Monday, June 25, 2012

Beauty is a Beast

I can handle the fact that my body is changing and gravity is having its way with me. There is a freedom in acknowledging “The ole grey mare just ain’t what she used to be.” I can go grey and thumb my nose at the exorbitant cost of hair color. I can laugh away the Lyrca on my hips and tummy while shouting, “No more!” No more straining to pretend I have a perfect body in an imperfect world. I especially don’t want to look like a similar version of other women my age because of Botox and fillers. If it makes you feel better, if it floats your boat, go with it. Me? I’ve been tempted and I’d be a liar if I said I haven’t thought about it. In the long run, I think I’m sailing away just fine in spite of the wrinkles in the sails and the extra cargo I’m carrying along.

Who says we must be wrinkle free? Photos are airbrushed in every single magazine. Makeup conceals, breasts are lifted or enhanced, tummies are tucked and we’re still going to grow old. I’m not saying go for the dumpy look and let it all hang out. Heaven forbid! I’d start a stampede of people running away from me if I did that. I mean, beauty is a real four legged beast. We preen, we pluck, and we spend mega bucks on simply keeping up appearances. I enjoy a pedicure and manicure and having my hair styled. I enjoy buying new lotions and eye gels, hoping they’ll turn back the clock, but it’s the extremes that I see others go through that make me shake my head.

Twenty and thirty-year-old women are altering their faces and bodies at such an alarming rate that I wonder if they’ll recognize themselves when they hit forty. I am concerned for the younger women around me. It almost appears as if people are starting to prefer beauty over intelligence. In the UK, a new survey was recently completed and the results are, that given the choice, women would rather be more attractive than be smart. Isn’t that just swell?

I Googled the key words, aging naturally, to see what was out there on the almighty internet. After the first page, everything was about how to reverse aging naturally. Gracious! There is so much natural beauty in each and every one of us. I think we’ve been brainwashed by advertising, designers who pick stick thin models, super stars with trainers who take them through three hour daily workouts,and the aging ultra-rich who've had so many cosmetic procedures that when they cross their legs, their mouths hang open. Have we forgotten to look at the “real” beauty in each and every one of us? I worry about this stuff because I have a daughter. I worry because I see so many going too far and actually putting their health in harm’s way to have yet another procedure. I worry because I thought our minds were just as beautiful as our outward skin. If we’re not careful, I worry we’ll forget that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what a wonder real beauty is.

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