Health is as always an issue and among humans the beauty ideals are roughly the same as they are today. Fashion may vary, but the body ideal is the same. You’re supposed to be fit and slim to be sexy and beautiful. If you’re out of shape and putting on some weight, you’re not sexy and not beautiful. At least, that’s what the powers of commerce (fashion magazines, music videos, movies) dictates, like in the real world.
Dieting is just as common here as in the real world. People try, and often fail miserably, to stick with a healthy and balanced diet while exercising regularly. There is big business around providing healthy alternatives and there are tons of different diets around to help you get fit.
The existence of magic has had its influence of different ways of eating healthy. Magically prepared food, designed to provide nourishment and dull the hunger exists in several more or less effective variations. The foodstuffs will taste well, but eating a cookie, no matter how nourishing or filling will not replace the feeling of enjoying a good meal. The idea is similar to that of Lembas bread. The exception is that instead of being a closely guarded secret of the elves, this kind of food is readily available in your local supermarket.
It is obviously possible to get a full meal that’s been prepared in the same way. Replicating/producing a full meal in this way is however more costly and complicated than just creating a “meal cookie”. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, just that it is not commonly used in the everyday fare of your average person who decides they need to lose some weight.
Traditionally prepare food is still the cheapest and the most common option though which is why health issues such as overweight etc are still an issue. It is easier, cheaper and quicker for a fast-food joint to just serve up burgers than it is to hire a mage to remove the “unhealthy” from the burger before serving it.
Using magic it is possible create food which when consumed reduces the amount of fat in a person’s body, forcing them to lose weight in this way. Food products of this kind, commonly referred to as “starvers”, require a doctor’s prescription before they can be purchased. Overconsumption of starvers can be fatal. If you’re not able to get a prescription, starvers are easily accessible on the black market.
Let’s get pretty, fast!
Cosmetic surgery in this world is very much about magic and very little about actual surgery. If you’re overweight and want to get rid of it quickly you can contact a “clinic” for an appointment to get the weight taken off of you.
The process is nearly completely magical and the patient is put to sleep for the entire duration of the operation. The fat and other waste will have to leave the body in some way and it is generally considered less traumatic for the patient if they’re not awake to see it when it happens.
In most cases an operation will take a few hours and the patient will be allowed home the same day they started. For particularly obese persons longer operations are required and in extreme cases even multiple operations. It is however rare in the civilized world that someone will be allowed to reach that stage without receiving, or at least being offered, help.
Losing a lot of weight in the span of just a few hours can be a strange and unsettling experience. If you are removing more than a fifth (20%) of your weight you are recommended to consult a therapist to help you get accustomed to your new body. If you’re removing more than a third (33.3%) of your weight counseling is required by law.
Legal restrictions etc.
Anyone is allowed to apply for a weight removal procedure, but unless you’re actually overweight you are unlikely to be accepted for it. The exception is if you’ve got money enough to afford the full cost of the procedure yourself. It ain’t cheap.
Most people who are overweight are able to get parts of the cost through health-care benefits etc. The process is still costly though and as a general rule of thumb it will take the average person roughly a year and a half to save up to the part of the cost they are expected to pay.
It is magically possible to alter more than just the weight of the person but such magic is heavily restricted. A person’s bone structure may not be altered unless a number of independent doctors have certified something is wrong with it. A persons genetic code may not be altered under any circumstances other than for government sanctioned scientific research. The concept of DNA and genetic codes is much less understood in this world than in today’s real world.
svrtnsse says: 2011/05/19 at 01:47 We all know that beauty is on the inside. Then again, you know how it is…
Celeve says:2011/05/19 at 13:53 I wonder what sort of impact such an easy, if expensive, way of getting rid of excess fat would have on the rich part of the populace.
Also, a big thing related to cosmetic surgery via magic is of course normal surgery, and healthcare, by magic. How does that work and will anyone ever die of anything but old age? :O If you can cast Healing Touch or Rejuvenate to start with, would anyone even bother with learning about anatomy, not to mention how to perform operations on someone without killing him in the process? The mere thought of open surgery seems ludicrous when you can instead get a mage to clap his hands fervously to get rid of that tumor, or balance the heart beat.
svrtnsse says:2011/05/19 at 14:59 I ended up discussing this at some length with Morkka (gee, who’d thunk). I’ll repost some of that here later. morkka says:2011/05/21 at 16:49 I already added a post to my ongoing magic-thread about magic used for healing which relates to this too.