The beauty lessons all young women should be taught.
- 12 September 2018
- Posted by: rtwskin
- Category: Blog
THE BEAUTY LESSONS ALL YOUNG WOMEN SHOULD BE TAUGHT
By Emily Ruse, Front of House Manager
In today’s rapidly evolving society, there’s no denying that pop culture, social media and glossy magazines have a significant influence on all of us. It’s hard to escape. We only have to turn on the television to be faced with the latest diet fad. In glossy magazines, geared towards teenagers and young women, nearly every page is filled with photoshopped images of models advertising a beauty product that’s going to make you “prettier” and “happier” because “you’re worth it”. Social media sites such as Instagram bombard us with heavily filtered and edited images of young women of similar age groups. It’s no surprise that young girls are growing up to have unprecedented body issues that families have never had to manage before in previous generations.
Reality TV shows such as Love Island are on the increase and they only add to the body confidence fire. They play a major contribution in the unhealthy obsession with the image that many young women perceive as “perfection”. The constant exposure to unrealistic ideals of beauty has a strong impact on young women, who increasing report their physical appearance as a factor of stress and discontent.
A survey recently carried out by BBC 5 Live has revealed that the lack of diversity among the appearance of the islanders on Love Island may have had a palpable impact in self-esteem, particularly among younger viewers. The research quizzed 2,000 British adults on their perception of their bodies and revealed that more than half of 18 to 34-year-olds felt negative about the way they looked. Reality TV and social media, they claimed, had played an instrumental role in this, with 35% of respondents saying shows such as Love Island and The Only Way is Essex were to blame for their low self-esteem. The results also indicated that young people were more likely to consider having cosmetic surgery as a result of their lack of body confidence.
As well as social media, reality tv shows and glossy magazines, we now live in a world that’s pro-cosmetic surgery. Once upon a time, people who underwent cosmetic surgeries or injectable enhancements kept it on the down-low as they wouldn’t want people to know. These days, women are beginning to talk more and more openly about their treatments making it seem almost as normal as going to get your hair or nails done.
Needless to say, I believe the best and most effective solution is to empower young women to control the effect that social media and advertisements can have rather than automatically blaming the capitalistic companies advertising their product. Thankfully, many brands are beginning to make a change and work together to encourage young girls and boys to be body-positive. Beauty brand Dove has been on a mission to re-educate teenagers and provide help and support to parents. So far, the Dove Self-esteem project has positively impacted over 29 million young lives across 140 countries by holding workshops in schools.
The seven beauty lessons all young women should be being taught:
1. You’re more than your body.
In our appearance-obsessed culture, we need almost daily reminders that we’re more than just how we look. As women, we’ve become fixated on making ourselves look good but what about all of the other things that make us, well, us? We’ve each got strengths, talents, quirks, flaws and character traits that are unique to us and it’s so important to embrace them.
Young women should be taught that they are more than their body – that she is her heart, spirit, hopes, dreams and passions. She should feel empowered by who she is and truly understand that the way she looks is secondary.
2. If you want to enhance your appearance, that’s absolutely okay. But as long as you’re doing it safely and it’s for you, not anybody else.
We have seen an increase in young girls visiting our clinic for procedures such as Dermal Filler as of recent. In many cases, these girls have been brought in by their own mothers, who would rather help them find somewhere safe and suitable with experienced and accredited practitioners than simply telling them “no” and letting them go behind their backs, blindly searching for the cheapest practitioner without realizing the risks involved with these types of procedures. Of course, it’s important to teach your daughter that she’s beautiful both inside and out and that everybody has imperfections, yes, even those “insta-famous” models with overly filtered selfies. However, it’s also important to teach them about the dangers that can be involved with cosmetic enhancements if they aren’t carried out by a suitable practitioner – and if she’s thinking about getting Dermal Fillers in her lips it’s important that she can talk about it openly and be guided in the right direction.
Love Island’s, Megan Barton, recently spoke out about her decision to have cosmetic enhancements and plastic surgery and has argued that there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to it. The 24-year-old said her procedures made her feel better and more confident, so who is anyone to judge. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, she explained “I don’t think it should be such a massively negative thing. I think if you want to do something to make yourself more comfortable, then why not? I didn’t think ‘I’m trying to be a role model’, I did it for me and no-one else. I’m not ashamed of it and I will admit it. I’ve done what I’ve done because it made me feel confident and comfortable. People get their hair done because it makes them feel nice. I get my lips done because I feel better, it doesn’t have to be a massive deal.”
3. Wash your face.
Scrubbing your face clean every morning and evening should be a given but sometimes deadlines, the third glass of rosé, or life itself gets in the way. A lot of women find themselves working long, hard hours either at school, university or in their career and don’t feel like they have enough hours in the day to spend on themselves. Washing your face quickly falls into the category of luxury.
Cleansing should be as essential as brushing your teeth – a good cleansing routine is vital for keeping your skin healthy and preventing disease, so it is worthwhile to get into good habits from an early age. Even if you don’t wear make-up, your skin encounters dirt, grime, pollution, bacteria, viruses and dead skin cells on a daily basis. Skipping cleansing can cause breakouts, redness, clogged pores and even damages the barrier function of the skin.
4. Images on social media are often edited.
You won’t find many teenagers and young adults these days who don’t use social media. Between fitness obsessed models, filter-obsessed instagramers and bloggers with picture perfect lives – a day spent scrolling through social media can very easily result in body insecurities. But a lot of what people forget is that much of what they are seeing is normal people like themselves, striving to be ‘popular ‘online to validate themselves, manipulating photos and captions to give the impression that they are happy, so they can gain followers and be ‘idolised’. In any case, another women’s beauty is not the absence of your own. We shouldn’t constantly be comparing ourselves to someone else or someone else’s idea of what beauty should be every time we look at our phones or at all for that matter. There is no amount of concealer, foundation, colour palette or photoshopping that will make you love yourself. Embrace your beauty and make yourself feel loved by owning who you are.
5. Stay clear from sunbeds and always wear a broad-spectrum SPF on your face.
It is never too early to begin protecting your precious skin from harmful UV rays. To put it all into perspective, the effects of sunlight are thought to contribute to a whopping 80 to 90 percent of the visible signs associated with ageing. That means fine lines, wrinkles, lack of collagen and pigmentation. As well as this, skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and is on the increase. Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is absolutely essential for lowering your risk to the disease.
Sunlight is made up of multiple wavelengths of light including UVA and UVB. UVA light is classically thought to be responsible for skin ageing and UVB for burning. UVA light has the ability to penetrate clouds and window glass, causing damage to the skin. While the proportion of UVB rays reaching the earth’s surface peaks in the summer months due to cloud cover being at its lowest, UVA rays are relatively unchanged by the time of day, season and altitude. Meaning yes, you need to slather on the SPF, even in the winter months.
6. If nothing else, invest in an antioxidant.
An antioxidant is a buzzword in skincare. It is likely that you will have come across this word many times before in both food and skincare but still, many people don’t realise how important they are. Their major benefit is that they block the harmful effects caused by free radicals such as premature ageing and skin dullness. One of the most popular antioxidants in skincare is Vitamin C which has been proven to protect the skin from sunlight by reducing free radical damage by UV radiation and should be applied every morning before sunscreen application.
7. Skincare is a whole-body routine.
Skincare doesn’t start and end in your face. If you care for your face never neglect your neck, chest, back, shoulders, back of your hands and all the way down to your toes.
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