The Impacts of the Beauty Industry On Self-esteem

Apr 26, 2020 | Wellness

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Do you think the beauty industry impacts your self-esteem?

Whether it is through advertisements or social media, women are more and more exposed to photoshopped pictures, made-up faces, and injected bodies.

Society has redefined beauty standards that are today unreachable, to the detriment of women and their self-worth. So, is the beauty industry truly making us a favor. How bad does the beauty industry impact self-esteem?

Before starting, I would like to precise that I have nothing against makeup, surgeries, or any other products and services derived from the beauty industry. I also use some of them and after all, it’s your body, you are free to do whatever you want with it.

It is when cleaning my makeup drawer the other day that I realized the ridiculous amount of money that went in these foundations, lipsticks, and nail polishes.

I asked myself: Do I really need all of this? What was I thinking when buying this much makeup?

Well, of course, I don’t need all of this, but the beauty industry convinced me otherwise.

Where it all started

Since being a teenager, I was put in the face TV adverts and video clips exposing women with perfect bodies, faces, and looks.

In another way, I was also seeing celebrities put down in magazines when they were seen bare-faced, in tracksuits, or having appearing cellulite.

Therefore, I grew up thinking that going out without makeup, having hairy legs and fat rolls wasn’t very attractive.

On the other hand, I was convinced that makeup, razors/epilators, and diets were integral parts of a woman’s life.

Now that I am an adult, a grown-up woman, I would like to say that I learned and understood that it is not truth.

But the beauty industry and now social media are constantly pushing us to believe the opposite.

I already wrote an article where I talk about the impacts of social media on mental health and how it was correlated to the fitness industry.

With the beauty industry, it’s pretty much similar.

Do you often see women on Instagram without any makeup on? Showing their pimples and dark circles?

Even though we tend to follow our favorite celebrities on social media to see them in their day-to-day life, we often can’t relate to their content.

With all of this, it is normal for us to compare ourselves, consciously or not, and to find ourselves ugly when seeing our reflection first thing in the morning.

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The beauty industry is above all an industry

So of course, the beauty industry takes advantage of the situation to develop endless products and services. Like every other industry, it is creating a need.

From makeup to injections, through surgeries, hair removal, microblading, teeth whitenings, manicures but also anti-aging cremes and serums.

The number of products and services that emerged in the past years is crazy.

Can you imagine how much money we spend because we aren’t happy with ourselves?


The impacts of the beauty industry on self-esteem

The bad news is, consuming these products and services might make us feel more beautiful and confident when we use them…

But did you notice how our hands look like those from a teenager when we remove our fake nails?

How tiny our eyes look when we don’t have our lashes on?

And what about the perfect glowy skin that disappears once we wipe our face with makeup remover?

That’s where the problem lies. The beauty “remedies” that we are offered definitely enhance our appearance. But our self-image worsens every single time we use them.

Therefore, when we are in our natural state, we feel bad about ourselves, compare ourselves to others and wonder what people would think if they saw us like that.

So we go back to beauticians, keep wearing makeup every day, and spend our savings to feel beautiful and confident again. And so on, for an entire life.

In the end, it is a dependence. Yes, like drugs.

The new standards of beauty

The things we used and got done for special occasions before are now common and even vital for some people. All of this because the new beauty standards are surreal.

In 2020, one of the most successful and followed woman is Kylie Jenner. I totally agree with the fact that Kylie Jenner or not, we are all free to do whatever we want with our bodies.

However, what is alarming is the number of people who approve this physique, link it to her success, and consider it as beauty goal.

Even worse, the number of young girls who want to look like her.

This is an example among many others that these kinds of women do not represent reality.

But if beauty institutes can be found around every street corner nowadays, it is because the demand is there.

A study conducted by YWCA USA identified that the number of surgeries increased by 500% between 2007 and 2017.

And again, this only concerns surgeries. Is it a coincidence? I don’t think so.

That’s why we can see countless women with perfectly shaped eyebrows, voluminous eyelashes, smooth looking faces (at first sight), extremely plump lips, very round breasts, or long nails, just by walking around the streets.

Wanting to look perfect as soon as we wake up is taking away authenticity and what initially makes us unique; our particularities and our natural beauty.

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Natural is not considered as normal

I clearly include myself in all of this, especially when I went through a tough period of hormonal acne.

Foundation was my best ally; it covered myself, my problems, my discomfort. But when removing it at the end of the day, it was a confrontation with myself again, and everything that I wanted to hide to others.

Reality was there; I had acne, it was part of my life.

In your opinion, why did I insist, every day, on putting foundation on, even if I was going to be outside for 5 minutes only?

Well, because I never saw, nor on adverts, fashion shows, or even movies, women with acne. So if we believe everything we see around us, a woman is not supposed to have acne.

And this is only an example among many others…

We can talk about dark circles, hairy legs/armpits/bikini line, about grey hair…

All of the things that we experience in our lives as women but that are considered as “ugly” or associated with people who don’t take care of themselves.

Why isn’t it considered as normal? Just as with men?!?!

Why, we, as women, need these many products in our lives to be worthy? How did they convince us that we are not good enough as we are?


Beauty develops from the inside out, not the opposite

Because yes, you are beautiful just as you are. You don’t need 20 cm-long lashes and nails to be feminine.

You don’t need lip fillers or XXL booties to be a luscious woman.

Ladies, you don’t need to fill your wrinkles to appear young and dynamic. Nor do you need to have breast implants to be sexy.

We don’t need to wax to be attractive, nor make-up to be beautiful. We only need to learn self-love.

Self-confidence does not come from our physique but from our state of mind.


Learning to love natural beauty

You will probably tell yourself that these are fine words but that they are not applicable.

But just imagine waking up in the morning and feeling beautiful.

Imagine going to your beautician once in a while because you appreciate it rather than every 3-weeks because you need it to feel great again.

That is actually possible!

It can start by sorting out the content you consume on social media. Yes.

Stop following unauthentic people who make you feel bad about yourself. Follow people who you can connect with and who aren’t scared to show who they truly are.

Reduce the amount of makeup you put in your face, the frequency of your beauty appointments, only to start appreciating yourself without superficial embellishments.

You will notice that people actually don’t really care if you don’t have nail polish on or that your eyebrows are not perfectly plucked.

And if someone makes a negative comment about your physique, know that this person doesn’t deserve to be in your life. Yes, even if it is your presumed best friend or boyfriend.

Moreover, practice affirmations. Tell yourself that you are beautiful. Not when you have a full face of makeup on though, when you wake up in the morning.

It is difficult, but don’t stop, keep going. Believe me, it will become easier and easier.

Also, stop judging yourself, stop being sorry for not being put together, stop being so hard on yourself.

Never ever forget that beauty comes from the inside. If you convince yourself that you are perfect just as you are, you will convince others as well.

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If I did it, you can too

To follow up with my hormonal acne story, I eventually got tired of hiding myself to please people’s eyes.

If you want to learn more about how I regained confidence back when still having acne, check out this article.

Today, I am not dependent on my foundation anymore and this has nothing to do with the fact that I cured my acne.

I learned to love myself for who I am, whatever I looked like. If I did it, you can too. 

Does that mean that I don’t wear makeup anymore? No, I still love putting on mascara and a bold lipstick, but I don’t depend on it.

Does that mean that I am confident every day? Not at all!

I still have my days where I feel meh but that’s totally fine! If a little bit of concealer and powder makes me feel better about myself, I’ll go for it and tell myself that the next day will be better.

My aim is to make you realize that you don’t need anything else than yourself to be and feel beautiful.

Makeup, fake nails, eyelashes, and all the rest should be fun! Don’t make it a necessity if you don’t want your self-esteem to be affected.

It is pretty much the same with permanent makeup, injections, surgeries that are more and more popular and accessible.

Think about it carefully before getting something done to your body. Will this really benefit you or is it a passing fad you saw on social media? Might you regret it 10, 20, 30 years from now?

Anyhow, your choices are respectable and you are in your right to do whatever makes you happy.


How do you feel about this article? Do you join my point of view or do you think that women should take advantage of the many products and services offered by the beauty industry?

Leave me a comment below or come chat with me about this topic on social media @vlourish!


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my name’s Virginia

I’m on a mission to help women understand, trust & love their body🦋 

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