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The Consequences of Beauty

How important is our appearance to oursuccess, or to our happiness? Our appearance may be more important than werealize.

More and more people are seeking outmedical procedures to improve their appearance - over 12 million facialcosmetic procedures are performed each year in the United States alone - buthow does it impact their self confidence, or their quality of life?

A new study by researchers with Penn'sCenter for Human Appearance found scarce evidence to show whether facialcosmetic procedures actually improve psychological outcomes such as quality oflife. "With the limited amount of well-performed studies, it is certainlypremature to conclusively state that facial cosmetic procedures will not onlymake patients 'look better' but also 'feel better'," said senior studyauthor Joseph F. Sobanko, MD, assistant professor of Dermatology.

While experts suggest that attractivepeople are more successful, ethical challenges of altered identity, or eventransferred identity, are increasing. How can we cope with our personal selfimage when it changes, either for better or for worse? Or when beauty becomesmore important to our success?

As they prepare for an upcoming conferenceon the confluence of appearance and identity, Penn Medicine's Jesse Taylor, MD,and Annenberg's Sharrona Pearl, PhD, sat down and provided a snapshot of the conference:

For more information on the Appearance ∞ IdentityConference on November 1-3 at Penn, please visit the Center for HumanAppearance's website.The research round tables will discuss issues of self and identity, the impactof appearance on individual and corporate success, medical advances in facialaesthetics, as well as ethical and psychological considerations regardingappearance interventions.

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