Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Fine as I am

It sometimes seems like 90 per cent of the population dislike their appearance and want to change it in some way - or any number of ways. The only thing stopping them is lack of money.

Tattoos, piercings, botox, cosmetic surgery, shapewear, hormones. The demand for all of them just goes up and up. So many people chasing after some personal image of perfection, and they won't rest until they achieve it.

I was brought up in an age when most people accepted their appearance as it was, however imperfect or unfashionable or plain ugly. Very few people thought of rushing off to the cosmetic surgeon or tattooing huge tracts of their body. Going to such lengths was just seen as a bit daft. Or for the religious, a blasphemous rejection of the body God gave you.

My childhood attitude stuck as the years went by and I still accept my body as it is, with no passionate desire to change it. I would quite like to be shorter, with shorter arms and legs, so it was easier to find clothes that fit me properly. I would quite like to be free of the facial hair I have to shave every day. I would quite like to have perfect sight so I didn't have to bother with glasses. I would quite like to lose the growing collection of wrinkles.

But I'm not concerned enough about any of these things to get some sort of treatment. I still have the old-fashioned view that what goes on in my brain is more important than what I look like.

I'm not a car. I don't need to be redesigned every year or two to be more aesthetically pleasing. As long as I've got all my senses, as long as I can enjoy life, as long as I can smell the roses, that'll do me nicely.

22 comments:

kylie said...

I have a poorly chosen piercing which has developed a lot of ugly scarring on my ear. I regret that but it's part of my story and I can't change it.

On general, I understand the drive to improve our looks but I feel like there's no point improving one bit and leaving the rest.

Mildred Ratched said...

I agree with you! I feel as a person's outer beauty starts to fade, their inner beauty shines through brightly. Who wants to look 25 when you're 65? Maybe looking 40 wouldn't hurt! lol

nick said...

Kylie: I'm sorry to hear about the piercing. But as you say, it's now part of your story.

Mildred: That's often the case. I can think of a lot of oldies whose inner spirit sings out of them.

Rummuser said...

I am in the ten percent and am perfectly happy.

helen devries said...

People here are obsessed with having even, whiter than white teeth. ..dentists abound.
A woman who does not like us commented to a friend of ours that we must be poor as we could not have afforded to get our teeth fixed....
Well, we have always had our teeth cleaned, filled and whatever...but it would never have occurred to us to enrich a dentist by having totally unnecessary work done.
Clearly, though ,it is a mark of status to have your own teeth so manipulated that they look like dentures!

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm so vain....after years of not wearing my earrings, I decided I needed them again. One hole had closed! So, I went through the whole piercing thing again. And, I'll never do it again. What a stinking, fussy bother. But, now I can put on my earrings of choice every morning, and feel appropriate. I don't use the mirror, however. That old lady has horrid wrinkles.

nick said...

Ramana: Carry on being perfectly happy!

Helen: I've never understood the fad for whiter-than-white teeth. To my mind they always look unnatural. And yes, when teeth have been made to look perfect, and super-white, they look suspiciously like dentures.

nick said...

Joanne: I've no problem with earrings, even huge hoops or showy pendants. They're very minor accessories, they aren't a major alteration of your body like a facelift or tattoos.

chloe said...

Maybe most of those botix, white teeth etc people lack self-confidence. I find it so boring to look at those stereotypes. Women of 70 with a face without wrinkles but unable to produce a natural smile anymore. It's human stupidity to follow a fashion credo which makes all people look the same. My grandmother is covered with wrinkles and calls them the roads I took in my life. Isn't this a lovely idea ?

Bijoux said...

I've always thought of some of it as vanity, with a fear of getting old, rather than a lack of self-confidence. The tattoos and body piercings began as a way to rebel against 'establishment' (or 'old' people), but it's now so commonplace that no one bats an eye.

nick said...

Chloe: I agree, it's rather grotesque when a woman can't smile any more as a result of plastic surgery. I like the idea of wrinkles as "the roads I took in my life".

Bijoux: I think vanity and lack of self-confidence both come into it. And yes, as you say, tattoos and piercings are now so common they're more mainstream than rebellious. I wonder what the next sign of rebellion will be?

Wisewebwoman said...

From the friends and acquaintances who've had such procedures I perceive it as a form of addiction. Once is never enough. Self esteem is thrown in there too, often reflected on seeing values placed on appearance and not the inner.

One friend has had 15 procedures and her face is a death's head. I find it tragic. I loved her former face and she doesn't look like my friend anymore.

Lypo has also contributed to the death of another.

And one had a stroke on the operating table getting a breast reconstruction.

None of it for me, thanks. I learn from others.

But feel compassion for those who feel this need to be perfect and aging terrified.

XO
WWW

nick said...

www: People seem to opt for these procedures so casually, quite unaware of the potential complications, the risk of death, and possible disappointment with the result. It's tragic that after all that surgery, your friend no longer looks like your friend.

tammy j said...

I used to think that clambering for eternal youth was an American thing.
but we seem to have infiltrated the entire world with it now. or most of it anyway due to the internet. growing old in America is apparently not allowed!
I'm with you and Rummy. I'm so happy to be of an age that clean and neat and a happy smile are enough! why endure unnecessary pain and needles in one's face? ewww!!! NO thank you.

Joared said...

I've been fascinated with the aging process, so am intrigued with how it progresses. Doesn't mean I like everything that happens. The only thing I do is prevent the growth of cells gone awry into pre-cancerous state. Also, have other skin growths that probably came about when I had a wicked sunburn, accidentally, when young -- long before the full damage they could do was known by science. Cosmetic changes aren't my cup of tea -- a waste of time and money.

CheerfulMonk said...

Fortunately I'm way too lazy to bother with stuff like that. It's easier to avoid looking in the mirror. :D

nick said...

Tammy: Indeed, the clambering for eternal youth is rife in the UK as well. But clean and neat and a happy smile are enough for me too.

Joared: There's not that much sun in Northern Ireland so hopefully my chances of getting skin cancer are pretty low. I don't need lashings of sunscreen, just a good umbrella!

nick said...

Jean: I'm equally lazy. And also very nervous about any kind of surgery. There are so many things that can go wrong.

Danielle L Zecher said...

There are definitely things I'd like to change about my appearance, but I'm way too much of a wimp to do anything surgical. I'll stick with makeup and hair color.

nick said...

Danielle: I don't think it's wimpishness. It's just common sense to avoid risky surgery when there's no need for it except vanity.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I suspect altering your body goes way, way back. But it does seem to launch people into a cycle that can't win. Aging happens, no matter what you cut or inject. Still, like many teens I had my ears pierced and I can't say I regret that. I like wearing earrings.

I'm assuming WWW meant cosmetic breast augmentation or lifts and not reconstruction, which is to repair something. I had reconstruction after my mastectomy and I don't feel like it was vanity. I wanted a return of some semblance of what cancer had stolen from me, and I don't feel even a little bad about having done it.

nick said...

Agent: My attitude entirely, aging happens and you just have to adapt to it. Chasing after eternal youth is ridiculous. Yes, of course breast reconstruction is very different from unnecessary breast enlargements. I can quite understand that you wanted to look the way you looked before.