May 29th, 2008

i don't get it


Do you think yourself beautiful? Are you pleased or, at least, at peace with your appearance? If not, what would you do to remedy it? Apply make-up? Straighten or curl or color your hair? Whiten your teeth? Lay yourself bare before a knife to correct what nature deemed your lot?

Remove, add, lengthen, shorten, dye, reduce, enlarge, change.

Catching part of a documentary on the increase of cosmetic surgery in China, I was appalled and mesmerized by the young girls who were undergoing operations to lengthen their legs. 6 months of pain and re-learning completely how to walk (no mention made of running, jumping, skipping, swimming) in metal brackets bolted to their shins to gain 8 centimeters: 3 inches. The Chinese are a short people, small of stature; neat. 3 inches doesn't seem, in the long run, to be enough of an incentive yet the numbers are staggering and increasing daily.

Have you had an operation to improve your appearance in some way? If you have, why did you? I'm genuinely curious. I haven't, though I've toyed in the past with the idea of getting a breast reduction...until realizing that simply losing weight would do the job for me. I don't consider myself beautiful, but overall, I've never been bothered by or dissatisfied with my appearance (apart from the weight issues) and the fact that I like myself may have more to do with it than even I suspect. Having never bought into the beauty myths of perfection, I find it hard to relate to this yearning to be something else, to become someone different or better or more perfect. Do you think liking yourself enters into it, actually? I suppose you can like yourself just fine and still wish for improvements.

I'm not saying any of this to fish for compliments. I think I'm pretty okay in the looks department, though I've never slain them in the aisles or sunk 1000 ships. I do color my hair, but only to cover the grey. It's the same shade, more or less, that it's always been. It's been permed once or twice in the far-far-distance past of the Seventies when such things were trendy, but I have no need or desire to do so now, since Barky came to life.

I'm not really talking about the self-esteem issues that come with being overweight, either. I think that particular condition throws everything else out of whack. It skews everything you think about yourself and the way you feel you are perceived by others. Aside from that, however, why is it so hard to be happy with yourself the way you are? We see beauty all around us every day, and though aspiration and emulation are not necessarily bad things, why is it so difficult to be content with admiration of others instead? We see ugliness, too; plainness and those that are simply forgettable. Is that what it is? The urge to be seen and remembered, if only for the impression our looks give?


If you have a moment, please put in some positive energy and vibes for a dear friend of mine who is undergoing heart surgery today.