Are we beautiful enough?

Report Meeting April 17: Are we beautiful (enough)? With the surgeon Dr. Dorrit Winterholer.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most beautiful … ?”

Wrong, we didn’t enter a beauty contest, but rather, as befits an Inner Wheel Club, a serious (!) presentation by a surgeon, more precisely, a proven, highly competent specialist in the field of plastic surgery. Ms. Dorrit Winterholer is Head of Plastic Surgery at the LUKS. Her areas of expertise include reconstructive, hand, burn and aesthetic surgery, which is applied to the face, breast, body, hand and skin. The doctor also works for Interplast, a surgical team of experienced plastic surgeons who operate completely free of charge in developing countries.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Thucydides (c. 435 – 396 BC)

With this quote and the illustration of a body study on human anatomy by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Ms. Winterholer introduces us to
the age-old and constantly topical question that has preoccupied mankind to this day: What is beauty? Cultural imprint and subjective impression influence the definition. It’s about symmetry, harmony, perfection of form,
Other parameters that influence beauty include health, the immune system, reproductive capacity, hormones and nutrition. There is a universal adaptation to the respective environment, fueled by the media and the film industry. Common terms in this context are beauty and fitness culture, longevity and youthfulness, which can also be described as a prosperity phenomenon. Pharmaceutical products and high-tech applications are designed to delay old age or, better still, to eliminate it altogether. Ideals of beauty are subject to international networking, although there is a tendency towards alignment with Western standards.

The current debate about gender identification also plays a role in the professional field of plastic surgery. Here, as in the whole topic of beauty, the specialist has a great responsibility in the
Advice for patients. Internal ailments cannot always be treated with surgery alone and require other therapies beforehand. Great attention is paid to the right to beauty and physical integrity. It is always about improving individual fates. Ultimately, it is important to find a balance between narcissism and gratitude for what each person has been given.

Society needs to show respect and tolerance towards people who do not match our perception of beauty. Not everyone can or wants to conform to the current standards. They should not be
negative evaluation as inferior to the margin. The perception of beauty is primarily based on visual aspects, but beauty can also be experienced through other sensory organs, e.g. in the auditory and olfactory (smell) areas.

Ms. Winterholer explicitly draws attention to the inner beauty that people radiate. Her aim is to combine beauty with naturalness and thus help patients to achieve an attractive appearance.

Text: Verena Carlen