Why people are obsessed with appearance?

There are several reasons why people give importance to their looks.  Firstly, we all have to present ourselves in an acceptable manner in social occasions.  The appearance need not be lavish for all occasions but at least pleasant.  Women generally tend to be give more importance to their appearance than men – this is because they are the fairer sex and it comes naturally for them.  Men tend to focus on such things as fitness, body building etc.  But one strong motivation for both genders is to be attractive to the opposite sex.  Apart from appearance being helpful in attracting partners, it also helps establish status among peers.  A good dressing sense and a well-kempt appearance will help gain respect among peers (provided, of course, that the individual’s behavior is in line with his/her sophisticated outward appearance)

What aids and facilitates this obsession is the multi-billion dollar advertising industry which repeatedly projects images of beauty and attractiveness (which are to a degree subjective) onto our television screens, newspaper columns and billboards.  It is fair to say that the advertising industry is obsessed with selling products (useful or not) to people (who want it not) in the guise of projecting them as essential commodities.  Popular culture outlets such as Hollywood and Television also plays a part, in that, many ageing movie and TV stars resort to plastic surgery to revive their looks.  Fans of the these stars then follow suit.  But, in the final analysis, outward appearance cannot compensate for flaws of the personality.  To this extent, the emphasis on looking good, as idealized by show business and advertising industries, should be taken with a pinch of skepticism.