American Women Have Deep Pockets For Superficial SpendingSThe YWCA has released a report called Beauty At Any Cost, reports Reuters. The nonprofit has found that U.S. women spend $7 billion a year on cosmetics and beauty products: An average of about $100 a month each. The report notes: That $100 a month, if saved and invested for five years, would pay for a full year of tuition and fees at a public college. And we're not just talking about blush and lip gloss: cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures (Botox, lipo) are up 446% in the last 10 years. And the truth is, you could do a lot of things with an extra $1,200 a year besides spend it on your appearance. Like maybe get a shrink?Because let's face it: The younger generation is fucked. Eight-year-old girls are getting pedicures and bikini waxes — won't these become life-long habits? Next come the boob job at 16 and lipo in the early 20s. Some people make fun of rappers for spending their money on cars and bling but at least you can try and pawn your diamonds, sell your Benz. What kind of investment is Botox? What kind of lessons are young girls learning when our culture focuses so much on looks? One can only imagine the psychological ramifications on today's young girls who are faced with padded bras, thongs and looking up to whitewashed or size 00 celebrities. And what of the young women who can't afford $100 a month in beauty products? Are they actually better off, in a way? (What are the chances they'll see it that way?) This study was done in conjunction with the documentary America The Beautiful. It's so frustrating that this film is rated R when The Dark Knight is PG-13; meaning that millions of kids saw the Batman film when they really need to examine their priorities. Don't get it twisted: It's fun to play with makeup and haircolor. For plenty of girls, it's not even about attracting the opposite sex. But the overwhelming focus this culture has been placing on looks has got to be damaging to the younger generation. (Don't forget: Girls today think being called sexy is the ultimate compliment.) It's clear that we need to make a change: How do we even begin? Botox And Blush Obsession Seen As Cause For Alarm [Reuters] Earlier: Waxing Teen Girl Gets Lipo To "Prevent" Eating Disorder How Many 8-Year-Olds Have To Get Bikini Waxes Before We All Agree The Terrorists Have Won? Young Girls Today: Tramps In Training? America The Beautiful Reveals Ugly Truths Today's Teens Believe It's Better To Be Sexy Than Clever

[Photo via Megan* on Flickr.]