Body Dysmorphia: Putting Beauty in the Eyes of Everyone Else

Let’s face it – beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the eyes of media outlets that judge people for what they wear. It’s in the eyes of your partner who you want to impress. Sometimes it’s even in the eyes of your partner’s parents, as you head for Sunday dinner in the dress you think his mother will like.

Beauty is seldom, if ever, in the eye of the beholder. No matter how much you insist it is, the barbed words of the outside world may wriggle their way into your mind and leave you feeling defeated about your appearance, utterly defeated.

When the pressures become too much, mental illnesses can begin to develop, the most likely of which is body dysmorphia.

This increasingly common disorder, which mostly affects teenagers, convinces people they’re too fat, too thin, too ugly or too weird looking, no matter what they’re actual appearance. Think of a thousand voices criticising your appearance all day and you’ll have a good idea of what body dysmorphic disorder is like.

The end result of this disorder comes in various forms, from anorexia to self-harm. It’s almost like the logical conclusion of the pursuit of beauty showing its true face, a grim satire of the cosmetic industry showing everyone in a fun fair mirror.

plastic surgery

The culprits

Stoking the flames of insecurity are beauty and celebrity magazines, the types of publications that discuss cellulite A-listers and ‘cankles’ on fat people. The root cause of body dysmorphia is all too clear, and will take an entire societal shift to change.

If you’re a parent worrying about the impact of the beauty industry, there are steps you can take to make your teen feel secure in their appearance.

For one thing, don’t over-worry. Remember when you were a teenager? You pruned and preened with the best of them, but didn’t develop a complex.

A certain level of self-obsession is natural in teens. Skincare and makeup products may even give them a sense of control over their appearance – consider Perricone Cold Plasma Subd or A-derma Skin Cream provided you think they’re not being used obsessively.

Next, try to make sure your kids are following the right role models. There are plenty of YouTube and Instagram personalities discussing body issues in an open and positive light (People like Loey Lane and Meghan Tonjes are great examples of this).

Ditch the mags

If you’re a prolific consumer of beauty magazines, consider hiding them away when you’re out. While you might see them as a bit of harmless fun, the malleable mind of your teen could process them in a far more negative light.

Although beauty might not always be in the eye of the beholder, there are ways to regain control. Try the tips outlined above and you can help make beauty all about you.

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