Cosmetic Gene Therapy

Think about anything you would want to change about yourself, you wish you weretaller, had a different eye color…etc., now imagine being able to handpick all of your physical attributes. This is potentially what cosmeticgene therapy could achieve one day. My first reaction to this wasexcitement because who wouldn’t want to make themselves perfect in their mindThen I got to thinking that people may go overboard in their quest forperfection. We always think ‘if only I was a little taller, thinner, etc.’, but
if we had those resources to do so would we ever truly be content with ourselves?
 Gene Therapy:

Gene therapy was first brought up tohelp fight illnesses, but as scientists are getting a better understanding of genes, they are starting to develop ways to alter them (ex. There is a newgene-filled lotion developed to rub on the scalp to reverse male pattern baldness). This subject that once seemed to exist only in a science fictionnovel is starting to become reality thanks to the new advancements in geneticresearch.

Some Struggles and Concerns

I struggle with what to think about cosmetic gene therapy. I think that it is great that we can figure out what causes illnesses and be able to reverse or stop some of those. Science has made great strides in the medical field in that way but is it right to alter genes for other purposes? Granted some cosmetic alterations could be found beneficial to the well-being to some (ex. altering the gene that can cause obesity), but at the same time using this technology to make people fit into the narrow standard of beauty could be taking it too far. There could potentially bring no diversity if everyone can pick their genes. The standard of beauty will be made narrower. I can also see this new technology increase physiological issues with self-image. I also think this new technology will allow parents to take their children and turn them into a version of themselves that is completely different from what they really are. 

I believe that gene therapy is a great thing to have around to fight illnesses and discover fixes for them. I also think some aspects of cosmetic gene therapy are beneficial to people. What I worry about is if people are going to take cosmetic gene therapy too far; if everyone starts altering their looks can they ever become happy with themselves? I am not sure how to react to this new scientific discovery, it is crazy to think that this subject that once only seemed possible in science fiction novels is now a reality for us.

Questions I have:

-Do you think it is appropriate to use cosmetic gene
therapy? – What could possibly be some effects of cosmetic gene therapy? -Will
this idea of cosmetic gene therapy help society or hurt it?

3 thoughts on “Cosmetic Gene Therapy

  1. If an individual wants cosmetic gene therapy, even after being informed of the risks and limitations, and is able to appropriately compensate the practitioner for their time and effort, they should have the right to have it done. If cosmetic gene therapy became widely available, and cheaper, safer, more reliable and able to do more, it would become commonly used. Would this hurt society? It could. It could also help society; imagine what a boon it would be to transgendered individuals. We can’t really know what will happen, but I am reasonably sure it would CHANGE society. I for one feel that people should have the right to alter or even re-create themselves however they choose. There is always the question of using gene therapy to give oneself an unfair advantage, or using whatever advantages given by gene therapy to commit crimes; but in such cases, the individual should be punished, not the practitioner and certainly not the practice.

  2. Interesting ideas. However, I believe the opposite effect would occur: the definition of beauty would be radically expanded, and there’d be significantly greater diversity.

    Consider that there are people out there already getting plastic surgeries to be like catlike (e.g. whisker implants) or reptilian (e.g. horn implants, implanted scales) in appearance. With sufficient gene therapy, they’d be able to do those things, and possibly be happier because they’d be their own body. Granted, those are quite extreme examples. More realistic examples might be someone with a rainbow iris, or blue skin, etc. Additionally, cosmetic gene therapy might become extremely advantageous to transgender people or others seeking gender changes, people who are balding, have abnormal weight-gain problems, or maybe people who want to increase the size of breasts or genitals. The list goes on and on. I have the feeling that with sufficient advances in cosmetic gene therapy, a lot of “transhuman” enthusiasts would come out of the closet — people with cat tails, horns, fangs, etc. etc.

    I think it’d be basically an extension of body art, like hair dyes, piercings, tattoos, and makeup are today. However, while not intrinsically different from others available today, I do agree that cosmetic gene therapy would be an enabler, rather than a healthy treatment for some peoples’ extreme forms of dysmorphic disorders, but for those with light or moderate (i.e. reasonable dysmorphia), it might be an absolute boon. There should also, at some point, be laws to prevent children below a certain age from being able to have any cosmetic gene therapies, and to protect the unconsenting.

    My ideas.

    –Cayla <3

  3. There were periods missing at the ends of your sentences and also so spacing issues, It looks like you were rushing to get this blog post done. However, your hyperlinks and the source you used were well managed. I could tell you used the sources you used in your blog, but to a level were it’s in your own words. You could have a well-made blog on your hands, and all you need to do is change some grammar errors you would be set!! < (0.0)>

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