Elle. Vogue. Harper’s Bazaar. What is it exactly that we see when we browse through the glossy pages of a new magazine? Ill tell you what.
The illusion of perfection, fabulous lives of those taller, skinnier and prettier than you. And how seldom do we consciouslyconsider that the teenage girl who advertises the newest fragrance for Michael Kors or Prada doesn’t necessarily look like that every day. She is in fact, in most cases, a genetically blessed 16 year old who, for the 2 days prior to her photoshoot, starved herself on the‘one orange a day and plenty of water’ diet. Yes ladies, this is actually a ‘diet’ in the modelling world.
Yet we as mere mortals somehow fail to acknowledge thisinsanity. Sure, we’re all biologically programmed to admire youth, health and symmetry, yet we seem to be happy to turn a blind eye to the often insane methods and lengths that young women (and men) will go through to become beautiful. And more often than not we are successfully blinded by the message that these companies wants us to believe;
“You may just be a ‘plain Jane’, but a pair of Louboutin’s from our Spring/Summer 2017 Collection will make you climb your social ladder, and make you stand out from the crowd, enabling you to achieve things you never imagined were possible before”
But why stop there? Perhaps a dress from Valentino? And of course you will ‘need’ a designer clutch to go with it. Oh and that expensive necklace too, you’ll ‘need’ that. Don’t forget you’ll also ‘need’ to get your makeup and hair done, and you ‘must’ have those nail and eyelash extensions too. Semi-permanent eyebrow tattoo’s are a ‘necessity’ as well. Moving further through the preverbal beauty scale, your lips could definitely do with a bit of filler. And if you’re going to do that you should seriouslyconsider a bit of Botox to cover what you’re pretty sure are laugh lines on your forehead. Looking at your nose, it could definitely be a tad straighter and perhaps cheek implants would really shape your face perfectly. Seriously, how could you justify NOT doing this? You owe it to yourself.
As of today, the Cosmetic Surgery industry is worth just under $27 Billion Dollars annually, with predicted steady growth over the next decade with South Korea, Greece and Italy boasting the highest number of procedures per capita. The most popular procedures being breast augmentation, liposuction and rhinoplasty.
If that wasn’t startling enough, the fashion industry is valued at an astonishing $3 Trillion Dollars (no thats not a typo!), which accounts for 2% of worlds Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
All in the name of beauty.
So, here do we stop? And most importantly why do we even get sucked into it in the first place? Is it the everlasting pursuit of happiness? Advertising agencies will have you believe if you are beautiful, then you will be happy and successful. While themajority of those who undergo plastic surgery and buy expensive designer fashion and accessories, claim that they are only doing it for themselves and nobody else. Sadly, I don’t think a $5000 dollar designer handbag would be of any help if the owner found herself marooned on an un-inhabited island…
In truth though, its the power of media and some very, very clever advertising that essentially brainwashes us to believe that the more beautiful you might be, the easier your life will become. Oh how wrong this message really is. And as I so boldly stated earlier, it is nothing but an illusion. So, while there are undeniable advantages of being exceptionally good looking, there are some startling downsides that no one really ever seems to talk about.
Fake friends, fake glory, and a fake love life. What did you expect? After all, a fake life would go well with your fake eyelashes and fake lips right?
I’ll tell you something I was told by my utterly gorgeous, model like friend. Probably the most the bewildering aspect of being beautiful is loneliness. True loneliness. I tell you I definitely did not see that coming. Yet while there is a certain halo affect that surrounds the rich, famous and good looking, my friend explained to me that it is sometimes incredibly hard to determine whether the people around you; your friends, colleagues and especially lovers, actually have your best interests at heart. Or are they perhaps only a part of your life because of your beauty?
Making genuine friends can be a daunting task. Just think about it. Beautiful women are constantly the subject of jealousness fromothers. In reality, women generally tend to measure themselves against each other by their looks rather than their achievements or accomplishments. And this can be truly emotionally draining. This may explain why so many fashion models end up suffering from depression as well as having an inclination towards severe self-judgement, drug abuse and self-harm. No one is perfect, yet when beauty becomes “want it all and be it all”, even the tiniest blemish or a kilo gained can ruin your day and shake you to the core.
Lets now consider that promotion you’ve been working towardsfor years shall we? Contrary to popular belief, a pretty face and model like features might in fact cause you to stumble and fall just shy of the ‘finish line’. Attractive women are often overlooked for senior positions simply because they are taken less seriously and are subjectively judged as shallow and not as powerful. What’s more, getting a job in the first place can be a herculean task. Let’s say for example, the person interviewing you will find you more attractive than them – you might be rejected purely because of the implied threat you pose to the established group of potential future colleagues. No one wants a Barbie look-a-like to step in and mess up the current microclimateof office politics. Beauty is almost certainly intimidating in the workforce. I wont even touch on the potential for unwanted advances from the opposite sex, wether they are above or below you on the corporate ladder.
Moving on to possibly the most overlooked and probably most annoying or frustrating aspect…Your love life. Dating can be exhausting and unrewarding as you are seen as a prize, something to be checked off some douche bags ‘to do’ list. Big bang, then thank’s for coming, next please! It isn’t all that glorious. In fact, numerous research studies have confirmed, that being above average looking makes you less successful in love. Just look at modern day celebrities, many of whom are very good looking, rich and famous. How many successfully married Hollywood couples can you name? … I thought so.
And then consider this; almost every single picture you see online, on billboards, in magazines and TV advertisements is edited beyond recognition. Skin blemishes are blurred and faded, waistlines are reduced and hips are perfectly curved. You already knew this though didn’t you? I bet you also know that no one is entirely flawless and even if they were, it doesn’tjust magically make their life a fun filled and carefree carousel ride. It is more often that not, quite the contrary.
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