When people believed in the immortal soul, they sought after moral virtues and transcendental values whereby they might satisfy spiritual desires, and reach the goal of sanctity and salvation.
But when secular materialism came to dominate society, the spiritual side of man was effectively neglected and all efforts were concentrated on acquiring material happiness.
This change of focus merely took spiritual desires and applied them to material objects. Indeed, when people cease to believe in the soul or its equivalent, they turn to the perfection of the body as a substitute. That is why people have an obsession for the body and the image they wish it to convey.
It is, however, a futile search for perfection, since the body is mortal and progressively decays. Materialism itself promotes unhealthy habits and a wide range of products that work against the discipline of maintaining the body in shape. The inevitable failure to reach perfect bodily satisfaction helps explain the sadness and depression of many whose expectations for bodily perfection are frustrated. It is one more sign that men have abandoned the soul to their own peril.