It’s no secret that our teenage daughters are under stress to look a certain way, dress a certain way, wear a certain amount of makeup and given societal pressures, be obsessed with weight.

However, it’s no longer just our teenage daughters who are in high school. No, the pressure to be beautiful, skinny and perfect is hitting your little girls at much younger ages, and misguided parents are partially to blame for this.

Last week, Anderson Cooper highlighted some of the problem through a segment called “ridiculust.”

Cooper called out Farrah, of the hit MTV television series Teen Mom, for her actions to make her three-year-old toddler beautiful.

In a recent blog, Farrah talked about her daughter’s unibrow and how she attempted waxing it, but it didn’t go well. So, she resorted to plucking it with tweezers while the child lay sleeping. She even went so far as to say she felt like she was being a good mom because of the action she took to make her child more beautiful. 

While she was taking pride in plucking the child’s eyebrows, she showed she had no pride in spelling or grammar in posting the ridiculous blog.

Anderson’s segment also showed several other moms, many of them pageant moms, requiring their young daughters to go through eyebrow waxing. One of the children could be seen crying to have it done because once before she was burned badly. Of course her mom was in the background stressing the importance of looking good, and that despite the past injury, it was worth it.

We all have some kind of obsession with looks. However, by society pushing the envelope, the price of being “beautiful” is costing us more than what’s in our pocket books.

However, since money does speak volumes in today’s world, I thought I would share some numbers I found about how much our bank accounts are hit in the name of beauty, especially for women. Some of these numbers are a few years old, so they may be even higher now.

Let’s start with beauty products – It is estimated that more than $7 billion a year is spent on cosmetics. It is estimated that one year of college tuition is equal to five years of beauty products purchased by teenagers

It is also estimated that if instead of paying the fee for a monthly manicure and pedicure, put the funds into an investment account.  After 10 years, a person could save more than $10,000.

Over the last decade, cosmetic surgical procedures have reached outrageous highs. It is estimated that more than $11.7 million is spent each year on surgical and non-surgical procedures. That’s an increase of more than 500 percent from a decade before. 

Now, let’s look at what is costs us in values and principals. Margaret Mead once said, “Today our children are not brought up by parents, they are brought up by the mass media.”

Advertisers are aware of their role in recruiting these young impressionable and inexperienced consumers, touching on their insecurities and anxieties.

So, while the Farrah’s out there are patting themselves on the back for making their child look more beautiful, these young ladies are growing up to help increase the number of cases where a teenage girl has a low self esteem and gives into eating disorders, binge drinking, which then leads to an increase in date rape and teen pregnancy.

Teenage girls today are engaging in more risky behavior than generations before, and some of their mothers are to thank for creating the psychological and pathological issues. They are going to have problems adjusting and realizing that what’s important has nothing to do with whether or not your eyebrows are plucked, but on you believing in yourself and doing your best in all facets of life, and not just in beauty.

(1) comment

John J Flanagan

The social pressure to blend in and to look beautiful, especially for young women and teenage girls, has always been prevalent in our narcissistic culture. A combination of advertising, celebrity worship, and peer pressure are strong influences.
To be fair to the truth, however, it is not just a product of our society, but rather is a mirror of humanity in general. For example, a film documentary on tribal life in Africa, in an area where there are neither televisions nor other outside influences, young women are pressured to dress and act in a conforming way with the goal to attract a spouse.
In the basic and primal environment, the subject of the article is manifested across the world in most societies.

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