Why do we paint makeup all over our face and eyes? Why do we smother our face at night with cleanser, toner and expensive anti-wrinkle cream? Have a think about all the beauty products and makeup in your bathroom cupboard; why, as women, do we feel we have to use all these chemically laden products? If you looked in the bathroom cupboard of your great grandmother do you think you would see this wide array of products?
The beauty industry has come a long way in the last century and while women have used makeup since ancient Egypt you have to ask yourself why this industry is worth billions and billions of dollars and grows by around 7% every year. Even in these tough economic times we all still make sure we have our cosmetic and skin care products. How is it that we have prioritised these products as high on our shopping list as food?
What do you think the aim of the marketing department is at one of these cosmetic giants? To sell more products, of course, but how do they manage to achieve this incredible growth and influence over our minds and buying dollar to such an extent? The beauty industry is not actually about helping us feel beautiful; let me say that again… The beauty industry is NOT about helping you feel beautiful; because if you did already feel beautiful, just the way you are, accepting all your flaws and proudly showing them off to the world, then why would you have a need for the growing number of beauty products in your bathroom cupboard..?
The advertisers and marketing executives of the beauty industry’s sole purpose is to make sure you feel inadequate and insecure; so that you look in the mirror and you DON’T like what you see. That you look in the mirror and compare yourself to the photo-shopped, air-brushed, flawless looking skin of the model in their ad and bingo, you buy their product!
“You will never look like the girl in the magazine. The girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine.”
The funny thing is we all actually know that the models and celebrities who advertise these products don’t actually look like that in everyday life. And yet we still feel the need to strive for this unrealistic perfection. One of the many reasons I no longer watch main stream media is due to the endless parade of flawless women; we are bombarded with these images everywhere we turn. This alone creates a belief that we all should look like that. Constantly subscribing to this nonsense and comparing ourselves to this fantasy land creates insecurities and low self-worth, whether you realise it is or not. If you continually judge yourself and others to a computer generated image you will never stop feeling insecure! And sadly, this is be design.
So how on earth did our great grandmothers attract their husband without all these beauty products…? Seems that love, sex and attraction was happening well before we had all these modern day cosmetics…. otherwise we wouldn’t be here! So you have to ask yourself, how did women attract men without all these cosmetics? Maybe they were more comfortable in their own skin? More authentic with who they really are, and perhaps life was a little more simple back then and there was less comparison to others…?
If we have a look at what main stream media was offering up to women in the 30s, 40s and 50s it was very, very conservative by today’s standards. Pictures were usually in black and white, if there were pictures at all. The newspaper was very often the only way they were receiving news and generally this was just news rather than the pages and pages of advertisements we see today. There was certainly no TV, internet and glossy, colour magazines were often only for the wealthy. This comparison to others that women seem to be so engrossed in was confined to friends, neighbours and family. Viewing celebrities was confined to the movie theatre where they were actually acting and performing in a movie and are not supposed to look like they usually do.
We may look back on these “olden times” and claim how backward and ill-informed they all were. How little they knew about the world and naïve they now seem. And while there certainly are many benefits that we all enjoy today with the immediacy of information and the incredible tool we have at our fingertips to research any subject imaginable, do we use it for expanding our knowledge? Or do we allow ourselves to be influenced and sucked in by the latest fashion, reality drama, clever advertising and who is wearing what on the red carpet?
It is incredibly clear to me that main stream media is the cause and source of women’s issues with body image and the resulting emotional and eating disorders. The advertisers are all too aware of how to prey on women and make sure they look in the mirror and criticize what they see. And for an industry that continually grows year on year and with the epidemic of women’s low self-worth now at an all-time high; is it a coincidence? I don’t think so…
The other thing to note with these products is that they are laden with chemicals. It takes 26 seconds for these chemicals to pass through your skin and enter your blood stream. If you wouldn’t eat your beauty products then why would you put these poisons on your skin? We blindly assume that these chemicals have been tested and someone out there is ensuring these products are safe. Who is this someone? The company that is trying to make a profit from you? And probably tests on animals…? And what are the long term effects of use? Just because you don’t die immediately from these products doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk..
Self-confidence is BY FAR the most attractive quality any woman can own. If we could bottle and sell that feeling the beauty industry would finally have competition and sales would decline. I have spent my entire adult life hating what I see in the mirror and suffering from low self-esteem; and I didn’t even know it! The beauty industry has certainly played a huge role in my downfall and the funny thing is now I have finally won the battle with my internal demons I wear less make up today than I ever have before! I am so opposed to the incredible amount of chemicals in these products that I also now use very simple, organic skin care products too.
Turning off from main stream media has HUGE benefits; you can read more about this on my blog Media Free Diet. Turning off from the beauty industry is a little harder and I will admit that I will always wear make-up at the appropriate occasion; the important thing is to be aware of how we are influenced, how the advertisers play our emotions and learn to rise above all the rubbish. I promise you will have more peace, more confidence and more money when you do! You have so much more to offer this world; be real with yourself and ask yourself some tough questions about your motivation with your beauty products. And if anything I have written has made you feel uncomfortable I would love you to leave a comment below.