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Is The “Anti-Aging Industry” An Industry of Vanity?

By Krizia

Recently, a renowned North American plastic surgeon made a revealing admission during an interview. The doctor said that one of the major concerns women had when consulting him about skin rejuvenation (via non-invasive procedures such as collagen injections and Botox®) was not so much the post-treatment results. Rather, they were concerned about how their girlfriends and family members would judge their decision to refresh their features in an attempt to look younger than their age.

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In essence, a lot of people are just concerned about being perceived as being vain.

Historically, vanity has never been a trait one aspires to. Who wants to be labeled as shallow, petty, weak, and self-centered? No one really wants to be perceived as being vain…at least no one wants to be vain and have others notice it.

But this begs the question: Are we not all a little vain? If we didn’t have the slightest penchant for vanity, we’d all throw our mirrors out the window because we’d have no use to admire ourselves in attempt to looking our best.

Truth be told, we do care about our appearances and we do care about how we are perceived by others. This resonates even louder as we age.

For many, this “new” anti-aging industry is pure vanity feeding to our most deep-seated insecurities and promising us to look 35 for the rest of our lives. For others, this anti-aging industry has opened the doors to new possibilities and to a sense of freedom.

For many, seeking the help of a cosmetic surgeon or a plastic surgeon is a result of trying to reconcile the reflection that is presented to them in the mirror with how old they feel inside.

Indeed for many, words like Botox®, Restylane®, laser resurfacing, collagen injections, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, chemical peels and medical spa are synonymous with taking control and liking the way they look as they age. Contrary to plastic surgery, these non-invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic procedures offer us and our doctors much more control in ensuring that we get the type of rejuvenation that would look as natural as possible. After all, the plan is to look better and not necessarily different.

Let’s put it out there — vanity is not all that bad. After all, it’s an undisputable fact that we feel better when we look better. We might want to brush it off as being futile, but there seems to be something deeply ingrained — perhaps deeper than any social pattern– that makes us feel better about ourselves when we look our best.

Furthermore, we send some messages that are completely unrelated to beauty when we look our best. It tells others that we care about ourselves. It communicates a sense of respect for our health and well-being. It also demonstrates a level of respect for others that we take the time and effort necessary to look good prior to dealing with them. It shows the world that we take it, and ourselves, seriously.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a gene pool and/or a lifestyle that will take us well into our seventies with minimal medical interference. But for others, a little help from our cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon might be required if we intend on looking a certain way as we age.

Can the anti-aging industry become an industry of pure vanity that strives to attain an unreachable image of perfection and eternal youth? Is it possible to walk around with an exaggerated frozen expression because of too much Botox®? Can we go overboard with too many cosmetic procedures in too short of a time period? Yes, of course, and there are too many examples to remind of us of the flip side of the anti-aging industry.

The goal here is to find a middle ground — somewhere between obsessive pursuit of beauty myths and just not caring enough about one’s appearance. That’s where most of us would hope to be as we age…and it is not particularly a bad thing.

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Krizia is the CEO of Beauty Match Network
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Topics: Lifestyle | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Is The “Anti-Aging Industry” An Industry of Vanity?”

  1. Suzanne Says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Great thoughts & article, Krizia! At some point, we have to stop worrying about how we’re perceived and just say, “hey, what makes me happy, what do I want?” Not self-centered, just a good healthy self-esteem. Thanks for writing this!

  2. Anti-Aging Skin Fan Says:
    November 11th, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Krizia and Suzanne couldn’t said it better. isn’t the innner beauty far more worthwhile than the external? If you want to know more about aging skin then have a look at http://www.beauty-styles.com/skincare/aging-skin.shtml
    It is about the aging process, anti-aging products and advice.

  3. Anti Aging Ingredients Says:
    December 8th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Anti aging remedies have become wide spread and easily accessible for those who seek them, I think it’s important that people keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercising is just as effective as any remedies out there. As far as vanity goes, I think vanity part and parcel of this society almost anything can be attributed to it nowadays.

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