Elle talk, Roundtable on Women's Health, Balance, and Well-being:
Innovation and Technology: Women Facing the Mirror

Sep 27, 2023 · 6 min read

Elle talk, Roundtable on Women's Health, Balance, and Well-being: Innovation and Technology: Women Facing the Mirror
From left to right: Vanesa Lorenzo, model and designer; Patricia Ramírez, psychologist and writer; Dr. Claudia Frigo, specialist in reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery at Clínica Planas; Pamela Leyra, project director at ELLE, and Raquel Gómez, Global Director of Mia Femtech's Women’s Health Hub.

"Just stand in front of a mirror without moving, take off your clothes, and don't move. Accept yourself, accept yourself, and don't judge yourself. It's the most difficult thing I've ever had to do." This reflection by Emma Thompson, referring to a scene in one of her recent films, marked the beginning of the inspiring meeting, "Innovation and Technology: Women Facing the Mirror," between ELLE and Mia Femtech.

It's precisely that moment when the actress stands completely bare, looking directly into the mirror while exploring the emotional and physical dimensions of the character she portrays. And it's that stark quote that best describes this gathering, which featured four empowered women, each a leader in her respective field, all dedicated to promoting women's well-being.

Moderated by Pamela Leyra, project director at ELLE, event panelists spoke openly about self-perception and new ways to enhance female confidence and self-discovery. "Health matters, but what matters even more is how we think about it, how we talk to ourselves about it," Leyra emphasized. In this context, she highlighted the transformative role that technology and science are playing in the beauty industry, where Femtech solutions are beginning to enhance women's well-being.

Raquel Gómez, Global Director of Women's Health Hub at Mia Femtech in Barcelona, shared her experience in an extensive process where she sought the opinions of 16,000 women. These women were interviewed with the support of psychologists as part of the "What Women Want1" study conducted by Kantar in Europe and Japan. The findings revealed that 76% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies but cannot acknowledge it, and 54% constantly strive to achieve a better perception of their appearance2. Gómez recounted, "Many women shared feelings of discontent about a widespread taboo topic: breasts." She mentioned that most said, "I look in the mirror and don't feel comfortable or confident. I hunch over, cover up, use bras for a lifetime to hide it, but if I decide to do something about it, I'll be criticized for lacking self-esteem and frivolity."

It is precisely these hidden and heart-wrenching phrases that prompted deep reflection on our self-perception, prejudices, and how we treat ourselves. The discussion advocated for respect and informed decision-making regarding our health and beauty.

An open and honest conversation included renowned psychologist Patricia Ramírez, who asserted that most women always have self-reproaches and emphasized how challenging it is to look in the mirror and not judge oneself: "We only see what we don't like and not the overall picture of ourselves.” Drawing from her experience as a model, Vanesa Lorenzo highlighted the self-expectations and self-criticism that women impose on themselves, as well as on other women.

Noted author Virginia Woolf, ahead of her time, noted that in her lifetime "there is no need to be anyone other than oneself, that there is no need to rush, not even to shine." However, women today often feel the pressure to present themselves to the world and pursue extreme perfection.

Articulating a New Language for Self-Confidence and Well-being

During the session, Ramírez emphasized the way we speak to ourselves: "We are very harsh on ourselves because we come from a life philosophy that has been part of that harshness in the past." Gómez went further, stating that many times, "No one will treat you as harshly as you treat yourself," so working toward self-acceptance is crucial. "Because women learn better when we seek that more compassionate side," Ramírez concluded.

In this regard, Leyva stressed that new ways of thinking are needed to achieve good mental and physical health. And at this point, Ramírez reminded us that "we had forgotten about ourselves because we were focused on others. Women had to invent the word 'self-care' to take care of ourselves and justify it," she said, emphasizing the importance of finding a "more compassionate, loving, and healthy" way to dialogue with ourselves.

"Seeking solutions without judgment or criticism, as each woman has her own story"

The roundtable also highlighted how innovation can motivate us to embrace our individuality and build a world where every woman feels empowered, beautiful, and authentic, strengthening their confidence and self-esteem. Dr. Claudia Frigo, a specialist in reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery at Clínica Planas, emphasized that this new language should not only be personal but also professional: "As a physician, our role is also to guide and be an advisor." This is changing the relationship between consumers and physicians. She affirmed, "I constantly dedicate myself to accompanying many women, assisting and guiding them towards what is healthy for them, helping them change what makes them insecure or gives them complexes."

Additionally, Gómez emphasized the importance of respecting our decisions regarding health and beauty, stating that "so much harm has been done from the outside that women don't feel comfortable. They think that if they make changes to their bodies, they will be judged as frivolous. But each one has a story, and we have to respect ourselves, offering Femtech solutions for women without criticism and never delving into the 'why'." Ramírez added that women will always feel judged "no matter what they do," so it's vital for them to have a "clear set of values" to dedicate time to and make coherent decisions while setting aside criticism.

Frigo aims to "transmit this new language to our children and future generations," moving away from what Lorenzo calls "the sexualized, vulgarized, and critical image of women" where they feel objectified and try to fit a certain stereotype, not identifying with advertising.

Gómez concluded that "focusing on being more benevolent to ourselves and others" is a starting point. While much remains to be done, women are multifaceted and natural changemakers. This is even more evident now as science and technology are beginning to transform physical and mental health. We are indeed facing a true Femtech revolution with solutions that embrace diversity, individuality, and above all, the well-being of each woman; a key point to rediscovering our natural and inherent state: harmony.



References

  1. "What Women Want: Breast Implant Consumer Journey & Mia® Concept Testing Evaluation, 2022."
  2. Market study by Response AI in Europe + Japan, November 2022, with 937 respondents from the target audience: Women aged 25 to 54 with high incomes across all cup sizes.

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