Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Plastic Surgery: No Way to Find Love

If one more middle-class woman tells me she's going to get her eyes done, I'm going to scream. The scary thing is, these women are usually in their 30s. When I ask them why they're going to submit their faces to objects that make them bleed, they point to wrinkles and crows' feet that do not even exist!

Eye jobs, Botox, and collagen injections are increasingly prevalent among the middle-class, and I've read they're paying for it with credit cards.

And here's what really freaks me out: I read a report about women who show up in plastic surgeon's offices with porn magazines and flip to photos of other women's vaginas (vaginae, actually). They tell the doctor, "I want to look like this!"

Many of these women insist they need cosmetic improvements to their lady parts after some horndog suggests said lady parts aren't up to snuff.

Here's a tip for you, Girls: If a man says anything disparaging about your body -- anything at all-- he is not the man for you (and probably not for anyone else, either). Do not reward asshole behavior by going into debt and putting yourself under potentially life-ending anesthesia to please him.

Please recognize the fact that he does not love you. He is not capable of loving anything other than his Girls Gone Wild collection.

If you happen to look in the mirror and see something you don't like on your face, consider the possibility that obsessing about your looks has kept you from addressing another genuine issue. And if you find yourself continually comparing your nether regions to some porn star's, it may be time to find better uses for your time.

Start by getting a library card.


Amy Venman said...

Hi Terry—

Not sure if I'm just being clueless here; what I really wanted to do was send an email (i.e. don't feel any pressure to publish this!).

Anyway, I'm solidly by your side in the discussion of "to cut or not to cut." While I do believe in taking care of myself and my face/skin/body, I can see no possible good in deliberately slicing myself open and/or injecting poison into myself. It's a violent act, forcing your body to defend itself when, on the contrary, it would seem logical to support yourself in every possible way!

In addition, as an artist, I firmly believe that the face that shows signs of the life it has lived—do you smile and laugh a lot? Are you a worrier, or have you suffered? A thinker? Do you carry scars from accidents?—is infinitely more beautiful than the canvas that has been deliberately blanked. When magazines/TV show pictures of actors from their twenties side-by-side with the same actors in their forties or later, it's always the older people I want to talk to. The younger ones seem (comparatively) so unformed!

I'm currently reading two books that I'm very excited about (tempted to send copies to every friend I can think of, if I had the money) that I think you might enjoy. The Yoga Facelift by Marie-VĂ©ronique Nadeau offers exercises to tone and strengthen the muscles underlying the face and neck; an approach that (crazy thought!) works with the body. In addition, I firmly believe that slowing down to take even a few minutes focusing on your inner self, 'listening' to your body, can only provide good results.

The other is called The Truth about Beauty, by Kat James. This one focuses on nutrition, and it is really blowing me away! Much of what she says seems completely obvious, but at the same time feels like a revelation. Things that I do automatically when it comes to assessing an animal's health (like noting how shiny my dog's coat is, or whether my cat's skin seems dry or flaky, or odd bumps under their skin) I treat completely differently when it comes to myself. Is my hair dull? Well, maybe I need to change my shampoo; heavens forbid I should consider addressing my diet! Do I have some annoying blackheads? Better slap on some Retin-A (or whatever), rather than consider that perhaps my body is struggling to rid itself of some toxins that I may have deliberately (though probably not with malice afore-thought) ingested.

Geez, am I gushing? I haven't even finished the book, and am still planning how to implement much of what she suggests, but the book makes so much SENSE—and isn't tied into the food or pharmaceutical industries.

And I think that her good-sense approach reminds me of your 'voice' in your blog, so (in my head, anyway) you seem to go together.

Thanks for listening!


P.S. Got to your blog through Jeff Mac's manslations; I've really been enjoying both! One of your earlier posts mentions Good Omens, one of my favorite books! Have you read their other stuff (written separately)? I can't get enough of Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman's mind is amazing; occasionally dark and disturbing, but ALWAYS an incredibly journey. I was introduced to him through his Sandman graphic novels, lent by a co-worker (I hadn't previously been a graphic-novels reader), and quickly became addicted.

Terry said...

Hi, Amy-

Thanks for writing and for offering your very valuable input. I'll have to check out The Yoga Facelift; it sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I do have Kat James' book on my shelf and dip into it every now and then. It's a fabulous (and encouraging) resource, and I've recommended it to several friends who like it, too.

I'm with you about being more interested in older people than younger people. The obsession with youth is silly. We only get old if we're lucky!

As for Neil Gaiman, Good Omens is the first book I've read by him. An independent bookstore opened in my area about 11 months ago (yay!), and the owner recommended it. I loved it.

Ironically, I used to work for Marvel Comics, and our competitors used to comp me, so I have a lot of Gaiman's stuff packed neatly into boxes in my basement. I should probably get around to reading it; everyone says Sandman is fantastic.

Thanks for the kind words, by the way. I definitely appreciate them!