Beauty, grooming and mental health have long intersected. As a psychological signifier of our mental well-being, beauty is crucial. Historically when we felt good, cleansing ourselves, grooming ourselves and doing makeup and hair serve to increase confidence and self-esteem. Conversely if on a downhill spiral, many would stop doing basic things like washing themselves, wearing makeup and brushing their hair and teeth. These changes, note mental health professionals, are symptomatic of an episode of ill health or evidence of overwhelming depression, anxiety or a range of diagnoses.
Most recently however, things have been complicated by the advent of social media. The beautification bar has been raised ever higher for women and men, who, will scroll through images of perfection and compare themselves adversely. Lucy Sheridan, the world's first comparison coach, who has also teamed up with Foreo, reckons that a great proportion of UK women are experiencing a confidence crisis linked to social media scrolling. So whilst a bit of beautification and grooming used to help boost self esteem, helping us 'face the world', they're now a stick we beat ourselves with because we can't possibly live up to those pictures of perfection. The beauty industry, however, can also provide the antidote to a myriad of issues through a mantra that is becoming less superficial and more intertwined with kindness, compassion and therapy.