LET'S face it. Good-looking people seem to have an easier time in life.
There is research that says the attractive ones find it easier to get jobs (compared with someone less attractive with the same qualification and experience), to get promotions and even close deals.
And, of course, the "lookers" are heavily sought after by the opposite sex.
Is it any wonder then that people are trying all sorts of ways, including plastic and cosmetic surgery as well as the countless other aesthetic procedures, in their quest to look good?
This craze, which used to be the domain of women, has now caught on with men - and even teenagers.
|Just like exercise and supplements, cosmetic surgery and procedures are becoming a way of life.
"Like it or not, people judge a book by its cover. Looking good has become a necessity all over the world. It has become a part of life," says aesthetic physician Dr Alice Prethima.
She says that in the old days, when a person was out of shape and looked bad, people accepted it and merely said "she has aged, she has put on weight". For a male, they would comment that "he's prosperous, he ate too much good food".
But things have changed.
"These days, people think the person is lazy and won't do anything for himself."
She believes that just like exercise and supplements, cosmetic surgery and procedures are becoming a way of life as the country becomes more prosperous and people have the means to strive for good health and to look better.
"It's in the subconscious. It is common in any living species that they will be attracted to a better-looking person. The reason is that a better-looking person is supposed to be more fertile and healthier and that will go towards progeny.
"If a person looks good, is fit and takes care of himself, then people would think they can take care of the family, the office or the community. The brain thinks that way. It's natural," says Dr Prethima, who has been running an aesthetic clinic for 11 years.
Concurring, consultant plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr Heng Kien Seng believes it is human nature to want to look at beautiful things and people.
"There is research that shows that even at kindergarten, children actually pay more attention to a better-looking teacher than an unattractive one," he points out.
Between 1% and 2% of Dr Heng's clients these days are teenagers.
Kids below 18 need parental consent for cosmetic procedures and some parents are giving the go-ahead.
Sometimes the teenagers are the ones who want the surgery; at other times it is the parents who want it for their kids.
"Parents are more aware of the competition out there. They actually bring their children in for enhancements, like doing a double eyelid and a nose job, to put them in the same or higher category as their peers," he says.
"When the kids feel their features are not as beautiful as they want, they will persuade their parents to bring them in. A lot of parents have gone through this themselves; that's why they are willing to bring their children in."