The economy preys on women’s insecurities by teaching them to buy cosmetics

women have been forced to alter how they look for as long as time.

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women have been forced to alter how they look for as long as time.

The cosmetic industry is one that I have devoted hours of time to understanding and perfecting its many rules.

I have given money in order to stay afloat in its latest standards and trends, and most importantly, I have become emotionally invested in the ways of makeup, hair, and skincare. 

This is the reality for many women who have faced and given into a multitude of pressures involved in the cosmetic industry in order to “look your best self.” 

Statistically, it is predicted that if women stopped buying cosmetic products and services, every economy in the world would have the potential to collapse overnight. 

Our world stands on the backs of teenage girls being taught to buy foundation in order to conceal their acne. ”

Our world stands on the backs of teenage girls being taught to buy foundation in order to conceal their acne. It convinces older women that this newly discovered, overpriced product will magically clear the wrinkles they should be so ashamed of having. It preys on the innocent minds of children corrupting them into thinking they look less than ideal just because they have body hair they haven’t learned how to get rid of yet. 

The average girl, or rather child, starts shaving her legs at the ripe age of ten, and for most kids, that is when they are in fifth grade. From there on out, those children will turn into women who will spend upwards of $10,000 on hair removal products alone in their lifetime. 

However, it doesn’t stop at hair removal, because in order to be “pretty,” a study done by an environmental group at absnews.go.com found that the average woman uses twelve skin care products a day, containing 168 different chemicals. These products, in turn, can possibly lead to various diseases like skin cancer, but that doesn’t matter to society as long as we look good.

And due to fear of not fitting in, not being appealing enough, or not feeling pretty, the majority of women, myself included, have and will continue using a variety of these products that have the possibility of harming us because that’s what we have been taught since birth. 

For example, although my personal skincare routine consists of only four or five products, my everyday makeup uses eleven products all that go directly onto my face on a daily basis. And despite the reasons I just listed of why this is problematic, I still spend my fair share of money at places like Target’s makeup section, Ulta Beauty, and Sephora. 

However, like everything else, the cosmetic industry also has its good moments—makeup allows people to express themselves in unique ways. The ability to change your look with just a few products is comforting if we mess up, and recently, many brands are becoming more inclusive and less judgmental if you don’t look like the typical, misogynistic standard of beauty. 

But none of this is comforting to the little girl inside of me and so many others who wish there weren’t so many rules to being beautiful. It will never change the fact that our world has convinced us that buying harmful chemicals to put on our face and body is the next revolutionary idea in order to keep our delicate economy alive.