Each of us is constrained by the limitations of our species in so far as the look we are capable of projecting to the outside world. Sure, you can pierce and transform aspects of your physical body but our selves as a canvas is limited by the amount of change we can make before it‘ s fatal or too harmful.
The extent to which this is true has been tested by almost every culture. Tribal copper neck rings, lip plates, ear stretchers, scarification are historical and modern examples of some of the things that have been done. Whether to signify religious ceremony, increase beauty or help you display who you are to the outside world each involves alteration of who we are physical.
We are about to embark upon body modification to an extent that was hitherto unimaginable. Technology will enable us to manipulate our appearance without limits or the risk of damage, more expression with less harm sounds like a significant leap forward.
The future is virtual. Augmented reality will enable personal expression in the form of modification limited only by your imagination. Consumption will be through permanent Augmented Reality units implanted upon our retinas or contact lenses which enable us to participate in this new world.
Instagram may have enabled us to post pictures of our most beautiful selves but the next phase of technological innovation will enable us to alter not just how we look, but how we are perceived permanently by everyone around us.
Of course, people will have the ability to switch off, casting aside the wondrous reality we have created for ourselves, and consume our meat bodies as genetics intended. Other will chose to remain plugged into this alternative reality indefinitely. On the surface, the world may appear as it has always been, while AR will display the depth of your imagination on your person.
Why must we accept the limitations that our genetics impose — why can’t we be green or blue? Why must we have freckles and apply makeup, what if we could virtually fix our complexion using a beautification filter, safe in the knowledge that the ‘US’ other will consume will always be our best selves?
Future technology will allow each of us to be exactly who we have always wanted to be in the eyes of those who see us. We will never have to worry again about whether it’s a bad hair day, your outfit wasn’t clean or you no longer love the tattoo you picked while on holiday with your friends at 18.
Our bodies will become a platform to project our thoughts and feeling visually and our capabilities physically will no longer limit what’s possible.
What started in the fields with our ancestors who applied products to their faces to achieve a more beautiful look, evolved to hair products, and was transformed with technology will be revolutionised by the next wave of possibilities.
Would you like to wear that SnapChat filter permanently?
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