I am sitting in an idyllic place in Ibiza yet the clientele is far from chilled. Its Poseur Ville on the white isle of Spain.
Ibiza is a vibrant island for the young at heart but everyone has taken it too literally. They are relentlessly in pursuit of youth, no matter the cost. Faces are pumped full of fillers, lips with botox and boobs lifted for men as well as women. There is one girl right next to my sun bed. No more than 25. She has already succumbed to the knife. Trout pout, enormous bust and smoothest forehead. You can see she was pretty before but maybe not perfect. Now she is perfect but looks just weird.
Worse still was the vip area of the top clubs. Riddled with wannabes pouting and hoping that wearing as little as possible will guarantee the attention of the rich and famous. After a few hours I got sucked into this vanity frenzy - fretting I wasn't tall enough, svelte enough bla bla.
Throughout time there has always been an obsession with external appearance. We attract like peacocks, the more beautiful the feathers the more virile or fertile the mate. Yet I fear we have today succumbed to narcissism and its full blown effects.
Never has there been more youth enhancing products on the market not to mention the democratisation of cosmetic surgery. Digital has made perfection even more accessible with retouching. The very young now grow up with a diet of stick thin 16 year old blondes as role models. Yet little do they know that live a life of constant struggle with a younger, taller version of them. I covered one of the Paris fashion shows for the Huff last year. The discoveries were staggering. These out of touch specimens of beauty live on a diet of cotton wool (it fills the stomach) and chewing gum.
My question and plea is when is it all going to end.
Education has to start playing a role instead of dogma kids need counsel in self esteem and inner happiness. Parents need to instil a deep unshakeable confidence in their kids, that being imperfect is natural and indeed beautiful. The unique flaws are what make us special and unique.
Governments need to crack down on excessive cosmetic enhancements and divert funds into real cures for illness, both physical and mental.
Dove made a great start at promoting themselves through real girls and women. But they are a lone voice.
I know all about this because I was a victim myself, an anorexic teen and young woman. Then it was an all girls school competition that bogged me down and then magazines full of 80s supermodels. Being thin wasn't my goal but I thought somehow that feeling rubbish about myself inside could be cured on the outside.
I am still conquering my lack of self esteem, goodness only knows how girls of today will turn out. We owe it to them to reverse the trend - let's start the inner beauty revolution.