The beauty industry is worth billions of dollars just in the US. But do today’s beauty trends really help women become more attractive or do they ruin their self-esteem and perception of themselves? Do they help us uncover our authentic inner beauty or force us into striving for its fake superficial version?
Today’s society thrives on the cult of fakeness – fake beauty, fake kindness, fake relationships. Being an authentic version of yourself seems to be out of fashion. We need to live, look and behave in a certain way in order to be accepted and liked. As a result, many people lose touch with their true self for the sake of trying to fit in.
Below are a few examples of how the cult of fake beauty distorts our perception of ourselves and kills our self-esteem.
Hopefully, this will make you think before blindly following the latest beauty trends.
The trap of chasing unrealistic beauty standards
Movies, magazines and TV spots promote unrealistic beauty standards. Thousands of women and girls starve themselves in order to fit the mold and look like their favorite celebrities. And yet, the only thing they manage to achieve is to feel bad about themselves for not being attractive or skinny enough.
The result? Mental issues and low self-esteem on the one hand and thousands of dollars spent on gym subscriptions, beauty products or plastic surgery on the other.
The truth is that what we see on screen and in fashion magazines is far from reality. The images are heavily photoshopped and all those models and actresses spend years of their lives in the gym and deprive themselves of the simplest things in order to look this way. Not even mentioning the huge amounts of money they spend on plastic surgery and cosmetic therapies.
Natural equals unattractive
Similarly, pop culture convinces us that our natural look is not good enough. In order to be beautiful, we need to dye our hair and wear a ton of makeup on our face.
Natural equals unattractive because the consumer society wants us to believe that only the perfect, unrealistic and fake version of beauty is truly attractive.
Thus, we get hair extensions, fake lashes, false nails, lip fillers and Botox injections. All this makes women feel better about themselves in the short term. But in reality, following fake beauty standards only cultivates deep-rooted self-esteem issues.
Someone who is confident in themselves doesn’t feel the need to fake their appearance or behavior. They are comfortable in their own skin.
You need to buy tons of beauty products
Fake beauty is promoted, first of all, by the multi-billion dollar industry that produces makeup and skincare products. If there were not so many TV spots and information about these products, would we really buy them?
Just think about it. How many skincare and haircare products did your mother or grandmother have? A few decades ago, there was only a common soap. Both women and men used it to wash their bodies and hair. How many products are there now? Shampoos, hair conditioners, hair masks, shower gels, skin lotions…
The same is true about makeup products – just a few years ago, all these concealers, highlighters and shimmers didn’t even exist. Now, every woman needs to have them in order to look beautiful.
But do we really need all this stuff or is it another way of the consumer society to make money on our self-esteem issues?
All those countless aggressively photoshopped selfies
And of course, the ubiquitous selfie. It’s impossible to speak about fake beauty without mentioning everyone’s obsession with taking selfies. While just the fact of taking pictures of oneself doesn’t necessarily have to do with being a victim of unrealistic beauty ideals, let’s talk about people who photoshop their selfies.
Just open Instagram and check a few profiles. How many of them contain pictures of naturally looking men and women? You will most likely see staged photos, unnatural facial expressions and lots of editing.
Some people become addicted to uploading their selfies to social media and getting likes and views. And of course, they get painfully hurt when they receive negative feedback.
How absurd is this? The desire to be liked, accepted and admired has grown into real narcissism for some people. And all this is because of the cult of fake beauty and overall inauthenticity that has settled in our society for good.
Don’t become a fake version of yourself
As you have seen from the above, following fake beauty standards has to do with low self-esteem and the fear of rejection. And companies all over the world know this very well and take advantage of our insecurities. It’s just business. They have a product and we have our self-esteem issues that they cleverly use.
So don’t let them take advantage of you. Don’t fall a victim to the fear of rejection. If someone rejects you for being yourself, it just means that they are not the right person for you. No amount of makeup and hair extensions can change that.
Chasing fake ideals will never lead you to authentic happiness. Only being a true version of yourself will.