Beauty is subjective.
Let’s just start with that assumption. And it’s especially true when you cross cultural borders.
Most American women, and many around the world, have accepted that Asians, and specifically Korean women, are actually at the forefront of defining beauty and introducing new treatments, products and techniques to the rest of us.
But there is much to be said about American women and our perspective on beauty.
Especially when compared to our Asian sisters, our obsession with a bronzy glow can seem a bit silly.
Most Asian women are equally as obsessed with shading their skin from the sun and maintaining a milky white complexion throughout their entire lives. And for the most part, this has been ingrained in them for centuries; for them, skin color is not an indicator of access to beachy waves, or even race, but rather class. “If your skin is dark, it is like you work in the fields,” explains one blogger, and the implication is if you work in the fields, you are poor.
But in America, bronzed skin makes most women feel more attractive, confident and even slim.
So many young women spend their teens and early 20s baking in the sun. Until you hit somewhere in your mid-20s or 30s and start to see early signs of skin aging and get educated on sun damage.
That’s when we opt for the best bronzers, body lotions and spray tans we can find. We still aspire for that bronzy glow and just get smarter about how to achieve it.
While the fingernail fascination is stretching across the globe, there are few places in other parts of the world that are as concerned with perfectly lacquered nails like we are in America.
Brits for example, don’t understand the extra time we take to pamper ourselves and as one blogger explains they “throw on torn jeans, take a 2-minute shower, drag a brush through our hair and do our makeup on the tube.” They just simply don’t have the time for this luxury.
In France, women might paint their nails now and again, but most nail salons (if you can find one), are usually quite empty! Which is good for you on your next Paris vacay because you won’t have a hard time getting an appointment!
For many American women though, we see our mani/pedi sesh as an opportunity for socially-acceptable “me time.” Enjoying an afternoon at the nail salon means you get to unplug and relax. And because it’s so trendy, there are nail salons on virtually every corner, often next to the Starbucks, so you’re likely to kill two birds with one stone.
Perfectly manicured nails and a coffee to go please!
While most countries will agree that dental hygiene is important, most don’t understand Americans’ obsession with excessively white chompers.
Excessively white teeth paired with our tendency to smile at strangers (another habit we have) is seen as quite strange to many non-Americans.
But we will wear braces and retainers for half our childhood, and then obsessively try to compensate for all of the coffee, soda and other bad habits we have that cause discoloration by investing in the best teeth whitening products we can find.
One common and easy solution (that won’t cause teeth sensitivity) is to find your staple red lip color. Darker shades will contrast your teeth (whatever shade of white) and improve your smile.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
While this beauty trend is not totally exclusive to Americans, many would agree that we feel this pressure the strongest in the states.
Aging is seen as simply unacceptable.
In fact, 93% of women say that the pressure to look young today is greater than it’s ever been according to one survey by Allure.com.
Not only that, but men say that women are their most beautiful at age 28. So what happens after that?
In response, we become best friends with our esthetician or the friendliest cast member at our local Sephora so that we always have access to the latest and greatest skin care.
Because by a certain point you’ve tried at least what feels like, every trick in the book and product on the shelf with minimal results, many American women find themselves searching for natural alternatives to the products with harsher chemicals and less-than-earth-friendly ingredients.
This is one reason that microcurrent treatments have become so popular. Microcurrent therapy is a low-level electrical current delivered through a facial toning device that can help improve facial contour, skin tone and reduce wrinkles, giving you a more radiant, younger-looking appearance.
Regardless of what other cultures might think – good or bad, it’s safe to say that American women have a distinct perspective on beauty. Cheers to American women and what makes us all unique and beautiful!
ALWAYS BE IN THE KNOW
Check back next week as we celebrate our American Independence the SoCal way!
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