Health and Beauty
June 2017

In December 2016, the year-on-year sales of the Health and Beauty sectors had grown 5.7%* on the previous years record breaking £4bn, making it the fastest growing retail category.  The words health and beauty is often joined together, forming the term ‘health and beauty’. The term is also closely associated with wellness and wellbeing.

So, what is health and beauty? It is clearly an umbrella term that is used by many people to signify a multitude of things. Another aspects of the term that needs considering is: is health and beauty purely physical (internal and external) or does it include mental and spiritual health? In this article we will include all the above aspects of health and beauty.

The journey in pursuit of health and beauty usually requires a considerable investment of time (perhaps for the rest of a persons life), physical effort and mental will power and a financial input of varying amounts.

One thing that health and beauty is not short of is information; these include innumerable guidelines that range from medical and other professionals to self-taught enthusiast that occupy the blogosphere.

Looking at physical and mental health, recommendations to obtain and maintain good health include eating five portions of fruit or veg a day, drinking x glasses of water a day, exercising 30 minutes 5 times a week etc. It also includes advice on what fruit/veg to mix to layer unto your skin and lists of the relaxing music/sounds that are guaranteed to relieve stress. Every New Years Eve brings with it a multitude of resolutions, the purpose of which is to improve an individual’s health and fitness. Resolutions include, losing weight, increasing exercise, going to bed early and reducing alcohol/caffeine intake.

So that's the health aspects taken care of, but what is beauty. Lets start with the well-known phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Many will agree wholeheartedly and others will vehemently disagree with it. Whatever side of the fence you are on, beauty is a subjective issue; it is not black and white, and there is nothing to say that one person’s perspective is right/wrong compared with another.

A good example of the subjective nature of beauty is the annual magazine polls, covering topics such as which woman is the most beautiful, man the most handsome or who has the best bum, legs etc. The people behind the surveys approach them as if there is universal acceptance and agreement on the criteria that they have used to select the winner. The truth and reality of the situation, is that the categorization they have used is unique to them. If you ask someone else e.g. ‘who is the most beautiful woman in the world’, the likelihood is that they would come up with a different categorization and therefore a different winner.

The third aspect is often termed spiritual; it encompasses thoughts, feelings, emotions, happiness and related actions. Often spiritual health is included in the emotional health/wellbeing category e.g. self-acceptance, self-denial and self confidence, love, having a positive attitude and being able to control negative emotions such as anger. Spiritual health is also often associated with being grateful and appreciating what you have.

At the end of the day, there is a lot more to health, beauty and wellbeing than it appears at first glance.



* RealEconomics.co.uk