I’ve noticed, with some trepidation, how acceptable it has become for celebrities young and old to transform themselves not just with makeup but with photoshopping—the new rejuvenator.  We have become virtual beings.  Hips are being slimmed, waists are being trimmed, bodies are being made ‘perfect.’  And, age is no longer the primary reason to airbrush or photoshopp.

Whether it’s Jessica Alba, Kelly Clarkson or  Madonna, each is happy to project their photoshop best on magazine or CD covers.

Jessica AlbaKelly ClarksonMadonna

Then the editor of Self–a magazine I’ve always respected as a publication that celebrates the ‘real’ best in women–defended the magazine’s decision to photoshop Kelly Clarkson who appeared on their recent cover.  I knew then that the standards of beauty and health had merged.  The other thing I realized was this—airbrushing and photoshopping is moving downwards.  In other words, even the youngest celebrities with their resilient skin and flexible bodies are still not good enough.  I was gender neutral, what I meant to say was the youngest women!   This is an issue–looking young and perfect–that is primarily the domain of women.  Men are accepted as they are for the most part but women always have to look better, even if it means that photo images are an illusion of you!

That’s what is going on at a surface level.  But, on the product front, I think we’ve tapped into something deeper—a desire to take the best care of ourselves as early as we can.  When speaking to some older women, the common cry is, “I wish I had paid more attention to taking care of my skin when I was younger.  I wish I had used some form of protection when I was in the sun but I didn’t know any better.” These women have made it their mission to encourage their children to be more conscious about the damaging effects of sun exposure and to be proactiverather than reactive.

Clarins2Introducing Clarins Multi-Active Day coming to a retail shelf near you in September 2009–a line of anti-aging products targeted to younger consumers.   As other brands follow suit, it is clear that anti-aging products are no longer the domain of hopeful ‘older’ consumers.  It is also the domain of ‘younger’ women who are looking to prevent the ravages of aging.  Self-Care is being promoted at earlier ages these days and being your best you is a positive thing at any age!