New research reveals that one in two (46%) young women will go to any length to achieve their perception of beauty, with half (48%) feeling more empowered when they have good skin.
Australians spend an estimated $1 billion on cosmetic surgeries and procedures every year, with $350 million spent on wrinkle reduction procedures from Botox alone.
The number of cosmetic procedures available are forever increasing and there is now more choice than ever. Yet, 86% of women believe that we are taking cosmetic procedures too far.
Clinical psychologist, Dr Zac Elizabeth Buchanan says that women have been largely objectified by society, "It starts from an early age; from being praised for being a 'pretty girl', to being repeatedly told by the media that in order to be successful, admired, or be treated with value, you must look 'perfect'," says Dr Zac.
The research from Andalou Naturals reveals that the pressure to look good leads a quarter (25%) of all women to undergo a cosmetic procedure, with one in five (19%) undergoing invasive treatments.
"Embracing one's beauty should not come at the cost of your self-worth, women should be sure they are doing it to nourish and care for themselves," says Dr Zac.
Surprisingly, 70% of women admit that the overwhelming source of pressure comes from their own high expectations while 30% reveal that their pressure is driven from social media.
Former Olympic Basketball Player, Lauren Jackson, is no stranger to feeling the pressure to achieve beautiful skin. "When I look at myself in the mirror, I see myself ageing and I've thought about trying to fix things about my skin.
"Especially being a high-profile athlete, I really felt the pressure to go to extreme lengths to achieve the perfect skin," Lauren says.
While the research highlights that that a third (30%) of women start worrying about their skin from as young as their teens and early twenties, everyday women from around the country discuss the pressures they feel in achieving their perception of beauty.
Emilia (36) from Melbourne said, "I started caring more about the way that I look from around 12-years-old when I used to look up to my mum and see her applying make-up. Now for me to perform the best I can in everyday life, I feel like I need to always look and feel beautiful."
Ocea (48) from Adelaide said, "I have noticed a big step in my skin ageing over the past five years. My skin has really changed, and it is taking me time to come to terms with it. This has made me quite obsessed with skin care and having a specific daily skin care routine."
Anne (59) from Brisbane said, "I'm now getting a little older, but my skin is still of paramount importance to me, so I'm prepared to spend whatever I can to get the best skin care, that suits my skin."
While half (50%) of women admit they want to make the healthier switch to natural beauty, a quarter do not believe it will be as effective and are turning to other alternatives.
Lauren recommends that women should look for a high efficacy natural skin care regime to suit their specific skin needs. "Women have very different skin; it could be oily, or it could be dry. If you can find something that's going to work, that is enhanced by natural science and is not invasive, I think just embrace natural,"
Andalou Naturals is encouraging women to embrace their beauty and find a customised, performance based natural solution, that is infused with the latest biotechnology, to suit their skin and lifestyle by visiting www.andalou.com.au.
"If you can just be happy in your own skin, then that's all you really need to be naturally beautiful," said Tegan (22) from Rockhampton.
Question: How did you feel reading the results of the recent research including that one in two (46%) young women will go to any length to achieve their perception of beauty?
Emilia Rossi: Andalou Naturals' research is shocking. I can only imagine how some of these women must feel! Don't get me wrong, I also feel the pressure, but it's important to put things into perspective. After having two kids and going through various challenges and experiences in life, it has helped to put things into perspective. I'm very clear about what is really and truly important in life, and for me, it's not "going to any lengths to achieve the perfect look".
Question: Can you talk us through the pressures you felt to look a certain way from a very young age?
Emilia Rossi: I wouldn't say I was pressured but was aware of the way I looked. This was as a result of always being around my mother who did a specific routine every time she left the house. Also coming from a South American background, it's hard to avoid the topic of looking and feeling beautiful since South American women are known to put a lot of effort, time and money into their appearance. But luckily I have never felt this same level of pressure here in Australia.
Question: What did you perceive as beauty?
Emilia Rossi: Beauty is how you feel inside; it's how you portray your confidence to the world. It's the impression you want to leave (and this doesn't mean just by the way you look).
Question: What did beautiful look like to you?
Emilia Rossi: People who have are passionate for life, who are funny and who don't care are the ones who are truly happy and beautiful.
Question: Did you try cosmetic surgeries or procedures?
Emilia Rossi: No cosmetic surgeries but have invested in non-permanent treatments to ensure my fare complexion is kept and presented as best as possible as I take a lot of pride in protecting my very pale skin. It has to last me for many more years to come!
Question: How has becoming pregnant changed your perception of beauty?
Emilia Rossi: It's made me realise that it's not everything. There are so many changes to the body that I would say aren't too beautiful, but there's nothing you can do about it. So I've embraced it and focused on the fact that I grew a perfectly healthy little human. And there is nothing more beautiful than that.
Question: What message do you have for young girls who feel pressure to go to any length to achieve their perception of beauty?
Emilia Rossi: At the end of the day, it's your choice, but I can't stress enough the importance of looking at the bigger picture. Is it so important for you to care that much about how you look? What about the other beautiful things in your life? If only younger people put just as much effort, time and money into the different aspects of their lives, they could enjoy a much more fulfilled life beyond the way they look on the outside.
Interview by Brooke Hunter