Ugly hubby – no problem. Dating a troll? We gotta fix for that. Remember that movie Shallow Hal? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all could see people as beautiful? Well, it might be a possibility. Caltech researchers found that people who receive a mild electrical shock deep within the brain ranked people as more attractive than they did before the shock. Crazy right?
Why is this being studied? Well, there is a credible reason at the source of all this that has nothing to do with vanity. Vikram Chib, lead author of the paper, explains that rating the attractiveness of faces is a hallmark task used to diagnose neurological and psychiatric problems like depression, schizophrenia or Parkinson's. This research could lead to a noninvasive way to study and treat mental disorders. Wouldn’t that be awesome? We’ve come a long way since lobotomies.
Not to mention the world would be a nicer place if we could all just see past people’s exteriors and get to know the real person. We live in a world where looks are everything and if you are unattractive, life is considerably harder than if you are attractive. You need to have twice the personality, perseverance and dedication to achieve the same success as your equal who is more attractive. These zaps could potentially eliminate the upper hand. But I suppose the more important point is, who cares if you are really attractive, as long as everyone, including yourself, thinks you are? Isn’t that the same as being beautiful? If only the world really worked that way.
I realize that this research is meant to help treat psychiatric and neurological disorders and that is serious business but a girl can daydream that it could be used for other things too, right?
What do you think of electrical shock therapy as a way to make the world a more beautiful place?
Image via Flickr/Otisarchives4