Is the Media Failing to Promote Authentic Beauty?

Woman wearing mask

Girls Push Again In opposition to Unrealistic Magnificence Requirements

Strain to look younger and exquisite is actual for American girls, however a brand new AARP survey reveals that some are pushing again on these expectations as they age. Many say they might welcome extra reasonable pictures within the media that remember all shapes, sizes, and pores and skin tones.

A latest nationwide survey of greater than 7,000 grownup girls finds most consider magnificence beliefs are largely set by media basically and social media, with promoting, different girls, and males additionally taking part in a job. However how these girls are affected by magnificence requirements and expectations varies by age. Whereas 41% of girls ages 18-49 felt quite a lot of strain to fulfill magnificence requirements, simply 22% of girls 50 and over felt the identical.

The Digital Influence

At this time’s prevalence of picture filters and enhancing instruments to reinforce pictures provides much more strain to look good — particularly amongst youthful girls, in response to the AARP examine. Multiple-third of girls have used these instruments to enhance how they appear on-line or in images, together with 54% of these underneath age 50 and 20% of older girls.

Nonetheless, with regards to magnificence requirements, the analysis reveals girls have nice empathy for one another at completely different levels in life, with many recognizing that pressures round bodily look are hardest for younger ladies. Collectively, on common, girls consider age 29 is when girls are held to the next magnificence normal than girls of different ages.

The Strain to Cut back Indicators of Getting old

When requested about the preferred magnificence requirements as we speak, the highest reply was lowering indicators of ageing, utilizing Botox and fillers, accentuating options, and being match/skinny. Older girls are considerably extra probably than youthful girls to acknowledge some magnificence requirements that enable for being pure, dressing casually, and sporting much less make-up.

About half of all girls admit social media has some affect on their magnificence selections. Girls 18–49 usually tend to be influenced by Instagram than different platforms; for these 50 and over, Fb has probably the most influence.

The Sluggish Tempo of Media Evolution

Because the COVID-19 pandemic, some girls say they’ve develop into extra relaxed about their magnificence routines, with fewer coloring their hair, sporting make-up, and getting manicures. This shift was very true amongst girls working in places of work.

Most respondents (88%) say they love or discover it refreshing that the media is turning into extra various in its illustration of various varieties of girls but many nonetheless do not suppose it usually displays them.

Companies that disrupt the established order stand to realize, in response to the findings, with about three-quarters of girls saying they’re extra probably to purchase from manufacturers that symbolize their age and completely different physique shapes.

As they achieve life expertise, the survey concluded, many ladies care much less about what others suppose and present up unapologetically as their genuine selves for his or her households, amongst buddies, and at work. The AARP examine additionally suggests youthful girls have a possibility to study from older girls about the best way to sidestep societal expectations to be snug in their very own pores and skin.


The analysis relies on a survey of seven,368 girls ages 18 and older; it was fielded November 2–30, 2022. The survey was performed by phone and on-line, with questions posed in English and Spanish. Weights have been used to regulate for disproportionate possibilities of choice, nonresponse changes, and pattern balancing to Census benchmarks on age, schooling, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic inhabitants distributions.

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