IS YOUTH WASTED ON MILLENNIALS? / by Cinthia Contreras

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Photo by me

I felt so identified with this article that I had to share it with all of you. For years I have been practicing the art of eating better and working out, except for a period of time around 2012-2014 where after endless visits to doctors trying to find out the reason why I was gaining the outrageous amount of 7 pounds per month, losing my hair, depressed, etc I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism  not longer after I moved to New York (like this city is not hard enough as it is, add this to the list! Ugh).

For years I tried different methods to lose the pounds I gained, personal trainers, diets, bootcamp, programs, etc nothing worked, I entered a few forums with people with this disease and that pretty much killed my hopes to ever look good again but the drive and strength that we millennials, have allowed me to keep trying and trying, until I found a lifestyle that works for me, a limited one I have to admit, but better that, than being miserable and avoiding mirrors.

When I was doing my research about how to start a blog and what people were really interested in seeing and one of my friends sharply answered "pretty people" and specifically from her I wouldn't expected that answer, but she was right and I am still dealing with this virtual reality.

Now my beauty interest is not only focused in a good diet or working out, it has extended to hair products, body oils, face care and lately googling about laser hair removal, teeth whitening, targeted treatments and I can't believe I'm admitting this but lip injections! for a better angle on my pictures and a sexier feeling (not happening) but I did found myself in sephora looking for a lip plump balm jajaja which of course didn't do anything but make my lips tingle

This search for beauty and need to look good to feel good, I thought it was because of how social media has impacted our lives and constantly triggering us with these absorbent beauty out there. But this impulse to fix what wasn't good in earlier generations and find creative solutions to make possible to lead a better life  comes from within, and Molly Young describes it in the following paragraphs.    

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In a word: Hell, yeah! Never has been a group of people so committed to eating healthier, working out harder, or looking better. Molly Young asks her generation: What's so wrong with ordering that second margarita?

Tuesday, 8 p.m., at a bar in Soho on a warm presumer day. I had plans to meet a colleague for drinks after work. After work-drinks, in my experience, are circumscribed ritual: Each person orders one cocktail over the course of a polite hour, or maybe two glasses of wine just enough alcohol to make conversation slightly more fun but not enough for either party to say or do anything remotely compromising. Te colleague, whom I'll call Emma, arrived already sipping from a bottle of moss-colored celery-kale juice with the price sticker ($10.99) still attached. 

"Are you on a cleanse?" I asked, because the whole point of toting around a bottle of green juice is for people to ask whether you are on a cleanse and then for you to grimace and say, "Yes, and I'm dying."

"No," she said. "I'm just trying to inject myself with as many nutrients as possible. I was thinking I'd just ask the bartender to pour a shot in here", she said, jiggling the bottle. "Really?'

"God, no," Emma said, laughing. "I'm not drinking."

Of course Emma is 29 and wears sunscreen every day. She is not gluten-intolerant but avoids it anyway, just to be safe. She cycles through a wardrobe of luxury athleisure gear that I would value at roughly $5,000 on the basis of the instragram photos in which she wears these items to branded fitness classes. I'm certain she's had preventive Botox. I'm pretty sure she's had subtle lip injections. The idea that she would drink on a weeknight was, to her, literally laughable.

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Emma may be a particularly privileged case- Botox isn't cheap- but she is not unusual in her preference for juice and HIIT sessions over drinks and social cigarettes. Millennials are obsessed with "wellness": We exercise more, smoke less, and eat healthier than previous generations. Companies like Twitter and Facebook attract young workers with perks like on-site acupuncture and farmer's markets, and households headed by millennial parents are the top purchasers of organic groceries. We're on track to be the glowiest cohort of all time. Still, I put "wellness" in quotes because I'm not entirely sure there's agreement on what that word mean, despite the fact that I, a confirmed millennial, have two meditation apps on my phone and consume more greenery than most herbivorous mammals and haven't had a glass of cow-derived milk in half a decade. (I can't prove that my generation is responsible for getting Starbucks to offer almond milk nationwide, but I have string suspicion about it.) Wellness, after all meant something entirely different 40 years ago. Young people in the 1960's knew that cigarettes were bad, but they didn't know how bad. Drugstore foundation did not come with SPF. You couldn't buy tooth-whitening strips on Amazon. There weren't thousands of Youtube tutorials on Pilates arms and barre butts available for free at the tap of a finger. People basted themselves in mineral oil-based solutions and laid out in the sun as a recreational activity, heedless of the (dermatologically catastrophic) consequences. These days, our knowledge base immense, and our self-beautification possibilities are endless. 

"Young patiences are very concerned with preventive methods," says Melissa Doft, a plastic surgeon and clinical assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, who treats some of New York City's sparkliest specimens. "They always question what they can do to help delay aging and protect themselves. my first recommendation is to always wear sun protection and never start smoking." As Dorf's advices suggests, it can be hard to tell the difference between our pursuit of health foe its own sake and the pursuit of health for beauty enhancing purposes. "Stay out of the sun and don't smoke" is irreproachable as medical advice, but it's also the credo of every crow's-feet-fearing woman I know. Our shopping habits bear this out- 40 percent of millennials  either currently use wrinkle creams or plan to start using them soon. 

"The millennial personality is centered around individualism, high expectations, self-confidence, burnishing an image, "says Jean M. Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and the author of Generation Me, a scholarly look at the 23- to 37- old set. Sounds good on the surface, right? But a total lack of irresponsibility may not be the straight path to success that is sounds like. For all modern history, youth has been a time period designated specifically for screwing up. We have a whole vocabulary of phrases devoted to the concept: "youthful indiscretions," "growing pains,"sowing wild oats." overnight and sprinkle them with goji berries than to sow them. (Tinder notwithstanding, a recent study suggested that millennials are actually having sex with fewer people than Gen Xers did at the same age.)

Whatever the underlying motivations, I can't help but wonder whether this wellness obsession signals a shift in social values. In 10 or 20 years, will we look back on our youth with virtuous approval rather than than rueful romance? Are we quicker to embrace health than fun these days? And if so, why? 

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"I think that image preservation has a lot to do with millennials' coming into the job market in the recession and being very concerned about presenting the right image to employers," says Twenge. She also acknowledges that our obsession with exerting self-control could be a reaction to the economic and cultural instability simmering around us: "Millennials" have very, very high expectations for jobs and education, yet reality has not really gotten any easier."

In response, we make decisions where we can, dutifully applying sunscreen and eating our vegetables. This risk aversion leads to unquestionably good behaviors, yes, but also to ones that oddly conservative or limiting. The point of making mistakes, after all, is that you learn from them. You become a more complicated and empathetic person, a person whose imperfections and blunders give way to a nuanced perspective on all the facets of living. I'm not sure it's possible for anyone to choreograph her life to become that person; it either happens or it doesn't. I'm equally certain that green juice doesn't help.

Molly Young for Allure

AND LIKE MY LAST TEACHER SAID OUR GENERATION IS NOT LOOKING TO BUY HOUSES AND START TRAVELING WHEN WE GET OLD AND RETIRED. WE WANT TO LIVE NOW, TRAVEL NOW AND LOOK GOOD NOW!