Two Faces ... Two Lifestyles
Published: (July, 2011)
Some time ago, a reader shared photos of two women, juxtaposed to convey the contrast between their diets and lifestyles and the effects each woman's choices had made on her looks.
The email said: I'd like to hear your opinion ... Don't say that just genetics are at play here. For someone pursuing such a healthy lifestyle, the first woman should look much, much better. I have seen this in other health gurus as well ...
As I don't have releases, I'm showing both photos with the faces partially blacked out to block identification.
The first picture's caption read: "the woman is 51 years of age, a TV health guru who advocates a holistic, natural diet--pescatarian, with lots of organic fruits and vegetables."
The second woman, also about 50, is a "TV cook who eats meat, butter and lots of desserts."
You may have heard the expression: Beauty is as beauty does. My own particular take: Beauty is as beauty eats. I have written extensively that beauty comes "from within", that what we eat is reflected in our outward appearance. These two pictures would seem to contradict that message. But not so fast!
Comparing one individual to another is ultimately unfair. If we are truly interested in the effects of diet, the only legitimate pictures are "before" and "after" views of the same individual. But if I stopped there, you might accuse me of avoiding the question.
In my book Your Right to Be Beautiful, I wrote: "Each time I see a woman, I see not only the way she looks, but also the way she could look. What I perceive is how far her image diverges from her potential beauty." Let's get a clearer view ...
The first woman is pictured at her worst--a candid, un-posed shot, without makeup, in glaring daylight. The second woman gets a huge break--she is posing for a professional photographer, in managed light, aided by a team of professional makeup artists and hairstylists, and quite possibly cosmetic procedures.
But that can't be all there is to it. What's likely the main culprit behind the first woman's unsightly photo? Skin care! It makes a vast difference. After forty, skin care becomes mandatory if we want to look our best. Its value mustn't be underestimated.
Some women don't believe in skin care per se. In an effort to live free from chemicals or "unnatural" methods, they will let "the natural look" descend to outright neglect.
That said, I do not believe the first woman looks "unhealthy." I see in her photo no puffiness, no eye bags nor other signs of internal organ overload. I see nothing about her appearance that couldn't be corrected with a good daily regimen of skin care and facial exercises . If I had my way with her, she would be "glowing" in no time.
A candid shot ... and a glamour shot ... and of two different women. Not only is it an unfair comparison, it's neither apt nor informative.
These photos, considered together, do teach us a lesson, however: Please, don't compare yourself to anyone else. The verdict will likely be unkind. And it may well prove disconcerting, demotivating.
Often people come to the raw food lifestyle because they have health problems. The body takes care of the inside first. Often the body lacks the vitality to give immediate positive results on the outside--especially if it's fighting disease and accumulated toxicity - although with time and persistence, genuine health and beauty will reveal themselves.
We must consider each individual case and adjust our expectations accordingly. It's your health, your development that matters. It's not about how you look as contrasted with others, but it is, simply, all about you.
Just as I finished penning this article, I received an email from Sarah Best, the illustrious editor of Get Fresh! Magazine. She wrote that recently in the mainstream media, the following statements have been frequently made by various over 40 celebrities: "losing weight will age you," and "post 40, we simply can't have the face and the body," along with the view that being fat provides us with a great "cosmetic filler." One of these commenters was the second woman pictured above! Talk about synchronicity. So Sarah wondered if I have something to say on this topic: Is it really true that women have to choose between their faces and their figures after 40?
Sure, I had quite a few ideas, so I wrote an article that begins like this: "I'm reminded of a common motif in Russian fairy tales. A knight comes to a fork in the road, where stands a pillar. The writing on the pillar foretells what will happen, depending on which road he takes. The messages we receive - like the knight - don't always make the right choice anymore clear." Read the whole article "Face or body" Can you have it both ways? on Sarah's new website: www.sarahbesthealth.com/.
What You Must Know About Cosmetic Labels!
I'm all for honest competition. I have been telling you the truth to the best of my knowledge about raw foods and why I eat only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their unprocessed form and do not eat anything from a container.
And I will continue to tell you things as they are, no matter whether you favor my products or not. So...if my cream is not raw, then is it still good? It is the best I was able to formulate. When we do use a preservative, we choose the one that does the work with the tiniest possible concentration.
Why am I using the most potent oils I can find and the most effective formula I could possibly put together? It's for one very simple pragmatic reason. I am the biggest consumer of my own cosmetic products--every last one of them. And staying healthy and looking good is important to me. In the same way that I don't eat cooked foods to avoid toxins, I'm also not going to introduce them into my body through the skin, and I want to know exactly what is in the skin products I'm using, so I insist on full disclosure. I want to know the truth, so Ican decide, and decide on the basis of solid information, too.
Even though the Anti-Aging Facial Cream has been our best-selling item for the past six years, we've now changed the formula slightly. One thing we did was to triple the concentration of Sea Buckthorn Oil . Why? Because I am getting "chronologically" older and I do notice that keeping the skin youthful and glowing requires more effort and more help. So I began experimenting with higher concentrations of this amazing ingredient. And I found that our new formula with three times more Sea Buckthorn oil gives more protection against aging.
What's so good about this oil? The Sea Buckthorn plant is native to mountainous regions in Siberia. The extract of its berries has been used for centuries in Asia, Russia, and Scandinavia, where it has been prized for its restorative properties. People find that it aids in the healing of skin damage from radiation or the sun, acne, skin ulcers, burns, irritated or dry itchy skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and wounds. Its nourishing, revitalizing, and restorative action seem to have no limits.
Sea Buckthorn's red and yellow berries offer several essential vitamins that are usually only found individually. The berries contain a high percentage of Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene (pro vitamin A). The vitamin C content is among the highest for any plant. Combined, these powerful antioxidants function as part of the body's natural defense system, combating wrinkles, dryness, and other symptoms of aging or neglected skin.
I am now using this improved version of the Facial Cream, and we'll no longer produce the original formula. My inviolable rule: I will not offer you anything I am not using personally. The good news for you--even though Sea Buckthorn oil is one of the most expensive oils there is, there will be no increase in price.
How many cosmetic products manufacturers, cosmetic company owners, cosmetologists, or dermatologists place their own pictures on their creations? No one I know! My complexion is my proof. By displaying my own photo on my products, I keep myself continuously challenged. I'm over 50--but don't look it! Exceptional results for me...exceptional results for you. To get the most out of our moisturizer, be sure to incorporate facial dry brushing.