Beauty Industry and Expectations

barbie-beach-blue-bikini

Beauty Industry and Expectations

 There is no denying that the entire beauty industry exists as a crutch for our egos. Still, we must remember that this is by no means a new phenomenon. Suffice to look at the beauty rituals of the Egyptian Pharaohs to understand that we didn’t start the trend.

Men and women have beauty rituals that extend from shaving to cosmetic surgery as well as hours at the gym. In some cases, these are pressures that we put on ourselves. In other cases, they are pressures that society and indeed the media….are responsible for.

I often hear celebrities being blamed with their part in young girls having unrealistic expectations of their bodies… As someone that treats celebrities daily, I can tell you that is not them but rather the media, who plays on the public’s insecurities.

I often get young girls in with very minimal imperfections that aspire to look like the models in magazines or the current celebrity. Not knowing that these celebrities are people, with imperfections, they don’t realise that their real competition is photoshop.

Celebrities have pressure to live up to what the media wants them to be. Remember when we were ridiculed at school for what ever little thing we had? Think how it must feel when magazines and television is looking for something to ridicule you for. What it must be like to be afraid to walk out of the house when you have a spot for fear of being papped and your spot ending up on the cover of a magazine. Yes, celebrities have courted the media for personal gain…but let’s not forget that the person in that magazine is in fact, human, just like the rest of us.

I’m not going to deny that the beauty industry benefits from all this public pressure and humiliation and so it’s very important for the industry to have responsibility when dealing with clients that could be impressionable.

The fitness industry has similar responsibilities. One could argue that we go to the gym for health purposes but no one can deny that part of the appeal of huffing, puffing and sweating, is to fit into the bikini you wore last year.

Still, I think the issues goes even deeper. I was quite shocked to see a picture on social media of a lady in a bikini saying that she is now HAPPY that she lost weight….Really? How about HAPPIER? Because I would have thought her two kids would have been enough to make her HAPPY….

Should our happiness be reliant on how we look and should the beauty and fitness industry feed on the human quest for happiness?   We must consider that if the demand wasn’t there, we would not exist….we didn’t create that demand, we are merely responding to what society wants.barbie-body-real-human

It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where beauty was not an issue….but hold on! Doesn’t that also go against human nature? Humans look for beauty as part of our very nature. We surround ourselves with beautiful objects, homes, cars. We enjoy the sea and the countryside or the architecture of a city building. The enjoyment of beauty is at the very core of who we are as humans. It has fueled the Renaissance and wars since the beginning of time. We want to be beautiful because it’s part of our DNA…in what ever form our culture deems appropriate.

So where does this leave the beauty industry?   My belief is that we are here to make people happy. If having a manicure or a facial makes you happy, why not do it? If you have an imperfection that bothers you that can be fixed….why live with it? The line is drawn when someone comes to us with such high and unrealistic expectation that nothing we do will make them happy. Often we will get people with some degree of Body Dysmorphic Disorder who will often move on to the next perceived imperfection as soon as you fix what they originally came in for.

 

It’s important for us to understand our roles. We are aestheticians and as such we have a responsibility to see if we are going to be able to make our client happy. If we know that we are dealing with a person outside our scope of expertise we have the responsibility to refer to a mental health professional.

 

So be beautiful, but most of all BE HAPPY!

by

Lorena Oberg