Theory of beauty

От Sunday, 1 March 2015 0 No tags Permalink 0

Beauty, aging, how standards in terms of what is attractive change in time is something I have ever been interested I’ve written several times on these and related topics. This time with the kind support of  H&S I’m presenting to you Vivian Diller, Ph.D.

Vivian Diller, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in N.Y.C. Prior to receiving her doctorate, Dr. Diller studied classical ballet and performed professionally with the Cincinnati Ballet Company. When her dance career ended, she became a Wilhelmina model, appearing in fashion magazines, national print ads and TV commercials. She studied clinical psychology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, interned at St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital and completed Postdoctoral Training in Psychoanalysis at N.Y.U. As a psychologist, she is in full time private practice working with adults, adolescents and couples in long and short-term therapy. Dr. Diller wrote her doctoral dissertation on the psychology of the ballet dancer and problems facing young adults who age out of their careers. She published her first book, “Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change,” and has since been consulted on related topics for articles and books written by others. She is regular contributor to online blogs, including Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She serves as a consultant to health, fashion and cosmetic companies interested in promoting healthy aging and age-related products. Find more here:

Sometimes people seem to deny age – but isn’t it better to defy age? Are there any tis how to age in a cool way?

It’s best to think of aging as starting from the day we’re born until the end of life. That way it doesn’t make sense to deny or defy our age. Rather, a ‘cool way’ to think about aging is to make the most of who we are and how we look at any age

Do you think that modern people are compensating with the way the look for whatever there is missing in their lives?

People focus on their appearance because wanting to look good is a natural yearning. Our appearance is a part of our identity. A preoccupation with looks may deflect from what is missing in other areas of life, but remember that for hundreds and thousands of years, women’s role was to attract a mate and procreate. The yearning to look good isn’t going to completely disappear.

Why people are so superficial and vain?

I don’t believe all people are. Some people are vain because they don’t develop other aspects of their identity, so they rely on their looks alone for self-esteem.

But vanity is not always a bad thing – it might also be considered as a good thing – as a checkup with who we are and how we can improve – even our manners, behavior ets. not necessarily only our looks?

Instead of using the word vanity, which has negative connotations, I like to talk about grooming and self care. If one balances caring for one’s appearance with caring about other aspects of who we are, that’s a good thing.

Can a more vulnerable group be identified? – Teens, girls, women?

Yes, teens and females are more sensitive to the demands in our culture to meet narrow standards of beauty.

Why are we so focused on HOW we look instead of WHO we are as people?

Which is the issue that concerns more the people nowadays: body shape & seize, skin, face, hair?

We live in a youth and beauty obsessed culture, in part because the media has been able to manipulate imagery to meet a narrow standard. When young girls grow up seeing digitally altered photographs of movie stars and models, they yearn to be like those unrealistic images. Youth is what preoccupies people today – which includes smooth soft skin, full hair, and thin but strong bodies

How come beauty is considered as a superpower nowadays?

While beauty has always been a powerful force, as far back as Ancient times, today’s media culture has encouraged youthful beauty as an even more powerful currency to achieve success professionally and personally.

What was the best advise you were ever given? Especially regarding looks, self­esteem etc. 

The one constant about life is that we are always changing. If you look after your health and move through those changes making the most of who you are, you’ll maintain confidence. And, confidence is the key to looking – and feeling great — at any age.

Are there any secrets and tricks we can practice so we fight back the unrealistic expectations, both the society’s and our own – on how we should look?

We can anti-age. We can’t stop the clock. There’s no such thing as magic when it comes to aging. Rather, we need to redefine what it means to be beautiful at  different ages, using different standards for every age.


Др. Diller has prepared a special report for H&M about beauty, hair and how the problems relatet to dandruff – like itching, effect to the self-esteem and the general feeling of beauty and happiness.

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