Real Talk: Are We Developing Literal Addictions To Mani-Pedis?

embedPhotographed by Phoebe Chuason
Even though we don't think of ourselves as vain, we've definitely considered staying home on a bad hair day. On the opposite end, we feel a bit more confident at work when we have a fresh, immaculate mani. But, can these beloved beauty rituals go from being a confidence booster to a compulsive behavior? Psychologist and author Vivian Diller thinks so.
Over on the Huffington Post, Diller notes that even though we throw around the term "addicted" like it's nothing — "I'm addicted to Walking Dead, or "I'm addicted to this Equipment shirt" — it can have serious implications when applied to things like blowouts, facials, and bikini waxes. In recent years, psychologists have started referring to issues like not being able to miss a hair appointment with the same terminology reserved for things like sex, drug, or online addictions.
Scientifically speaking, any pleasurable and deeply satisfying activity has the potential to become habitual, especially when that activity leaves you feeling better about yourself; deny yourself that good feeling, and anxiety peaks. Then, dopamine, the notorious craving-creator, gets involved, and your brain says "More! More! More!" until you revisit that happy place. Couple that natural human behavior with societal pressure to look perfect 24/7, a personal relationship with your aesthetician, and the appeal of a "quick fix" — post-blowout hair, for example — and it's not so far-fetched to think that beauty addiction could be more than just a "skin-deep" problem.
Don't get us wrong: We’re not saying there's anything inherently unhealthy about being a beauty diehard. (We’re guilty as charged.) And, in a world where maintaining attractiveness yields real personal and professional advantages, it’s easy to see how enhancing your appearance can create serious pressure. But, when a beauty routine starts to significantly affect your life, it might be time to rethink your relationship to your rituals. After all, being a slave to beauty is not a good look. Tell us: Do you think there's any risk of becoming a literal beauty addict? (The Huffington Post)

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