Are you really, really, ridiculously good-looking?For what seems like an eternity, people persist with their obsession about vanity. Era after era; the Hellenistic period in 31 BC, to the Renaissance in the 15th Century, and still today. It’s all about the societal definition of what is beautiful and how superficial people really are. Statistics show that even when the U.S. experienced an economical crises of mass proportions, the beauty industry seems to be virtually untouched. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2006 there were 250,000 Beauty Salons that employed 800,000 license Cosmetologist, Nail Technicians, Estheticians, Massage Therapists, Make Up Artist, Permanent Cosmetic Artists, Dermatologists, and Holistic Healers. By 2016 these jobs will increase by fourteen percent. In 2010 young women between the ages of 12-24 spent the most money on cosmetics, skin care, hair care, and fragrances; an average of $80 a week. That very same year, Americans spent $10 Billion on cosmetic procedures despite the greatest economical collapse since the Great Depression. Botox injections and breast augmentations were at the top of that long list. Spa treatments are also on the rise with 45% of persons who visit Spas are between the ages of 35 and 52 and have college degrees. Of those persons, 35% have an income of over $75,000 per year. Spending money on beauty treatments in 2011 went up 26.5%. Seems like the worse the economy gets, the more money Americans spend to keep up appearances. Listed in Time Business and Money, two of the top ten fastest growing industries in the U.S. are plates and yoga studios, and self-tanning product manufacturing companies. Americans are just not willing to give their wallets a rest when it comes to looking their best. Uncertain times such as one of the greatest recessions the U.S. has seen in more than seventy-five years, seem to make us feel self-conscience enough to go for that elective procedure. With the job market more competitive than it ever has been and baby boomers returning to work, people are finding it necessary to look younger assuming it will enhance their chances at gainful employment. Whatever happened to looking distinguished or sophisticated? Now days 30-somethings are getting brow lifts or nips and tucks here and there. Don’t get me wrong, nobody wants to be wrinkled and decrepit. But that’s just life. I’d rather look like a prune and be love for who I am than look like an alien who dies alone because no one truly loved or cared about me. A recent study uncovered that sixty percent of all women who participated stated that they’re pressured by society to enhance their physical appearance. One out of six young women will develop an eating disorder that could have life threatening consequences. Fifty percent of those girls who have an eating disorder also abuse drugs and alcohol. We’re told that body issues are a result of low self-esteem that develops during adolescents. Means of entertainment teaches that beauty makes life easier. Society is at the beck and call of those deemed extraordinarily gorgeous. And on whose authority? Today that would be whatever is broadcast on TV or in fashion magazines. The real kicker about these two mediums; no one who’s filmed or photographed are genuine. Thanks to digital editing and photo enhancement technology, computer programs such as Photoshop, digitally creates perfect unblemished skin, brows, bone-structure, brilliant eye color, faultless white and straight teeth, impeccable muscle tone, and flawless beautiful hair. Digital editing programs shave off ten pounds in less than five minutes. We hear all the time, “I thought he’d be taller with bigger muscles,” or “Her eyes are not as blue as I thought they were.” The lesson to be learned is this; beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. If you allow others to dictate how you
should look or behave based off of a superficial belief pattern, than you might as well plan on a life of misery. We all end up feeble, we all end up broken, and we all end up old. Might as well be old and happy with someone who will except for who you are.