Who Are We?
Why being happy the way we are matters
What was once considered our safe space is no longer sacred. In our social media t here are unwarranted advertisements , spam bots and unsolicited comments that appear in our feed. Wherever we scroll, we’ re bombarded with unrealistic beauty ideals. Whether it’ s to achieve that fair, flaw less, porcelain skin akin to a K-drama actress, or reshaping oneself to beth inner like a Hollywood actress, it begs the question— why are we subjecting ourselves to t his when we should just be content with how we actually look? We spoke to industry inside rs who launched an interesting campaign called #LawaGembira to counteract beauty marketers who prey on people’ s weaknesses. Instead of trying to change who you are, they remind us to focus on embracing what you have. RadziqJ ala lu din, Business Development Manager of Skin Va let (skinvalet.com.my) shared ,“We see a boom in the cosmetic industry as a whole but there are exploitative marketing styles .”# Team CLEO investigates where i tall began, whereto draw the line, and how to sniff out the predators before they pounce on your weaknesses.
When it comes to beauty ideals that’ s more than skin deep, there area ton of factors that come into play. In the Malaysian context , one of t he main issues stem from the relative ease in registering beauty products. Narqes Mohd Raimi, another founder of Skin Va let, used to be a pharmacist and also worked in the government for seven years, at the product registration centre. She revealed that it was simple to get your product registered and on t he market.
“You can get [your products registered] on the spot. In a day we can get thousands of registrations. But what we do is post-market surveillance, we get complaints and issue product recalls ,” she explained. These products have a harmful effect on skin and people are t hen desperate to seek treatment.
“It happens all over South East Asia; people use things with illegitimate ingredients and they see side effects. Then t hey come to our Medispa, seeking assistance,” she continued. The remedy to t his? Educating consumers on making t he smarter choice .“Most times people accept what they see in these unscrupulous adverts at f ace value. We usually educate our clients about what t hey need and customise, and tailor their treatment to their needs and their budgets, but that’ s about it. We never push them to change anything,” explained Narqes.
Where didi tall begin? To trace back a starting point would be near impossible, but it wouldn’t be too far off to blame the media—mass and social—for the ideals they plant in our psyche. From overly-Photo shopped celebrities on glossies to spotless Ins tag ram feeds, we’ve always had some sort of unrealistic i deals to conform to.
“The way individuals define beauty all differ. Whatever it is, it seems that we perceive beauty based on popularity, idols, Hollywood—that’ s how cosmetic surgery and procedures evolved ,” explained Dr Shauqi, a co-founder of Skin Va let .“Even now the double-eye lid trend from Korea, it’ s on a downward spiral. Soon it’ ll beat rend to have single eyelids ,” he continued, only highlighting how beauty ideals are defined in a populist context. Unfortunately, because of the pervasiveness of the Internet and our smartphones, even younger children are exposed to beauty brain washing—the ideals that if you’ re not fair, you’ re not attractive. Case in point, Dr I smaliza I smail , another co-founder of Skin Va let shared t he ordeal her children had togo through, due to terrible marketing tactics .“My kids have tan ned skin , and t here was one day my eight- year- old refused to go to school. We found out it was because her friends said‘ We don’t want to be friends, you’ re brown, you’ re not fair ’. This left us gob smacked ,” she said. Where is this coming f rom?
THE BEAUTY YOU’ RE IN
When you dig deeper, it’ s a chicken- egg situation , where marketers exploit people’s weaknesses, but at t he same time, wet end to gravitate towards certain beauty ideals. And the unfortunate outcome? Terrible effects on your skin.
“Because of in securities, Malaysians like to use whitening products. We noticed that there were so many complications that are rampant from the development of products. Skin changes from the use of these products include acne breakouts , pigmentations and soon. They become difficult to treat ,” says Dr Shauqi. “There are also a lot of ir res pons bi li ties when it comes to treatment, injections that are not approved by the government and that’ s when we start to see all sorts of complications arise.”
How does accepting your skin fit within the context of am edi-spa—which is a business on skin and facial treatments you ask ?“# LawaGembira means you are beautiful , and you also f eel happy with yourself. We wanted everything to be positive, and to deliver something much-needed but very truthful. You need to accept the way you are and when it comes to aesthetics, it’ s about getting healthier skin. Healthy skin means beautiful skin, and that’ s that. It’ s not about changing the way you look, because you accept t he way you are,” emphasised Radziq.
“We don’t want to be your friends. You’re brown. You’re not fair.” This left us gobsmacked. Where is this coming from?
“Uh, I don’t feel real...”