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Are you healthy?
We talk about health all the time, but have we properly defined the meaning of good health?
In a world filled with distresses and diseases, “being healthy” often becomes seemingly unattainable. Are we guilty of simply convincing ourselves that we are “healthy” to feel better?
Let’s define what health is. The path that brings you the most overall self-fulfillment (correlated with happiness) over the course of your life is the healthiest path for you.
This means that health is subjective since that path is different for every person.
How important is mental health?
A friend of mine who model for a fashion company told me about a plastic surgery she had done to improve the contour of her face. She had not told anyone else about it because she felt that it was “cheating” her way to self-acceptance in the modeling industry, and even cheating in life in general. I strongly disagreed with her.
Most doctors will tell you that constant re-evaluation of a patient’s life treatment plan leads to overall better health. The best road taken for someone’s health is the road that brings the most quality of life, and therefore happiness to the patient. The best example of this is how willing we are to take medications with side effects, or go through extensive surgery, or even chemotherapy, for the greater good of our health.
The same logic can be applied to my friend, whose self-image was a source of happiness and health for her. To her, having that cosmetic surgery was worth the improvements in her self-image, and therefore a healthy decision for her to make. The tricky part is however, to not confuse a cosmetic surgery as a “cure” for her self- esteem instead of a “treatment.” This is an important distinction to make as people channel the desire to improve self-image through many different means, such as advancing in our careers or reaching our fitness goals. What helps one person become healthier may not be the treatment for someone else.
When we put our mental health in the backseat, we actually undermine the importance of healthy attributes like clear skin, an athletic build, or a beautiful white smile. These attributes are biologically linked to our genetic fitness, and connected to our mental health as well.
One of the most overlooked categories of medicine are the categories that overlap with beauty or fitness. For example, most bodybuilders are technically out of their healthy BMI range, putting some bodybuilders in the obese category when comparing their weight and height. Do bodybuilders generally think of themselves as unhealthy? Probably not.
There has always been an insinuation that cosmetic healthcare is less important than more “serious” healthcare departments, such as heart, lung, or brain health. This is understandable, as a time-sensitive case of a heart attack in the emergency room needs much higher priority over a case of a teenager looking to treat their acne.
However, completely scooting aside our desire to express our inner beauty through our outer beauty to treat our psychological desires, is also inappropriate.
Third-year medical student John Solomon advocates for this as well. As he begins founding his upcoming line of skin care products, he believes that the outer expression of our inner beauty is an extremely important part of overall health. Solomon earned a degree in Religious Studies because he felt that his science knowledge would be supplemented well by an exploration into religious and spiritual topics. By pondering existential questions, such as the connection between the physical and metaphysical realms of life, Solomon has taken his ideas to a different level, unlocking more of the mysteries of the human body. He is now focused on treating all of his future patients with their overall happiness in mind, even if it requires connecting with them on deeper levels.
Why does health need to be defined subjectively?
When we begin to look at health as a subjective concept, we realize we are no longer in a position to judge others for making the decisions they believe are best for them.
At the core, everyone does what they believe is best for them. We should respect that freedom, because judging someone for their differences in opinion is a slippery slope towards narcissistic behavior. After all, that is why YOU are YOU and NOT them.
This becomes truer in today’s world, where we are exposed to a bottomless bin of information. We are more informed than ever about our health choices. It’s available on demand within a few keyboard and mouse clicks. As long as we do our due diligence to stay informed, we ought to encourage society of freedom of expression, including the freedom to express our desires to make healthy choices, even if they don’t seem to match the opinions of the majority.
Health is the freedom to make the decisions that will make you happy after fully understanding the potential risks. Solomon has also earned the support of several international influencers on social media platform such as @naturallymighty and @ambreenadnaan on Instagram. He hopes to spread his message in his future medical practice by continuing to encourage self-fulfillment and happiness in the lives of his patients.