I think most people would say that taking care of their appearance, by combing their hair, trimming their nails, or washing their face, are not immoral things. But when can greater changes to appearance (reduction or increase in weight, changing hair style, purchasing suits or dresses) be considered immoral? I am interested in people’s opinions on the matter.
The following questions will help discussion, and are of interest to me:
- Is working out for the purpose of looking better, and not for the purpose of being healthier, immoral?
- Is purchasing a suit or dress for the purpose of looking more professional in a business or social setting immoral?
- Is purchasing nice looking casual clothes because you ‘like’ to look ‘beautiful’ yourself, even when no one is around, immoral? Pretend the person in this example is an artist of some sort, and greatly cares about their own ‘aesthetic’.
- Is increasing or decreasing eating amounts (within healthy recommended limits) to gain/lose weight for the purpose of looking better immoral?
In each example except the third, the purpose of looking better is always instrumental, and not an end in itself; for example, the businessperson wishes to dress more professionally in order to maintain or increase his income in order to support his family or give more money to the poor. The person working out or increasing/decreasing eating amounts is looking better in order to increase their physical attractiveness for their wife/husband or potential wife/husband.
I would not like to discuss potentially dangerous or very, very expensive variations of this problem here (piercings, tattoos, plastic surgery).