Evolution – Distorted Perceptions of Beauty

At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.
- Ann Landers (1918-2002) -

Why do you think women worry about how they look?

  • Do women tend to judge other women by how they look?
  • Are women bombarded by companies who want them to think that they don’t measure up?
  • Do women judge themselves by what is negative, not what is positive?
  • Do women pressure other women to conform to an idealized image of what is beautiful?
  • Do women equate aging to loss of beauty?
  • Do women believe beauty gives them a competitive edge in all facets of their lives?
  • Do women fear that men won’t like/love them if they are not beautiful?
  • Do women believe that beauty is of more value than intelligence?
  • Are women surrounded by media role models who are air brushed, photo shopped beauties?

An example of an Air Brushed and Photo Shopped Model:

Here are some other websites that discuss Distorted Perceptions of Beauty:

Real or Retouched? Distorted Perceptions of Beauty - An excellent example of very bizarre photo retouching.

Chasing Beauty: An Addict’s Memoir¬† by Lisa Hickey- “I want beauty not to matter.”

How much time do you spend trying to make yourself look better?

Do men worry about how they look? If so, why?

_________________

For more Women and the Beauty Industry rants from your un-retouched, un-makeupped, wrinkled, grey haired author, go to the post called Don’t Be A Stupid Girl.

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25 thoughts on “Evolution – Distorted Perceptions of Beauty

  1. Since the beginning of time it seems that men and women in societies around the world have been fixated on holding the best looking in higher esteem than those who had the best hearts. But knowing that does not necessarily result in any young woman going to a bad place in terms of how she views herself.

    I recalled the first time I watched the transformation video you posted and as I watched it again today I smiled broadly. You see, from age 20 to 50 I modeled for photographers and artists, most of whom who were close friends.

    I was never confused about my true value and my self esteem wasn’t based on the compliments I received. I didn’t buy into the distortion created by the fashion industry and become anorexic or bulimic. I knew what I was about and why I was there ie. to make money. I smiled and gave thanks for the genetics that resulted in good looks all the way to the bank.

    In the beginning the modeling income served to pay for my education. In the mid-term it became a partial down payment on a home. In the end I applied the remainder to a home renovation.

    That being said, I know that many young women and men are particularly vulnerable when it comes to measuring their presumed worth in terms of their outer beauty. Hooray! for the now 5 year old Dove Self-Esteem Fund. Hooray! for both the self confident and astute male and female models, who are capable of making an income without compromising their values or their health.

    You asked: “How much time do you spend trying to make yourself look better?”
    My answer is very little.

    I’m very cautious about cosmetic use. http://thistimethisspace.com/2010/10/24/are-your-cosmetics-hazardous-to-your-health/ I rarely wear make-up. I always have a good haircut and I tend to be well dressed as I’m a consignment and second hand shopper.

    • Thanks for your insights, timethief. Your link is very informative too.
      I agree, there has always been a segment of the population who are the exalted ‘good lookers’. Unfortunately there is a very large industry telling us we can all look like them if we buy their products.
      If these companies didn’t use models to sell their wares, I’d think we had reached the goal of being all-inclusive!

      • Thank you for visiting and reading my post, Margie. I am a mentor to some young people. They are not naive nor are they stupid. They come from healthy supportive families and have never been sucked in by the advertising of the cosmetics and fashion industries. When it comes to being well informed about advertising ploys as well as hazardous products and thinking patterns, I assure you that they are 100 times over better informed than we were at their age. And, that’s no small feat given that they are exposed to thousands more products, and the advertising that accompanies them, than we were exposed to at their age. Frankly, I would prefer to see companies like Dove commit to eliminating The Dirty Dozen from their cosmetics.

  2. I went to several of the links, which led to other links. Now I’m back. :) It’s amazing how they photoshop women who are already beautiful. They do a great job of making women unhappy with their bodies.

    • I agree! I was looking at a shampoo ad the other day, and wondered how they got the model’s hair so shiny and beautiful. I checked some internet forums, and one of the posts was from a person who worked in the business. This person said they start with a model who has nice thick, healthy hair, then they spend 2 to 3 hours on the hair, special lighting, etc. That would explain why my hair doesn’t look like that – ever…

  3. I have never spent much time on make-up and hair. Occaionally, I wear a bit of eyeliner and lip gloss and my hair is wash-and-go. As I get older, I realize that each and every one of my “fine lines” and wrinkles were earned through the very fullfilling life I’ve lived. What I prize more in my life right now over beauty and good looks is my health. I guess that comes with age as well. :)

  4. You have a terrific attitude. I once heard a story of a reporter interviewing a very old Eskimo man. “how old are you?” he asked. The old gent answered “I don’t know.” the reporter said that with that attitude the man will live years longer than his contemporaries.

  5. I can truthfully say that my Good Lady was initially concerned that I might be put off by the fact that she wears glasses… I just said ‘I look straight through those and see your eyes!’ Some men want a ‘trophy’ wife to enhance their social status (whatever that is) but I think most of us just want someone who is a friend first of all and a lover second. Beauty comes from within and too much make-up smothers it – hiding the true person…

    ps – my Good Lady has a large scar down her chest from open heart surgery. Does it make her any less beautiful? Not to me! :-)

    • I suppose some men need a trophy wife to make themselves look more successful, but I think most men are like you. Congratulations for having found the woman who completes your life.

  6. I learn new things in blogosphere –ie. timethief was a face model for artists, etc. Ok, like alot of of women I cared and did something about how I loved –fashion-wise and sometimes make-up wise. Then I returned to cycling @32 yrs. Several years later, I cared less and less about buying the latest fasion pieces. It’s just cycling to work, requires I bring clothing that can withstand some folding and can’t be too heavy when cycling up a hill.

    In last few years I have been bare-faced without make-up 90% of the time. And work around 40% near men on same floor. It is a business casual dress code where I am now which helps ease the need to be fashionable all the time.

    I do care how I look –but now it’s focused on my health, weight and fitness. All 3 never go out of fashion. I will turn 54 in a few months. I just want to have fun cycling to and from work when I can. I do have to get into the habit of wearing reading glasses. I tend to forget and wonder if I will be leaving my glasses absently all over thhe place.

    As for older men, those who I notice who do care a tad how they look, work on their health and fitness. My partner does and he is……69. But it’s cycling that keeps him afloat and healthy. That’s good enough.

    Not sure if I answered what I think of other women. But I do notice women …who might be around my age who would do better changing their lifelong eating habits and some exercise. Fashion is not that important and becomes very secondary.

    Then everything else falls into place.

  7. Well, being a guy who seems to get better looking every year, there’s not a whole lot I can add to this discussion… : P

    Except to say that it’s a pleasure and an inspiration to know so many eminently sane, intelligent, and insightful women here in the Blogosphere. Really.

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