Wednesday, April 9, 2014

You Can't Buy Beauty, Or Brains...

Being plugged into social networks, blogs, and general internet updates and websites, one is inundated on a daily basis by media controlled advertisements for beauty products, regimes, and procedures. One can hardly go anywhere on-line any more without seeing some advert targeting the physical outward appearance. While many of these ads are beneficial in that they relate to health, diet, and living a clean healthy life, the ads I'm mainly referring to are the ones that focus on the skin deep issues of beauty, ageing, and glamour.

I sometimes feel a sense of shock at just how bizarre the world around me seems to be getting, and wonder if I'm amongst a small number of people who think the world at large is focused on shallow surface level issues. You can hardly check out at the grocery store these days without seeing magazine covers graced by women who have spent thousands of dollars on surgical procedures intended to defy the aging process, or perfect their attributes and looks. And it confuses me, because it's 2014, and the women's right movement began decades ago, and society seems to understand how shallow these surface level aims are, and yet we keep gawking, even admiring or glorifying people who have literally mutilated their bodies in an effort to be "beautiful".

I could go on about my idea of true beauty, but it's cliché and it's all been said before; a natural beauty is a true beauty, and a beautiful inside makes a beautiful person.

Most of the people I know, be it friends, family, or acquaintances, seem to share my views about "real" beauty. In fact I'd go out on a limb and guess that a majority of people on planet Earth know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But still, you flip through the channels on the tv and are faced with plenty of channels devoted to this plastic fantastic sense of beauty worship; the Kardashian's, or "Real Housewives" of anywhere, or Top Models... just to name a few. Why we watch is fairly clear; it's like the circus, only with foul language, arguments, ego pissing contests, and the occasional laugh. But what makes me really wonder is why "they" do it?

Is money the root of this yearning for perfection? Or is it a by-product of the beauty itself? I mean, which comes first, the sugar daddy or the nose job?

I look at someone like Lindsey Lohan and want to shake her a little, sit her down and show her a slideshow of pictures of herself from about five years ago, and then have her take a good long look in the mirror.

Why would a woman in her twenties choose to look like a woman in her forties who's trying to look like a woman in her twenties???

She was a beautiful, naturally comely girl with a lovely complexion, gorgeous hair, a perfectly sculpted face and a wonderfully lithe and healthy body. Yet she underwent what can only be described as self-mutilation through plastic surgery, and I can't understand it. What has to break inside a young girl like Lindsey to make her feel she needs plastic surgery at her age? At any age for that matter?

I believe some procedures are truly helpful towards developing self esteem, such as a rhinoplasty, or removal of an ill situated birth mark or what have you. I have had a couple unsightly moles removed through the years, and vanity was as much a part of the decision as was health related concerns, I won't lie. But that isn't what I'm ranting about here, let me rant further, you'll see... :)

Why do women, and men (because this isn't just a female issue any longer people) feel they are not good enough the way they are, and choose to undergo painful and un-alterable operations to change the way they look? Is it a self esteem issue? Is it a Hollywood issue? Are we as viewers of the gossip programs, and readers of the gossip magazines accountable to any degree? If so, would a collective halt to our gawking help these people any?

Not likely.

The issue must be deep rooted, within the psyche, relating to self-image, self-love, and a skewed sense of what acceptance is.

Just as some people mistake sex for love, and spend much of their time pursuing love through sexual relationships, I believe the people who undergo such drastic measures to try to be beautiful are mistaking external beauty with internal contentment. You can have as many nips and tucks as you want, exhaust your bank account and your surgeon, change every feature on your face; if you aren't content with who you are, you surely won't be when the wounds heal.

Again, it's 2014, and we know better as a global community, don't we? We know that beauty is only skin deep, and that pretty is as pretty does. We are well aware that until we learn to love ourselves, we will never truly know how to be loved by others. We understand that the grass is only greener on the other side because we are standing upwind of the fertilizer (Bull shit).

We are smarter than this; we are have read the self help books, and invested our time in therapy sessions, and go to yoga, and understand what our Chakras are for and how to cleanse them. We know that it is what's inside that counts, and so we must try to nourish and nurture the body, mind, and spirit. We drink 8 glasses of water a day, exercise, hug our loved ones, read great works of literature, try to get enough sleep. And above all this, we know that women are not plastic creatures put on Earth to be objectified as sexual tools. We know men have feelings too, and it's okay in our present day and time for us to all talk about those feelings, in order to be honest, and grow as individuals, and together.

If we know all of this, which I'm quite certain we all do... why the hell are so many people still lining up to shell out thousands of dollars in order to look like they've spent thousands of dollars to get that patented bloated lip, aquiline nose, tight eyed, cherub cheeked no-wrinkle look? And when they've done the unspeakable to themselves in order to look younger, prettier, and sexier, do they really think it's not obvious?

This isn't what beauty is. It isn't what I want my daughter to think beauty is. And to any of the numerous people who obviously do believe beauty can be attained with a scalpel, fat wallet, and team of surgeons, I truly hope you reconsider. Failing that, come visit me, because I think you need some pretty intensive hugs...

I hold out hope that as the next generation steps into positions of power, values which we are currently teaching them will begin to translate on a large scale and global level. Failing that, I truly hope our children are growing up to see their worth within themselves, their behaviours, actions, thoughts, and contributions to the world around them, and not in the mirror.

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