Why We Should Listen to Lorde: Worshipping Photoshopped Celebs Costs Us $152 Billion a Year

Go Lorde! The songstress du jour has joined the ranks of anti-Photoshop celebs by posting side-by-side images of herself from a show on Twitter. In a retouched image, her skin looks pefect; in an untouched one, it has visible blemishes.

Countless other celebs have also seen their faces digitally altered to remove any indication of —gasp!—horrifying imperfections. Looking through before and after images that have been shared, it's pretty damn easy to identify the three areas most commonly targeted for overhaul: signs of aging (such as wrinkles); skin blemishes; and body flaws.

As it turns out—surprise! suprise!—these elements are also the areas Americans routinely target on themselvesand at quite a premium too. In fact, by our estimates, we spend billions upon billions yearly to look like the celebrities of our Photoshopped dreams. Check out our breakdown of what we pay for perpetual youth, glowing skin and a tight hot bod.

How to Get a Youthful Appearance!
There are few things Americans fear more than the physical affects of aging, from wrinkles and gray hair to sagging body parts. With Boomers getting older every day (time seems to work like that) the age-fighting products industry—which includes everything from wrinkle creams and hair dyes to surgeries and Botox—has exploded. By next year, the U.S. market for anti-aging products is expected to reach an astounding $114 billion, up from $80 billion in 2011. Defying time doesn't come cheap.

How to Get Smooth and Glowing Skin!
Even before dreaded old age sets in, there are still skin "issues" to contend with, including acne, redness and shiny face syndrome. For these quandaries, Americans turn to foundations, bronzers and other cosmetic wonders designed to hide any and all hideous blemishes. The U.S. boasts the largest cosmetics market in the world, with an estimated revenue of around $55 billion. Skin care makes up the largest chunk of this—33.8%—which means Americans spend roughly $18.5 billion in their quest for (the appearance of) unblemished skin each year.


How to Get a Skinny, Sexy Bod!
The eternal desire for the perfect body drives an industry dominated by fad diet books, too-good-to-be-true diet pills, nip-tuck surgeries and countless other schemes that cleverly tap into body insecurities. How much does this journey to the "perfect" body set Americans back? A cool $20 billion a year.

So, to tally it all up, here's what Americans spend—roughly—to look youthful, achieve radiant skin and attain the ideal body each year: $152 billion.

Funny (sad!) how all that money never makes us look like the celebrities in photos...and just as a super depressing side note, economist and senior UN advisor, Jeffrey Sachs, calculates that if we spent $175 billion every year for 20 years...we could end extreme world poverty.

Image or Lorde looking lovely and (we think) untouched: Wikimedia Commons

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