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Signature Forum presents Lifestyle Stories July 2007

In our June newsletter, we gave you some fun examples of how today's most popular beauty and fashion trends are completely different than 20, 50...even 100 years ago. Pretty boys, braless beauties, ultra bronzed skin—if our ancestors walked the streets tomorrow, we'd have a lot of explaining to do.

In July, we're going to look a little deeper at what beauty means to us today and explore what researchers call the "science of beauty." Interested yet? Well, read on and learn more.

Signature Forum
Beauty and the Golden Mean
Vitruvian Man
Beauty and Culture
Helen of Troy
Statistics for the most common Cosmetic Procedures
Youth is Beauty - Beauty is Youth
Issue of Good Housekeeping

Imagine your attraction to an incredible looking face, a gorgeous flower, or a beautiful building. Now ask yourself why you find that person or object physically appealing. Would you be able to give a definitive answer? For over 30 years, scholars, researches and surgeons have said beauty has been hard-coded in our brains since birth and we don't really have a say in the matter.

Believe it or not, this theory isn't really new. Ancient Roman architect, Vitruvius, explored the notion in his De Architecura when he talked about the perfect alignment of the human body. Years later, Leonardo Da Vinci revisited his work which was translated into his famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man. While this drawing does not point out a magic "beauty equation," it is all about beauty in proportion.

Not a whole lot has changed since Leonardo, but today's experts have given beauty by calculation a proper name—The Golden Mean. As with any ratio, it was arrived at through careful number crunching, but for those of us who are mathematically challenged (or simply want to get to the point), this golden ratio implies that all things lovely align within the boundaries of this quantified value.

So how does this Golden Mean translate to our society?

Today, it seems like Americans are more aware of beauty standards than ever before. More importantly, we're willing to take greater measures to attain and maintain it. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2005 saw over 11 million cosmetic surgeries and aesthetic skincare procedures. While non-invasive procedures like Botox and facial peels were the most popular (accounting for 81%), surgical procedures still accounted for 19%.

Is our culture really any more obsessed with beauty than Lenardo Da Vinci's? How about the Trojans with Helen of Troy? We couldn't conclude how many American men have launched 1,000 ships to rescue a woman just because she's unbelievably beautiful, but we assume not many. And as far as we know, Donald Trump hasn't created a bust of his wife's image like the Pharaoh did for Nefrititi. (That being said, we wouldn't be surprised if he did).

We can also rate our obsession against other cultures, but perhaps the question is not about how our obsession compares, but what it says about ourselves. If you pursue cosmetic surgery, do you subconsciously want the symmetry of Angelina Jolie (or Brad Pitt for that matter)? But, if you're considering Botox to get rid of annoying wrinkles around your eyes, why do you find them so...annoying?

We've charted out 2005's most popular surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Take a look, you may be surprised to see what the majority of Americans are having done.

Isn't it interesting when commercials touting quick-fix anti-wrinkle creams always seem to use fresh faced models barely out their teens? And it doesn't matter if you're reading Jane Magazine or Good Housekeeping, the front page models are either young or good at looking like it.

So maybe it's not surprising that the majority of cosmetic treatments today deal with eliminating age spots, sun spots, unsightly veins, and of course...good 'ole wrinkles. What's more, minimally invasive skin lifting procedures like Thermage, Titan, laser facelifts, and new dermal fillers are now giving us viable alternatives to cosmetic surgery.

Now, growing old gracefully is not only getting easier with better treatment methods, but less expensive with better technology.

Bringing Beauty Home

We hope you enjoyed our last few newsletters and we plan to bring more beauty tidbits to you in the future. In the meantime, be sure to check out SignatureForum's network of consumer friendly websites that will give you, no matter what stage you're at in life, the resources you need to look and feel your very best.
For Radiant, Glowing Skin at Any Age
Today's Cosmetic Surgery Options, & Minimally Invasive Procedures
Smooth, Hair-Free Skin Virtually Anywhere
Be One Step Closer to a Brighter, More Beautiful Smile

Thanks again for reading our SignatureForun newsletter. Next month, we're starting our new Health & Fitness Series that will get you up to speed on changing trends in today's health and fitness industry.

Until Next Time,

The SignatureForum Staff

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