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 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?