Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Price of Beauty

Sorry folks, I'm afraid, I feel a rant coming on. Look away now, if ranting doesn't light your candle.

Recently, I read an article in the paper on the lengths some people go to to alter their appearance, for the sake of vanity. Obviously, I know it's nothing new and has been going on for quite some time now, has almost become commonplace and routine. I also realize, that it is a blessing for people who have undergone traumatic events resulting in serious physical and facial disfigurement; surgery can change their lives for the better, give them back what they have lost.

However, this article dealt only with vanity. We live in a world which iconizes and celebrates youth, westernized, caucasian youth, at that.  The pursuit of body improvement is a global industry  now worth $160bn a year. Hair straightening, skin lightening, diet programs, body building are only the foothills of "physical improvement", hardly worth a mention. In Africa, the use of hair straightening products is widespread. Surgical procedures such as nose jobs are widely carried out in the near and far east, Tehran apparently being the world capital for rhinoplasty, while the Chinese go in for nose implants. 

We are brainwashing ourselves to believe that we can only be attractive and lovable if we have bigger noses, smaller noses, bigger boobs, smaller boobs, a flatter stomach, western eyes, straight hair, curly hair, blond hair, tighter skin.

The photos in this article are too gruesome to reproduce here; I also wouldn't want to scare anybody witless. You know of people in the public eye, actors, socialites, with their wind-tunnel-faces, "having work done", but so far, I have not visualized what this actually entails. However, seeing the flaps of bleeding skin being lifted, stretched, pulled, cut and sewn up, made me gag. 

So, my good-looking days, my pretty, youthful days days are behind me; life and the years have left their mark on my face; childbearing and illness have taken the zing and spring out of my body; so what? 

Although surgery is not for me,  I will always defend your right to being chopped up, nipped, tucked and reassembled, if you so desire; however, my suggestion would be: have the lobotomy first.



  1. You make a good point. I saw the picture of a woman who wanted to look like her cat – she had her eyes done 3 times and finally, she did look like her cat. Here in the US, I heard that when girls graduate from high school, the most popular gift now is getting a breast implant. Also, Argentina is supposed to be the No.1 place for face lifts, even before California; it is cheaper there I heard. I try not to look in the mirror too often, so I don’t feel too bad!

  2. Well said, Friko. I do miss my youth but am trying to embrace the me that is emerging with aging. With one exception. I got braces on my teeth last month. :-# Always wanted them. Then the shifting of teeth became uncomfortable, and that did it. My dentist says I'll be healthier in the long run for making this decision.

  3. We're seeing a lot of young women with anorexia, even though their figures are perfectly fine. They are being treated at some of the many clinics that have sprung up for this disorder.

  4. Thanks for the comments Vagabonde, Lydia and Margaret. I always knew that there is commonsense around.


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