The Obsolescence of Beauty

In the not to distant future, physical beauty may no longer have the power it holds in today’s society. Similar to how nanotech assemblers will make modern day definitions of wealth obsolete, so too will our concept of beauty become obsolete.

The already used and abused practice of plastic surgery will only become more sophisticated and powerful. Eventually, we will be able to create nanites – super small robots – with powerful surgical capabilities, giving us the power to reshape our physical selves to a degree unheard of today. Want to be a 12′ tall woman? Okay! Want to look like Garey Busey? Okay!

But going under the scalpel will only scratch the surface of what will be available. Developments in bioengineering and gene manipulation will bring forth designer babies – offspring with whatever attributes one wants to give them. You want super-intelligent, super-strong and unbelievably attractive progeny? Sure thing… but why not infuse your child with upgradeable tech implants while you are at it.

Indeed, the ability to alter our physical selves will be significant. But perhaps more important will be our ability to create virtual representations of ourselves. Already, we are creating alter-egos and hyperbolized self-representations via social networking sites (like MySpace and Facebook), as well as creating avatars and characters in massive multi-player games (like WoW). As our societal consciousness continues to shift towards the digital plane, we will spend more and more time in a virtual world… a world where we will be able to alter our own appearance at will.

As long as we continue to progress our technology as we have been doing, then physical beauty will become so ubiquitous that it will be freely available to all. When this happens, the only valuable beauty remaining will be inner beauty.

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