The Aesthetics of Beauty

Yes, Even Jeff Bezos Fears Aging

Last year, Jeff Bezos traveled to space for the first time in New Shepard, a first-of-its-kind consumer space shuttle. Created by Blue Origin, a company he founded in 2000, the flight inched him closer to his childhood dream: Colonizing space.

In a 1982 interview with the Miami Herald, the 18-year-old graduate envisioned building “space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people.” It’s certainly a far cry from the goals most teens have – for me, I just wanted to have my own apartment.

But as he excitedly talked to Good Morning America about his upcoming space ride, people didn’t buzz about his latest commercial venture.

Instead, people asked: What’s up with his face?

Clearly, his cheeks and lips had clearly undergone some procedure. Some speculated facial fillers gone awry. But his GMA appearance highlighted something important: Even middle-aged, heterosexual men want to look young.

Silicon Valley, Plastic Surgery Capitol

When you envision the typical client that frequents cosmetic clinics, that probably doesn’t include geeky middle aged men. Yet plastic surgeons say this is a growing demographic, especially in Silicon Valley.

In the Washington Post, David Holley writes about this new obsession, noting that:

Under pressure to keep up financially – and surrounded by an influx of creative young workers with new skills and talents – middle-aged tech workers can find themselves immersed in a future-obsessed culture that celebrates youthful brainpower with the same vigor that Los Angeles or Miami celebrates youthful bodies.

One of these people includes Daniel, a 48-year-old tech worker. In addition to tanning and working out, he’s now considering Botox, a facelift, and even ab sculpting to make him appear years younger. He even refused to divulge his real name out of fear of “being outed as old.”

Apparently many other middle aged men have this same fear, making plastic surgery even more lucrative in Silicon Valley. One plastic surgeon from the area even claimed around 25 percent of his clientele consisted of men in the tech industry desperately trying to look young.

But it’s nothing unique once you realize what’s really going on. That happens to be good ol’ age discrimination!

In Silicon Valley, tech companies have already been outed for seeking hirees under 40, including Google and IBM. Other companies literally seek to stop the aging process instead, such as Altos Labs. Jeff Bezos funded them (for God know how much) in 2021.

From its ultra-wealthy founders to the workers that keep Silicon Valley running, clearly the obsession with beauty – and looking youthful too – is no longer a woman’s domain. Beauty is transcending gender norms, just as speedily as new technology develops.

But while tech workers pursue it just to keep their jobs, the ultra-wealthy, like Jeff Bezos, ultimately want to continue living. Cryogenic freezing is a thing of the past, apparently…

Yes, of course I had to add this reference!

Those alleged fillers, as comical as they seem to outsiders, are only the tip of the iceberg. I guess if you can’t obtain eternal life, you might as well fake it.

But this harkens the question: Are we all getting cosmetic procedures for the same reasons too? I know whenever someone compliments me for “looking nowhere near 35,” it makes me giddy. It’s almost as if I can deny my mortality steadily approaching, as ridiculous as that sounds.

The same applies to scrolling past articles on cancer and dementia – if I don’t read or see it, it doesn’t threaten me. If I apply retinol, my skin will look younger, therefore delaying old age, and consequently, death itself.

It’s a lot to ponder.

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