Now more than ever it seems that North America is obsessed with looking desirable. While the want to look pleasing in the eyes of another is something that has been happening for centuries, the recent idea of what beauty is, tends to be quite limited. Aging women feel pressure from media and mirrors to look a particular way, no matter how hard the calendar has worked against them. With new technology and the constant discovery of surgical procedures which can be performed on the human body, women are seeking dangerous and costly ways to "fix" their faces. Anti-aging is not the answer and women need to stop hiding their real bodies with replacement pieces put together by medical professionals in order to pause time for as long as they can get away with.
Reading Catherine Redfern's article "The Beauty Myth", I realized that there is much more meaning wrapped around a wrinkle than I had presumed. Redfern focuses on the "anti-aging" claims made by the Olay Company. Apparently there are "seven signs of aging" all women should look out for someday (Redfern pp. 2). Given out by the Olay beauty company, they include lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture, uneven skin tone, noticeable pores, age spots, dry skin and skin dullness (Redfern pp. 3). Of course Olay uses these signs to diagnose a woman with aging skin only to prescribe their famous Total Effects line of products, with a promised result to reverse the look of aging skin (Redfern pp. 4). This pointless process of using a lotion every night to keep the look of smooth skin is expected to start at a young age and continue for the rest of a woman's life. The companies making age defying products constantly put out negative images surrounding the thought of getting older, often using young actresses and models with naturally line-free skin to promote their products (Redfern pp. 7). Although profit is a Hopkins 2
large factor of having a successful company, the idea of beauty presented to women buying their products is truly what keeps these companies running (Redfern pp. 8).
Since when did getting older change from the fear of dying to the fear of a wrinkle? Somewhere women got the idea in their heads that at some mysterious time between smooth skin and wrinkles, femininity will be lost. Beauty is supposedly defined by youth, slenderness and flawless features by the countless images put out by the majority of large media companies. The problem is not that these women are beautiful girls, but that women who do not obtain this image are not considered universally good looking. Seeing commercials for beauty products myself, I am constantly seeing women who are apparently older than I am, but yet have more youthful qualities. It is understandable that a woman entering her middle ages would want to achieve smooth looking skin, but what about the younger women who do not have perfect skin to start with? Are they some sort of defect in this society of perfection? Other than drinking plenty of water and performing my usually routine of daily hygiene, I do not obsess with a difficult skincare regime. Deciding to purchase facial moisture, I had hopes of waking up with perfectly smooth skin, glowing in just the right areas. By beginning with wrinkle-free skin it did not sound like much of a challenge to me. Waking up the first morning after I used my selected product, the glow I was hoping for looked more like grease. It is hard to tell if these products actually help some women, or just create a placebo effect on their minds ("Opinion" pp. 1). Using something to help the skin stay moisturized when it is not an issue for me, but when beautiful women are going under the
knife just to shave a couple of years off of their appearance it scares me to think of what some women are willing to risk.
Hollywood glitterati keep looking youthful even though the public is aware that many years have passed them by. Having walloping amounts of...