Posted on Jun 10, 2020, 5 p.m.
Article courtesy of : Nicholas DiNubile MD, who is devoted to keeping you healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
“She gets her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.” ~ Groucho Marx
Years ago, on Saturday Night Live, we learned from ‘Fernando’ (AKA Billy Crystal) that “It’s better to look good than to feel good”. Of course he was joking but we now know that there is an unexpected connection between how you look and how you might feel. More specifically, how you look today may be predictive as to how healthy you will be 10 or 20 years from now. There is a catch. Others are better at judging how healthy you look than you yourself in the looking glass.
In a study published in Health Psychology, a person’s appearance, as judged by others, was found to be a good barometer of their overall state of health. Researchers at Rutgers University asked students to use looks alone to rate the health of over 800 men and women over the age of 50. They use a rating system of 1 (“appears sick”) to 5 (“appears healthy”). Within 10 years of the initial “rating” researchers found that subjects rated as “sick” or “less healthy” were three times more likely to have died than those rated as “healthy looking” . This study also showed that the students’ ratings were better predictors than the subject’s self-ratings.
So what is the connection? I believe that the better you care for yourself the healthier you look. Your skin, your eyes, your physique and your overall confidence- and that is what others are reading when they predict your health from your looks. Stress clearly takes its toll on your appearance and your health and must be managed. Plastic surgery can actually make you look better, younger and even healthier but don’t be fooled into thinking it really improves your health profile deep down inside. It may however give you the confidence to make other necessary more substantial health related changes.
So, is beauty more than skin deep? The bottom line is not whether looking good makes you feel good or feeling good makes you look good but rather how you can get both possibilities working for you to optimize your health and appearance. Remember, they are indeed connected.
So find a friend, someone you trust, someone who will level with you and asked about how you look. That feedback may be important to your health. Just hope they don’t pull a ‘ Fernando’ and say “You look mahhvellous”. If that happens, get a second opinion! In fact, check in with your doctor for regular checkups are a must. It can help uncover what the naked eye does not see.
If a friend or colleague is not looking good, have a talk with them. It may save his or her life. Also, if you don’t like how you’re looking lately, talk to your doctor, maybe even a plastic one.
Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, is Vice President of the A4M, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, best selling author, keynote speaker, and one of our esteemed medical editors who is dedicated to keeping you healthy in body, mind and spirit. Dr. DiNubile was appointed Special Advisor to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (1st Bush Administration with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chairman). He has advised two United States Presidents on matters of health and health policy, and has cared for numerous celebrities and high level athletes.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.