Note: Like all posts, this one in particular is to be noted as opinion, not as medical fact.
Since time immemorial, women have likely devoted more energy to their appearance than men. Yesterday, I read on Into the Gloss that olive and sesame oils were favored in Cleopatra's beauty routine thousands of years ago. In general, women rid themselves of their body hair, wear makeup and lotion and wear tighter clothing (compared to men). And while these elements may make us feel good, I believe it's important to ask ourselves, "at what cost?" Below, I address the three practices above (removal of body hair, the application of makeup and tight clothing) as well as how they can affect our health. Enjoy!
Tight Clothes: There's an old adage that tight clothing (and 7UP) harm the family jewels in men but not much is talked about the effect such clothing has on women. Indeed, it was at an all girl's camp, where I first heard that eschewing undergarments while you slept was actually good for your health. As I got older, I began to hear similar words spouted by those in the medical field. And even in the hazy world of conspiracy theories, I've found it entertaining to read that some think the handbag industry plays a role in maintaining tight clothes for women so that they don't begin carrying around wallets in their pockets.
Like makeup, the female form as been valued for ages. And why not? It's quite beautiful. But, like makeup, at what cost do we feature it as part of an unspoken trend? This area gets a bit sticky. I truly believe women should wear what they want (subscribing, like men, to the general rules of formality and informality depending on the occasion). I don't think women should hide their figures or feel pressure to flaunt them. It's all about choice. And "wear" our health is concerned, information is key.
According to an article (read here) published by CBS News, garments such as Spanx and skinny jeans can go so far as to cause nerve damage or simply meralgia paresthetica which is a general numbness in the thigh. Abdominal pain can also occur, according to Dr. John Michael Li, a neurologist featured in the article. In general, I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to put up with such discomfort for the sake of fashion.
In conclusion, is it less healthy to be a girl? I suppose the decision is up to the individual. We all face choices as men and women. Making the choice that's best for us should not be something gender specific.