Friday’s chronicle N.18 The cult of “eternal youth” – a today’s mantra.

Reading Time: 13 minutes

What is more powerful and strong than religion, politics and sometimes even love? It is the aim for most individuals to remain young. The desirability to be young forever is a very strong feeling, more powerful and deeply installed in our today’s modern society than anything else. The fact we live longer bring us to a point that we would all like to be at our best for a very longtime. From small cosmetics treatments to heavier and extreme actions, we feel that anything is good to remain young if the result is there. Unfortunately, not always… But still. Aging is brought about by a cycle of various biochemical processes in the body that affect it both internally and externally. These biochemical processes cause the body to degenerate over a period of time, impacting the health, fitness and beauty of an aging individual. The prevalence of anti-aging products and services is becoming more prominent now as the aging Baby Boomers-regarded as the most successful generation born in the 20th century-have spurred a demand for various methods that can either reverse or slow the signs of aging. Estimates indicate that over the next 18 years, individuals from this generation will attain the age of 65 at the rate of 8,000 per day. So aging becomes a main concern and everybody wants to avoid that.


Mirror, mirror on the wall…

According to the Disney classics, all princesses are pretty and all princes are strong and handsome. Inside every girl’s heart there is a little princess seeking her charming prince. Inside every boy there is the hero prince, strong and handsome to be expressed. Basically from our young age, beauty and youth are an important dogma. “Age before beauty” they say. Well more than never today’s main preoccupation of the developed world is to find a way to remain forever young. There are several reasons why we all wish to stay young. First of all, the more we get older the more physically and mentally we have limitations. It is not a pleasant thing to see one’s body to get pains from a unknown origin, or getting a hard time to recover from that nice party on Monday night. Intellectually speaking there are also some effects in aging. We forget things faster and sometimes we also forget the notion of time. So nobody wishes to get to a bad condition as you might live with it for several years. Today, people retires between 60 to 68 years old. According to statistics, you will have still around 20 years to live with yourself. So better use those golden years to have a decent life. One interesting illustration of this idea is the new film called “Youth”. It is a 2015 Italian comedy–drama film written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. It is the director’s second English language film, and stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as best friends who reflect on their lives while vacationing in the Swiss Alps. It is a story of the eternal struggle between age and youth, the past and the future, life and death, commitment and betrayal. The cast also includes Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda. Here is the trailer:

youth the filmThere is another reason why people seek eternal youth. It is a deeper, unconscious and probably higher motivation than others. It is basically the idea of not dying. Youth means being far away from death. When someone seeks desperately to remain young this sounds irrelevant as from a biological perspective we are getting older every day, minute, second, etc.. Blaise Pascal, French philosopher, had a whole theory about it and he believed that fighting the natural course of life, by keeping a joyful, amused and young life, we would believe that death would be far away. At least we would not think about it and focus harder on enjoy a colorful life. He talks about entertainment, amusement as the key for an artificial immortality as while men get entertained, they forget that death exists. According to Pascal, we use goods and activities not, as we self-flatteringly suppose, to certify our achievements or add a touch of bonheur to our inner life. On the contrary, we use them mainly as a way of concealing our bleak inner reality from ourselves and from one another. They are a means of denying our own mortality and hollowness. (Blaise Pascal, Les Pensées).

Cosmetics and youth, the big business

Remain young means often to keep and maintain a young lively appearance. You look young, you sound young and your lifestyle is young. So the way you look is key. In this sense, the aim of people to maintain their youth capital was an amazing market opportunity in Cosmetics and skin treatment. This beauty segment turned to be a multi-billion US$ industry. The global anti-aging market was estimated to be worth USD 122.3 billion in 2013, and is likely to record a strong growth over the forecast period. The report features detailed analyses of the potential growth drivers in this market-the Baby Boomers generation that comprises individuals born between 1946 and 1964, which is now aging and showing a greater inclination towards anti-aging products and services. Anti-Aging Market is projected to grow at 7.8% between 2013 and 2019.The anti-aging market is poised for a healthy compounded annual growth rate of 7.8% between 2013 and 2019 and is projected to be worth USD 191.7 billion by 2019. You can find the full report here
The face cream segment held the largest market share in skin care market globally and is expected to remain the market leader throughout the forecast period. The face cream segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% between 2015 and 2021. The anti aging cream segment held the largest market share in the face cream segment. The anti aging cream segment is expected to reach USD 36.11 billion by 2021. Certain brands like Estée Lauder, Sisley, La Prairie became high-experts in the anti-aging cosmetic care. They invest a consequent part of their sales into cutting edge technology. For most people, a good cosmetic routine is sufficient but for others, they express a need for more drastic changes that only plastic surgery can supply.

Plastic surgery, a slippery road… to where?

The Tv series Nip Tuck symbolized well the interest for Plastic surgery that suddenly got democratized during the years 2000. Remember the famous sentence the doctors always asked: “What don’t you like about yourself”. Cosmetic surgery is booming worldwide as people flock to have millions of operations including breast augmentation, liposuction and Botox. More than 23 million cosmetic and non-surgical procedures were performed in 2013, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). The United States topped the international chart, with almost 4 million people going under the knife or needle, followed by Brazil with more than 2 million procedures. Britain did not feature in the top 10 but was ranked 14 in the world by the number of plastic surgeons, with an estimated 865 in business.
The USA is number one on the list of countries popular for cosmetic surgery, with a total of 1,452,356 procedures made in 2013. Brazil came in at number two on the list, with a total of 1,491,721 procedures in 2013. Mexico hosted 486,499 cosmetic surgery procedures last year, placing it at number three on the list.

“The demand for plastic surgery continues to grow as medical advancements are made and technology improves resulting in a wider array of options for patients,” said ASPS President Scot Glasberg, MD.

Nip-TuckMore and more, there are new procedures to stop our body to get older, so you pretend to improve and keep things great. When we look to the top most popular procedures in 2014, here is a top 5 below in the US. Cosmetic surgical procedures rose 1 percent, to nearly 1.7 million procedures in 2014. The top five surgical procedures were:

  1. Breast augmentation (286,254 procedures, down 1 percent)
  2. Nose reshaping (217,124 procedures, down 2 percent)
  3. Liposuction (210,552 procedures, up 5 percent)
  4. Eyelid surgery (206,509 procedures, down 4 percent)
  5. Facelift (128,266 procedures, down 4 percent)

Despite from these very popular procedures, some emerging trends are rising, especially when it comes to Buttocks. Here are the top 3 most popular procedures that represent the latest trends in the US.

  • Buttock augmentation with fat grafting (11,505 procedures, up 15 percent from 2013 to 2014)
  • Buttock implants (1,863 procedures up 98 percent from 2013 to 2014)
  • Buttock lift (3,505 procedures up 44 percent from 2013 to 2014)

Plastic surgery is very often like a Oasis in the middle of the desert. From a certain distance, it looks amazing and salutary but when you get closer enough you realize that most of the time it is just sand and dust. As much as technology evolves, we get to understand better our own DNA and how our body interacts. One hot topic right now is Stem Cells therapy. It touches a certain limit of modern medicine that now can be overpassed. By being able to produce any organ or any piece of your body, people believe that they could live forever. The holy grail in the understanding of DNA is to understand the degenerative process that makes our cells getting old and die. Some researches believe that by understanding how this process work we could stop it and our cells would never die. This would provide eternal life to people. Some say that the human body develops itself until the age of 24. From this age, the body starts a long and slow aging process. Newsweek published an article about immortality in which the journalist talked about John Martin Fischer work. In the article this is what you could read.
In 2012, the John Templeton Foundation awarded UC-Riverside philosopher John Martin Fischer $5 million to study immortality, and in May, Fischer announced that nearly half of that money would be going to 10 scientific research teams from the United States and Europe. Earlier this year, Prudential Insurance Company launched a new ad campaign centered on a simple prediction: “The First Person to Live to 150 Is Alive Today.” Assumptions say that based on our technology development so far and health overall conditions, that the first person who will live up to 150 years is currently at mid-age. More interesting, in 1999, Aubrey De Grey published a thesis about The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging; a year later, Cambridge awarded him a Ph.D. He believed that by dividing the diseases of old age into seven categories of cellular and molecular damage, and then by working to conquer each category through as-yet-undeveloped medical technologies, it would be possible to “cure” aging—not to stop it, or to slow it, but to repair and reverse it, the way one would restore an aging automobile, and to live indefinitely as a result.
In 2015, the MIT had offered a reward of $20’000 to any biologist who could prove wrong De Grey’s theory. Naturally it is a hard thing to do as aging is a very complex matter. So far we did influence aging by acting indirected to avoid external causes like deseases, war, starvation, better medecine, etc. This helped to multiply by 3 our life expectancy since the Middle-Age. Are we completely wrong about trying to live forever? Probably yes as natural evolution is not looking for this. It is not part of the Nature mechanics. Out of all these, people get assumptions that they should not. That is why some celebrities get younger as much as they were supposed to get older. it is a paradox of our modern times. In deed, “youth sells”.

Youth sells… Youth is the new porn!

Following this trend of “youthism” several businesses settled in the past 2 to 10 years. They display a vision of young people that is timeless, happy and sexy. This generates a big deal online as well as offline. New role models appear and the super stars are not anymore the ones you would have thought. Here are 2 examples of youthism and the power of youth as a very appealing model.

  • C-Heads magazine
  • Suicide Girls

Since 2006 C-HEADS Magazine shows a snapshot of youth culture, bringing together the most talented people.
In print and online the Vienna / Berlin based magazine founded by the two sisters Christine and Sigrun shows the full creative range out of photography, fashion, music, travel, sex, art and culture. Made by women. The focus is on very raw, natural work with characteristic models, artistic fashion, powerful music and a timeless and international shaped lifestyle. C-HEADS readers worldwide usually live in urban areas, are between 17 and 48 years old, are educated above-average, literate and have a strong interest in cultural movements of our time.


In the C-Heads iconography, girls are young, sexy and fresh. They represent a nostalgic vision of youth, timeless, light and very naturally sexy. you can discover more about C-Heads by visiting the official website here:

In this seek for eternal youth, all timeless icons of beauty and youth populates people’s mind. One of these eternal promise of beauty is the glamorous pin up girl. Literally the girl that we pin up on the wall. She represents someone almost unreal of elegance, gloss and sexiness. Generally these women have a sassy personality and a lot of freedom. One interesting  project related to Pin Up girls is Suicide Girls: a modern vision of the emancipated, glamorous woman, with a severe taste for tattoos, piercings and hair color. You can discover more about Suicide girls by reading our full article about them here:


The secret of youth? A healthy life

The main purpose of everybody’s life is for sure plain happiness. Aging i probably a true challenge for humans. being an intelligent “animal” makes us fully conscious that every single day we are getting close to death and the end of our lives. By increasing life expectancy, mankind faces a true challenge of living longer and to manage this lufe extension that progress offeref to us. In true fairy tales from Middle-age, they would say “they lived happilly ever after”. Knowing that people would die at the age of 30 years old, it does not sound as a big challenge for us nowadays. Today’s happy end can actually last for 40 long years and feeling you are getting old is never a great positive feeling. Naturally you can hope for a miracle and trust cosmetics and plastic surgery to keep things tight (not too tight) but the main conclusion is about a healthy life. The secret of youth is as simple as that.
Put yourself in a position that you will live a long and healthier life. Sleep well, eat well, get along with your problems and surround yourself with positive people. No matter the wrinkles, the grey hair ir the lack ogmf energy, you will feel yourself always young.
LA Fountain-of-youth 
Info sourced at Newsweek, Business insider, wikipedia, Wellness study, Express Styles and MIT reports. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rightd available

José Amorim

José Amorim has been working in the luxury industry for more than 15 years. In the past 8 years, he joined his personal passion for digital culture and his luxury background to develop digital strategies for premium brands. He is the founder of and is happy to share his passion here.