Plastic

2 Aug

Fair warning: This post may offend some people. But I’ve been thinking about writing it for a while, so here goes.

Tonight I saw a Facebook post by a friend about a model named Janice Dickinson. Apparently, she is the (in her words) “first-ever supermodel.” I didn’t remember her from her modeling days in the 80s, but I recognize her because she’s one of the judges on the show “America’s Next Top Model.”

The reason I remember her is that she is downright scary-looking. Her face is so stretched out, she looks like The Joker. The effect on her mouth is like a wide-mouth bass’s grin. Yikes.

Wondering what she looked like before plastic surgery, I took a peek at the interwebs. And wow, I can see why she was the first-ever supermodel. She was really beautiful.

And here’s the thing: I think she still would be now, if she hadn’t had so much plastic surgery. I am 100% confident that she would still be stunning, however old she is. I wish she felt that way, too.

Plastic surgery is interesting to me. I know a lot of people who’ve done it, or who’ve had Botox treatments. To each his or her own, I say. If it makes you happy and you’re not hurting anyone, then so be it. My feelings about it have more to do with just not understanding the motivation than judging people for deciding they need to do it.

This is what it seems like, to me:

When women reach “a certain age” (I can say this because I’m pretty sure that being 43, I am right there), they want to get their youth back. And they will do all sorts of things to change their bodies, to feel and look young again. The other thing that’s so common now is that that I see women at my age getting too thin. And then they lose too much weight and end up looking like skeletons. I think that you lose some personal integrity–a small part of your dignity–when you do this. Similar to being in a relationship with someone much younger. It’s just out of balance.

Going overboard with the plastic surgery or getting too thin actually makes women look older, I think. It makes that desire to be young again more obvious, and sad in a way. It seems desperate to me, going backward instead of forward. Kind of like being on a treadmill and slowly losing pace, until you ultimately fall off the back.

I just can’t imagine wanting to go backwards in time. Maybe it’s the way I’m wired: I always think that the future will bring good things. I have no desire to go back to my teens, 20s or 30s. Maybe I’ll feel differently when I hit 50. I’ll report back then.

Plastic doesn’t bring back being young. Why not just get a haircut and an extra ear piercing?

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