The Dangerous Cult of Youth

A major overhaul in the landscape of the beauty industry has changed the way that we think and talk about ourselves, our bodies and our skin. The push for positivity and acceptance is a sharp turn away from the way that many people get indoctrinated into beauty and that is by way of torture as a means to improve, alter or repair. 

Still, there’s one area that remains untouched by the newest age wisdom of the last decade and that is, aging. If you’ve witnessed any anxieties over side parts vs. middle parts in that last week, you’ll know that lately, looking your age has fallen out of favor. 

"If you’ve witnessed any anxieties over side parts vs. middle parts in that last week, you’ll know that lately, looking your age has fallen out of favor."

@madskincare

me: a millennial who rocks the middle part to hide my bald patch from the side part #genz #millennial #hairstyles #hair #BeautyEssentials #sidepart

♬ original sound - Nikolai Hauck

Across cultures, youth remains a signifier of beauty and whether that is for biological reasons (aka reproductive capacity is heightened in youth) or for ideological ones, the fact remains the same that when people are praised for their beauty, youth is part of the equation.

Recent explorations into the negative side effects of our collective obsession with the young like the New York Times documentary, Framing Britney Spears, which provides a framework for understanding that this preoccupation simultaneously encourages women to behave older than they are, while praising their youthful appearances, has demonstrated that this juncture is dangerous and sinister. 

And while all of us know this, we will still spend an excessive amount of time outrunning the clock. The positivity pendulum has not swung as far to declare “I am old and proud!”, yet. In fact, many older women and men complain about the feelings of invisibility and irrelevance that accompany advanced age. 

"Social media becomes a place to celebrate what people *used* to look like."

Social media becomes a place to celebrate what people *used* to look like. Here’s a ‘Young Joe Biden’ and cue the heart emojis or further amplifying the profiles of people who present as younger than their given age. Angela Basset is HOW old? Meanwhile, while we will not name the women who do this, many celebrities cover their hands with gloves as they know that the hands are a dead-giveaway for betraying signs of aging even if your face does not. 

Without demonizing the plastic surgery industry either, it is important to consider that even 20 years ago, Botox was an experimental and controversial procedure. You can now have your Botox done in your own home and women and men in their late teens and twenties subscribe to the idea that it is necessary for them as a “preventative measure.”

But what’s so wrong with having a wrinkle or two anyways? Your laugh lines mean you laugh. Your wrinkles can show that you’ve made it this far in life. Being frozen in time seems like an actually awful idea. In 2018, beauty publication Allure declared that they would remove the word “anti-aging” from their beauty lexicon but they never provided an alternative and it seems like we’ve all just decided to slip back into the pool of obsessing over being young. 

We’re not having it anymore. Skincare is not a preventative cure all for aging and we believe that caring for yourself and your skin is not limited to the purpose of maintaining youth. The foundation of this brand is to Dieux better for ourselves and our surroundings and we think that eliminating harmful stigmas about aging is an important aspect of that.