Don't Hurt Yourself for Beauty's Sake
By Kat James
Years back, I was the makeup artist for a photo shoot for Harpers Bazaar, and the subject was a pregnant famous New York City beauty icon.

I remember this woman saying that she’d decided not to breast-feed because she didn’t want her breasts to sag. Breast-feeding, as well as vaginal birth, have been determined to be key aspects of establishing natural immunity in a newborn. Can you imagine making a decision that might negatively impact your baby’s health for his or her entire life—based on vanity?

My world was the fashion world, and there’s no place more rife with beauty-motivated self-sabotage and suffering. I worked with models who skipped meals and took dangerous weight loss drugs they “had no choice” but to take. I was surrounded by women who were covered head to toe in toxic personal care products and teetered on high heels that ruined their feet, knees, and backs, all for beauty’s sake.

And though this superficially driven world was the ultimate place for me to hone my professional makeup artistry, it was also fertile ground for my eating disorder to thrive—which even my best makeup and hair tricks could eventually no longer hide. My own desperate measures for slimness not only led to a nearly deadly relationship with food, but also to a health crisis that forced me to wake up and find another way to live.

Beauty Self-Sabotage On the Rise

The average woman may not wear stiletto heels every day, have silicone implants, or keep regular Botox appointments (although plastic surgery among the masses is on the rise), but eating disorders and experimental prescription drug use are increasing. Everyday women and even teens—like never before—are using drugs for everything from growing longer eye lashes to weight loss.

Trading Slimness for Malnutrition and Addiction

Back in my eating disorder days, I once used amphetamines for a stretch, to control my appetite. Luckily for me, teachers and my mother intervened. Amphetamines were considered dangerous and addictive controlled drugs.

Today, the use of addictive prescription amphetamines for weight loss has become frighteningly commonplace. The trend for using Adderall for weight loss—a drug I’ve personally seen nearly destroy the lives of the women I know who have used it—is truly disturbing. No studies exist to confirm its long-term safety for the thousands of teens and adults now using it for “off label” weight loss purposes. Two of the adult women I know well who were on the drug described themselves as having been “trapped” by it, to the point where they could no longer function without it. Its addictive nature in higher doses (the “weight loss” doses) is well known. Fortunately, they both finally turned to sophisticated nutritional strategies, including my Total Transformation program, which transformed them into naturally mood-, energy-, and weight-stable people.

The draw toward drastic measures doesn’t stop at Adderall. There are those who seek out hormone injections, starvation diets, and even gastric surgery. They, too, are too often trapped in the “what now” phase of consequences no one told them about.

As someone who nearly succeeded at killing myself for beauty, I can relate. Had I not personally let go of my own deadly self-sabotage for beauty, I might never have known my true beauty, and might not have lived to tell the tale of how I cleaned up my act.

Could You Be a Victim of Beauty Self-sabotage? Take this Quiz!

Are you or your friends guinea pigs for beauty? Do you clamor for the latest dangerous promise? Which of these statements can you or your friends relate to?

  • My friend lost lots of weight on X drug, injection, or ultra-low calorie diet, so I’m sold, and that’s why I’m doing it too.
  • I love my designer perfumes and would never give them up, even if I learned that several famous brands tested in a University of Illinois study were found to contain known carcinogens, neurotoxins, and air pollutants.
  • I heard about lipstick containing lead, but that hasn’t really affected my choices.
  • I would never give up my famous-brand hair color if I found out that it contained potentially cancer-causing chemicals, even if health food store brands were safer.
  • If I had acne, I would take whatever drug it took for it to improve, even if there were risks of long-term side effects such as increased risk of stroke (birth control pills).
  • I am eager to try any wrinkle-smoothing acid product (the stronger, the better!), even if it tires out my skin’s own collagen-building cells.
  • I’d never be able to use a natural nail color because that’s not what my manicurist uses. How bad could formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl pthalate be, anyway?
  • Sign me up for the latest teeth whitening procedure, if it can give me the whitest teeth in the shortest period of time, even if I found out that it would make my teeth more porous, sensitive, and prone to staining in the future. What matters is how they look for my event this weekend.
  • I’d rather use a well-known brand of sunscreen because it probably smells better or works better, even if I found out that the active ingredients might be estrogenic, and in some cases, carcinogenic.

Continuing to apply and ingest toxic chemicals from head to toe in the name of beauty must stop. If you checked any of the items above, it’s time to get informed and learn about healthier alternatives.




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