Our culture has become obsessed with defying the ageing process, and we will take extreme measures to remain looking fresh-faced. But how and why do we have this fixation with youth? Here we discuss the reasons why we are all obsessed with staying young.
As a culture, we have a preoccupation with famous people. Celebrities today are using a variety of anti-ageing techniques that make them looking younger at 40 than they did when they were in their early twenties. This has had a substantial effect on men and women of all ages and has us feel that growing old gracefully and naturally is out of the question.
Celebrities are often the face of many cosmetic products which promote anti-ageing. Most people in the public eye will have had some form of cosmetic surgery on their face or body in order to make them look younger. And yet, when they have become so obsessed with looking young and have overdone the botox and cosmetic surgery, we laugh at them.
You cannot switch on the television these days without being confronted by an advert for the latest age-defying moisturizer or hair colourant. We are constantly encouraged to deal with our wrinkles, ageing spots and grey hairs. We are made to believe that it is unsightly to let our bodies age naturally. With the number and variety of products available, it is no wonder that we feel pressured to buy into this movement. However, it is possible that these manufacturers are just taking advantage of our obsession with youth. The anti-aging ingredients in their products are thought to be much less effective as they claim to be.
We aren’t only becoming more and more obsessed with ageing; we are also fixated on our appearance in general. The term “selfie”, which now has a definition in the Oxford Dictionary, has taken on a life of its own. These self-portraits are taken and then shared with the world on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
And it is not only us regular people taking part in this fad. Celebrities and politicians have also enthusiastically adopted the practice of taking a selfie. The impact of selfies on plastic surgery is massive. People feel more like a celebrity when they share their pictures online. The more and more selfies are taken the more individuals notice signs of ageing and look to cosmetic surgery to fix them.
We are bombarded with images of youthful faces in movies, magazines, billboards and television advertisements. They are depicted as being carefree, exciting and, above all, beautiful. These images make us constantly question our own image and how we too can look like these beautiful, young people.
No matter how hard we try, aging is an inevitable process that every human being goes through. We should spend less time and money feeding our obsession with never ever growing old. We should spend more time concentrating on the wisdom, experience and self-understanding that comes with growing old.