Youth obsession in America? Pack your lunch and a change of clothes. That's a really big area to explore.
This has to be a modern day phenomena. Can you picture Betsy Ross wringing her hands in mortification because her face and hair did not emit a youthful aura? That plain house dress disguised her still-youthful figure. She had neither the financial means nor status in society to dwell on creating a youthful appearance. Anyone obsessed with retaining youth pre-modernity were the rich-the very rich.
When did this obsession reach and addict the general population? Cover Girl? Cosmopolitan? Playboy? This is definitely a modern day phenomena perpetuated by the media. The media tells us we should want to stay young; the manufacturers provide all manner of "stay young" products; the retailers avidly promote their "stay young" merchandise.
The drive for perpetual youth has fueled the soft goods industry since early 20th century. Ivory soap was not a good thing because it displaced the chore of homemade soap production, but, more importantly, it was capable of making your skin soft and supple. And how can your hands stay young looking if you're using a scrub board and lye soap? Along comes Ivory Snow, gentle on your hands, tough on laundry stains.
You certainly could not be a Flapper without bright lipstick, rouge, and eyeliner.
When did eyebrow plucking become a beauty necessity? You know you're old when you let your brows grow together or too arthritic to de-hairing the legs and armpits?
By the mid 20th century, the youth pursuit was predominant in virtually every soft goods manufacturing business nation-wide. No longer is shampoo just shampoo. You must find the shampoo that brings the youthful look of shine and bounce back to that aging hair. A little color touch-up with that haircut please.
Toothpaste and dentistry rose to meet the youth challenge with whitening formulas and tooth implants instead of those pesky, age-telling portable dentures.
The fat can be sucked out, the boobs and butt blown up, the face stretched and tucked, the eyes made bigger or rounder, nose shortened or sculpted. Bariatric has become a household term and big business for doctors and hospitals. Diet foods, diet pills, diet books, diet coaches.
The beauty industry has generated enough revenue to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, the national debt and the national debt of its three closest friends.
Anyone who doesn't think America is obsessed with youth has been in a coma for the past 50 years.
America is obsessed with youth. You may not think you're obsessed, and you may not be. Just don't let anyone else know. It is your duty to care about and strive for a younger look. The American economy depends on it, and nobody wants to be exposed to your old-looking self.
Will this obsession ever end? Yes, it will. When the pharmaceutical industry creates an Rx which stops the aging process, the Dick Clark youth gene is isolated and mass produced, the birthing experience includes immediate postpartum correction of any non-beautiful attribute, the obsession will be at an end.
Until then, onward and upward goes the beauty industry.