This week a word that has now become a addictive drive to overcome the relentless march of time
Rejuvenation: The desire to recapture the vigour, appearance and lifestyle of youth.
Never before in our history has there been such a drive, and even addiction, to reclaiming all the attributes of youth, from spending massive amounts of money on non-invasive procedures to undertaking serious cosmetic surgeries. We are surrounded by images of those who according to the media are the epitome of beauty and it is not just the more mature who are being influenced. The young who are still in their prime are being told that they are not attractive enough and lured into enhancing their faces and bodies. With long lasting consequences.
Pixabay.com Barbara Stanwyck 1907 – 1990
The press and the movie industry have a long history of promoting and celebrating the young and the beautiful, and so many of those who were approaching their 30s and 40s were encouraged by their studios or sponsors to maintain that image of youthfulness by going under the knife. Even the stunning Sophia Loren recalls being pressurised to have cosmetic surgery as a young star to adjust her nose to suit the alleged standards of beauty of the day: Sydney Morning Herald
Current publicity photographs of some of the more mature stars, clearly show the after effects of surgery, and that attitudes towards aging is still the same in Hollywood today.
They have it all don’t they? Fame, wealth, good looks, red carpet junkets, jewellery and designers falling over themselves to dress them and be showcased. Large houses with fabulous pools and people to do everything for them as they swan about in their magnificent luxury cars.
But all that comes with a price. That constant drive to stay young, bankable and in the public eye is responsible for broken marriages, displaced children, addiction, suicide and a private life that is a myth. Especially when the vultures within the paparazzi have your life on speed dial.
Imagine living in a fish bowl?
Even those who are wannabe famous, and who litter the headlines in their attempts to establish themselves, have fractured private lives that belie the external and often enhanced beauty they crave. Those who cannot afford to pay for licensed cosmetic surgery head off to even less regulated countries for cheaper procedures that lead to dangerous health complications. All so that they can whip their tops off and show their new and plastic cleavage to what they hope will be an adoring public.
Apart from high profile stories of celebrities who have had surgery to repair botched procedures, thousands of non-celebrities have become cosmetic surgery tourists in search of the star treatment at a cheap rate. Many have paid the full price as far as their health is concerned when they return home and have to undergo further surgeries to correct the damage.
The message that we are sending our young is that aging is toxic, that we all end up unattractive, on the heap and have no life after the first few wrinkles have etched themselves into our faces.
Above all else, having seen the results of plastic surgery that follows on from multiple procedures, I also have to call into question the ethical nature of some of these cosmetic surgeons who keep taking the money, despite the risks to the patients from the physical and mental consequences.
And I am not immune to the clarion call of the cosmetic industry that promises that a newly found ingredient will either smooth, eradicate or blur the signs of age on face and body. To be honest I have a couple of products that don’t do a half bad job unless I put my reading glasses on.
And we cannot blame this culture on the modern world, as women in particular have been looking for the elixir of youth from the moment they first saw their reflection in a still pond of water! In days when your existence relied on being considered attractive and desirable was not just preferable but essential, anything that enhanced your look was considered, whatever the side-effects.
The ancient Egyptians had some pretty nifty concoctions they added to the daily beauty regime. These included copper, lead and kohl for their eyes made from soot, fat and any scrap metal that was hanging around, including antimony and lead. One of the important factors that these early seekers of youth did not taken into account, is that skin is porous, and allows elements in and out. Absorb enough antimony and you are facing serious physical and mental health issues. This stuff is used industrially in a number of processes including fire retardation of cloth used in cars and in safety equipment, and in batteries.
The symptoms of antimony are numerous and include respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, skin complaints, confusion and certain compounds can cause cancer.
Over the centuries other metals that have serious side effects have been introduced to potions to whiten skin, improve texture and add fullness to lips, including lead in lipstick, mercury in mascara and arsenic in face powder.
The ancient Greeks and Romans swore blind that ‘lead’ in creams and powders was the key to youth, and it was also added to rouge and to hair colour. That fascination with this deadly metal continued well into the 18th and 19th centuries and when you look at the list of side-effects it is no wonder that certain civilisations disappeared and that mad-houses were full: The Mayo Clinic
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also might be exposed to lead.
- High blood pressure
- Joint and muscle pain
- Difficulties with memory or concentration
- Abdominal pain
- Mood disorders
- Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
- Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women
Whilst the cosmetic industry has become more regulated, it is not necessarily completely safe. Red lipstick has had a rocky ride even as recently as 2007 when a percentage of those tested under laboratory conditions were found to contain what was considered to be dangerous levels of lead. And if you think mercury is no longer in the products we buy, it is still used as a preservative.
The FDA has taken pains to reassure those of us who use substantial amounts of eye makeup on a daily basis. Cosmetics Info
There is no basis for concern by the consumer for the presence of mercury in cosmetic and personal care products purchased in the United States that comply with FDA regulations. The FDA limit of 1 part-per-million of mercury allowed in most cosmetics does not present a risk to health. The trace level of mercury that FDA allows for use some eye care preparations is too small to be of concern for health reasons but is sufficient to prevent bacterial contamination of the eye care product and serious eye infections in the users of the eye care product.
This does call for another type of clarion call – don’t just check food labels for ingredients but also cosmetics and toiletries as they both enter the body too..
Apart from the toxicity of metals in cosmetics, more and more in our modern age our drive to regain our youth has resulted in us going under the knife.
There is a temptation to absorb the marketing by cosmetic clinics in women’s magazines, and go for a little enhancement beyond the use of the magic potions we can buy over the counter (the ones without the metal elements). This however does not include the latest trend on the high street, in health and beauty salons, pharmacies and even dental surgeries; Botox and fillers in your lunch hour!
And we women are one of the driving forces behind this booming industry with estimated sales of $445 billion annually. Forbes
It’s never been a better time to be a beauty entrepreneur. Forbes estimates that there are at least 40 prominent beauty startups today founded by women, making the $445 billion (sales) industry one of the most prevalent places for women to self-start their way to big-time success.
Firstly, I do admire the cosmetic surgeons who originally developed their skills to repair the damage done to face and body in war time or accidents. My hero as a teenager and considering a career in nursing was Sir Archie Mcindoe. I read his biography and was hooked. His pioneering work on repairing the damage caused by fire to young pilots was inspirational.
There is no doubt that there are cosmetic surgeons who continue that pioneering work with patients who have suffered life changing damage to their faces and bodies, but there are also those who I feel are breaking one of the fundamental obligations of a doctor. ‘Do no harm’
We have all seen the photographs of those who have taken this obsession with youth too far. Smooth, immovable, characterless faces, puffy lips that now have their own label of ‘trout lips’, and eyes that are so distorted as to result in the label ‘Cat face’. In this article by Sugar Surgery
Catwoman Plastic Surgery is an extreme case of Plastic Surgery gone Wrong. If we talk about an extreme woman, some people will guess we are talking about Jocelyn Wildenstein. She is a very famous woman for her unique and extreme changes. She has changed her appearance into a cat. No wonder she is also known as a the catwoman. Based on a story, the 70-year-old woman decided to change her look because she loved her husband and her husband loved a big cat. She wanted to look like the big cat her husband loves.
Jocelyn Wilderstein had a different obsession, but the result is one that is becoming more and more common and not in the case of women but also men, particularly those in the celluloid industry of Hollywood.
Not surprisingly you would imagine that you would find the most plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, and that was probably the case in the 20th century, but you may be surprised to know that the largest concentration of these particular surgeons is in Miami…Cosmetic Town..Which is where of course you have such a high concentration of…… retirees....
This is where I have a problem with a cosmetic surgery industry that’s sole focus is to prey on the obsession of us all to recapture our youth. USA Today
An American Society of Plastic Surgeons report found Americans spent more than $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgeries and minimally invasive procedures in 2016, the most the U.S. has ever spent on such operations.
That is just in the United States.. in the UK it is estimated that there are over 1 million procedures each year and growing… However, there are concerns that this is under reported due to the lack of regulation on non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as botox and fillers by unlicensed operators.
“We’ve got, largely, an unregulated industry that’s exploiting people including children, by promoting often untested and unproven products and procedures. We need better regulation of the quality and safety of these procedures, the people who carry them out, and where they are carried out.” – Jeanette Edwards, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, who chaired the enquiry. Royds Withy King
Invasive cosmetic surgery – The Risks.
Every surgery has risks, and they should always be considered when contemplating a procedure which is cosmetic rather than life saving. – Healthline
- Hematoma – a pocket of blood that forms after surgery and most common complication after a facelift and may require further operations
- Infection that will require anti-biotics and if not treated could be serious and require the removal of implants.
- Loss of sensation due to nerve damage, particularly following breast augmentation
- Blood Clots
- Complications due to anaesthesia.
- Organ damage during liposuction
- Blood Loss
You might well be asking where I am going with all this….
- It is no good recapturing your youth on the outside if you neglect the aging process of your body on the inside.
- Heart disease is responsible for the most deaths worldwide for both men and women of all races. Healthline
As of 2016, 28.2 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with heart disease. In 2015, nearly 634,000 people died of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death.According to the American Heart Association, approximately every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack. The estimated annual incidence of heart attacks in the United States is 720,000 new attacks and 335,000 recurrent attacks.
- An estimated 33.9% of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (84.1 million people) had prediabetes in 2015, based on their fasting glucose or A1C level. Nearly half (48.3%) of adults aged 65 years or older had prediabetes: CDC ( Pre-diabetes can be reversed by diet and lifestyle changes)
- About 100 million individuals in the United States are estimated to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Liver Foundation Fatty liver disease is a result of obesity, transfats, too many sugars and lifestyle and as with pre-diabetes can be reversed – less alcohol, much less refined sugars, fewer refined carbohydrates, increased vegetables, some fruit, lean protein and good fats
- We are more than our bodies and looks. We have a brain which is allegedly the most advanced intelligence in nature (that is debateable). With age and experience, and before our modern lifestyles catch up with us (just kidding), we become wiser and therefore have a great deal still to offer society.
- We can still look amazing even with a few wrinkles, silver hair and a little more weight than when we were in our 20s and 30s.
- We can regenerate most of our organs and new research has identified that even the brain can do so as well. There is nothing more attractive than a quick mind and a spirited conversation.
- Remaining young is about our attitude, energy levels, ability to laugh, make people feel good about themselves and to inspire the younger generation. We need to make them feel valued in this shallow modern world of ours and to see their strengths not their weaknesses.
- We need to consider just how far we would go to hang on to our own youthful appearance and what message it sends to our children and grandchildren about what is important in this world. Making them afraid of a few wrinkles that are a badge of honour is doing them a disservice.
Thanks for dropping in today and as always your feedback is very welcome.. Sally.