The Anti-Aging Trend: Capitalism, Cosmetics and Mirroring the Spectacle

Abstract:

In some cultures, aging is embraced. The experience and wisdom of elders is held in high regard. In American capitalist culture, however, signs of aging are met with increasing resistance. Appearing “old” has become undesirable. At present, the existence of an expanding anti-aging industry serves as proof that such societal values are becoming pervasive.

This paper explores the forces behind the anti-aging trend in America, including the influences of capitalism and the media as well as the maturation of the baby boomer generation. The thesis attempts to answer the question of why looking one’s age is currently deemed unacceptable in American culture. It offers a focused base from which to consider larger philosophical questions surrounding the roots of self-image, the body as a commodity and signifier, and the cultural value of the “natural.”
The author plans on continuing her work on this particular subject and intends this paper to be an introduction to the ideological particularities underlying the anti-aging trend.

Full Article (PDF):application/pdf iconKathy-Bayer-Anti-Aging-Trend.pdf

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