Cosmetics and Body Image

The cosmetics industry thrives by convincing women that certain products will make them appear thinner, younger (for aging women), more natural, older (for some teens) and ultimately, more beautiful.  Though it would seem logical for every woman to question these tactics as insincere attempts to gain a profit; women are programmed from a very young age to think that makeup equates to beauty.

Makeup and vanity sets are marketed to pre-school age children.  It can be argued that Barbie (with her makeup clad face and perfect figure) is the earliest programming tool for young girls.  The problem with most of these toys is that girls don’t really realize (until they are much much older) that they are being taught that there is something wrong with what they were naturally given.  They are also taught, by advertising, movies and the fashion industry, that men prefer a woman with makeup.  The truth is that most men prefer a woman with minimal to no makeup.

By Dr Stephen and Gina Antczak, authors of Cosmetics Unmasked have a lot to say about the cosmetics industry and some of the false claims that they make.

The Natural Products Marketplace website has some interesting information about so-called “natural” cosmetics and the scary products that are in them.

The cosmetics industry has taken to labeling things “natural”, “organic”, “mineral based” to keep with today’s current trend that favors natural products.  However, these labels do not always tell the truth and it’s important, as a consumer, to know what you are purchasing.

The FDA cosmetics page has information about regulations, recalls and certification for makeup additives, ingredients, color dyes etc.

Ultimately, the truth about cosmetics is that if you aren’t happy with who you are, no amount of makeup will change that.  It’s important for women to learn that the cosmetics industry isn’t always what it claims and that there are many people out there that can profit from those with low self-esteem.  Think back to the days of street peddlers that sold “miracle cures” that were so dangerous they sometimes poisoned people.  Today’s cosmetics industry has standards they must uphold because of the FDA, but pushing that aside, are they really so different?



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