized futuristic pill which simply stops aging. Would it produce similar results - and would it be for similar reasons? And it’s not merely a curiosity of mine - though it is that too - but a real issue, because despite centuries of (alleged) anti-aging creams and whatnot, and despite a few decades of more invasive (and often not-so-convincing) techniques like plastic-surgery, I believe we are quickly entering an era where anti-aging techniques will take on a very practical, and also very vain, reality - and I’m not sure the public is mentally prepared for it. Actually, I’m sure they aren’t. I know I’m not.
So, any thoughts?