Have you ever wondered what our sense of self and body image would be like if we all looked the same? What would happen if there was no “ideal” body to aspire to achieve? Imagine humankind 100 years into the future when science has discovered a way to somehow combine human life with cyborgs to create an immortal body/vessel to contain human souls/minds. What if these cyborg bodies all looked the same or similar? What would we compare ourselves to then? What would we criticize about ourselves and others if we all looked the same?
In my opinion, body dissatisfaction stems from the desire to have what society deems to be acceptable or beautiful. We look at ourselves and find reasons to loathe our bodies. But what would happen if every single person in the entire world had a similar physique? Wouldn’t we wish for some individuality at that point? Just thinking about looking exactly like everyone else makes me feel a bit sad; it seems like such a boring and bland way to live. So, why is it that I also ridicule the things that make me different from everyone else?
If I cringe at the thought of conformity, why does uniqueness also seem undesirable?
I also find myself wondering whether total conformity (in terms of physical appearance) would eliminate the existence of issues such as eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Science has demonstrated that these conditions are often rooted in genetics; however, they are also significantly influences by environmental factors. If there was no “ideal” societal image to aspire to would these illnesses still exist?
Alternatively, what would happen if individuality existed in the sense that people were actually able to “build” their ideal body? If we had the opportunity to construct exactly what we would look like, how much variation would there be? In my mind, I imagine that most people would desire to conform to the societal “ideal” which would therefore result in an overwhelming amount of similarities between people. But what would happen to self-esteem if we were able to choose exactly what we would look like? Would we still compare ourselves to others? Would we still want what we don’t have even if we chose what we would look like?
This has been a bit of a rambling random post, but I think it’s an interesting topic. What are your thoughts on this? Sound off in the comments below!