The idea of youthfulness has captured the thoughts of people for thousands of years. The Egyptians used night creams and oils to moisturize their skin. Applying henna masked graying hair. Animal fat was used topically as a method to treat baldness. Women shaved their body to prevent body lice. Greeks refined moisturizers using olive oil and honey. They knew the ravages of sun exposure so efforts were made to protect themselves from exposure. Indians took advantage of sandalwood not only for makeup but also as a moisturizer. Throughout history efforts have been made to maintain a youthful look. A great example of this is during the Victorian age. Direct sun exposure to the face, especially women with fair complexion, was considered unwise, and therefore, parasols were commonly used. After World War II, there became a shift in the idea of youth. Tanning the skin became very popular because it was a representation of youth, leisure and wealth.
As time passes, advancing technology in the 90’s started a dramatic change in our culture. The Internet along with social media changed the way we communicate. There is more awareness of a healthier lifestyle. Robert Harrison in his recent book “Juvenessence: A Cultural History of Our Age”, he points out how the younger generation has taken the lead in society by influencing our culture so much that the older generation is trying catch up to the way the younger generation communicates. He states “For the first time in human history, the young have been a model of emulation for the older population, rather than the other way of around.” This affects us daily in our lives not only in health and communication, but there has never been a time in our culture where so much emphasis is placed on staying younger looking. Women have more freedom and this not only allows them to express themselves as equals, but at the same time there is enormous pressure to look your best. This applies to both men and women. This leads to the desire for a younger generation to frequently avoid the extensive plastic surgery procedures, which involve recovery time and risks. The idea of non-surgical procedures using injectables such as Botox and dermal fillers appeals to a large segment of the population. Also, technology is quickly advancing to met their expectations. Competition is keener than ever. The art of youth is as complex as you might think. Today, one must decide whether to be isolated and behind the times or to join this generation of energetic intelligent people. We optimistic that they have learned something from the past, and also give us hope that society will move to a better place.