Fans of Coastal San Diego

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thoughts on Health and "Looking Good"

I haven't written about this yet, but it has certainly been on my mind for some least since I got to San Diego.

We seem to live in a part of the country where concern about health and physical appearances is pretty darn important. I know I have heard that about California, and certainly about LA. But it was rather noticeable to me after we left New England and moved to Carlsbad. That is not to say that people in other parts of the country are not health conscious, but that it seems more prevalent here. Why do I think this?

In terms of health, there appear to be many more chiropractors (I go to one myself,
Scott Lund, In Encinitas, for my back problems), holistic and alternative health professionals, acupuncturists, massage therapists, etc. I've noticed a lot of health food stores as well as grocery stores with large health food and vitamin displays. Organic foods are more prevalent here, as are concerns in general about pesticides. Keeping in shape seems to be pretty important too, as evidenced by all the health clubs, bicycle riding clubs, and people just outdoors walking and running (of course I assume a lot of that is due to the excellent weather we have year round - you can't easily take a stroll or a long run when it is snowing like mad and 20 degrees as in Boston in January). Yoga, in its many forms, is very popular here as well - but I have yet to try it out. Certainly the overall wellness and anti-aging movements and industries have had a tremendous impact on the products and services we have at out disposal.

Physical appearances are also clearly something that many, but not all, are concerned with. I don't mean eating well, keeping one's weight down, and exercising. Perhaps it's due, in part, to the fact that we don't have to wear as many clothes as in colder cities. Seems to me there are many more people here with tattoos and body piercings...and you see more of it because of the weather, I guess, so it's more noticeable. Lot of shops dedicated to this body artwork, too.

But even more noticeable are the many professionals dedicated to plastic surgery and body enhancement/augmentation - adding stuff here, taking away stuff, moving stuff over there, and so on. And don't forget all the cosmetic dentistry tooth stuff - whiter teeth, new teeth, diamond chips in your teeth, new and better smiles, etc. I am NOT saying that this is all just concern about appearances, since many people have physical issues or injuries that really need to be addressed through these methods - but many individuals do partake of these various methods to alter the bod you got.

Perhaps it's due to the stereotypic concerns about appearances that California has been associated with, and the impact of the entertainment industry in LA. Maybe the warmer weather has an effect - more of your body showing most of the year. I think, also, that California, in general, tends to be less conservative about these kinds of things (unlike New England) and it is pretty well accepted and even admired. It became most obvious to me a month or two ago when we received a complimentary copy of a glossy, glitzy coffee-table type magazine dedicated to this business of cosmetic enhancements and all the related businesses here in Southern California (can't recall name but it was an impressively large and fancy magazine).


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