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America's Beauty Obsession Poses Serious Consequences for Women and Girls, Report Reveals
Date:8/18/2008

YWCA USA Report Shows Alarming Trends in Cosmetic Surgery and Health Risks

for Women and Girls

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- YWCA USA today released a new report that reveals the impact of idealized, airbrushed beauty and body image obsession on the economic well-being, health and interpersonal relationships of American women and girls. The report, Beauty at Any Cost, shows alarming new trends and money spent on cosmetic surgery alterations, including dramatic increases among young women, and other serious health risks.

Young women and girls are increasingly spending more money and going to unhealthy extremes to achieve an unattainable image of physical perfection, according to Tracy Lakatua, YWCA USA Board Chair. The costs include physical harm, including risks posed by smoking to maintain a low weight and risky cosmetic surgeries; and mental and emotional harm, including low self-esteem and interpersonal problems that create an unhealthy, competitive "mean girls culture." The report also reveals the health risks of unsafe cosmetic ingredients and the consequences of appearance-based job discrimination.

"We believe that the obsession with idealized beauty and body image is a lifelong burden that takes a terrible toll on all young girls and women in this country," said YWCA USA CEO, Dr. Lorraine Cole. "What's really new here is the sheer extent to which women and girls are now willing to go -- literally causing physical harm -- to be 'beautiful,' according to the standards perpetuated by a youth-obsessed media culture with literally thousands of messages, 24 hours a day."

To help raise awareness and start a national conversation about these issues, the YWCA USA has teamed up with documentary filmmaker Darryl Roberts to become the distribution partner of his new documentary film, "America the Beautiful." The film provides an in-depth look and critical analysis of the harm inflicted by beauty obsessi
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SOURCE YWCA USA
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