Monday, April 27, 2009

Theories on Plastic Surgery and Botox and Why Never Having Been Beautiful Is an Advantage

A lot of my friends are at that certain age when the siren call of Botox cannot be resisted. Some are even having tucks or lifts or whatever may have you.

I’m not there. Having had mandatory surgery, which I didn’t like the first go-around and liked even less the second, electing to have surgery goes against every grain in my rapidly aging body. And I have a theory about Botox and plastic surgery—only the formerly beautiful need it. It’s hard for people who are used to being beautiful to let it go. Beauty is social currency—it’s respected and praiseworthy, even awe-inspiring. As a result, beautiful people rely on how they look as part of their worth. When their looks go—as they always do—it’s not without a fight.

For the rest of us mere mortals—the nonbeautiful, shall we say—we’ve gotten by with being sort of ho-hum in the looks department and found other ways to create value and find self-worth, whether it’s through being a good friend, being funny, being cultured, whatever. For that reason, most of us aren’t faced with the choice of injecting toxins into our forty year-old foreheads. Because honestly? The results aren’t going to be all that amazing. If on a scale of one to ten, the highest you can score after needles and surgery is a five, the choice is clear: STAY HOME AND EAT THAT SECOND CHOCOLATE BAR.

By golly, I think I'll have one right now.


Missybw said...

Amen. Although I may change my mind in a few more years. Maybe.

AppyLove said...

I think about this a lot, actually. Right now I'm in the "I'll never do it" camp. But that could always change.

I think my bottom-line feeling can be summed up in a line from a Gwendolyn Brooks poem: "First comes correctness, then embellishment."

For me, that means until I've done absolutely everything I can to enhance my physical beauty (veganism, triathlon training, yoga, etc, etc), botox and plastics seem like cheating. By the way, I haven't done ANY of the things in the parentheses above.

In general, I'm trying to get more comfortable with the concept of aging, which, despite its inherent beauty, our culture seems to have severely devalued (particularly in women). The more I make an effort to see beautiful people who have allowed themselves to age naturally, the more I realize there are a lot of them out there, which gives me a sense of hope and relief.

So I agree with you about finding self-worth in ways other than being physically beautiful, and I also think there are lots of ways to BE physically beautiful that aren't really on our collective cultural radar. It's time for a shift of focus.

For these reasons, I continue to buy Dove products even though none of them actually work for me. That Real Beauty marketing campaign has gotten its hooks in me for good.

Anonymous said...

My body looks really....different (naked anyway) since I turned 40 and have a c-section all in the same year. The combo seems to have been the tipping point for my youthful bod. I'm having a really, really, really hard time dealing with it.

That is all ;-)