This morning, as I sat watching t.v., up came advertisements about ‘correcting’ the aging process. Seems as if there is a revolution to ‘turn back’ time in order to erase the inevitability of getting older and looking so. I have a hard time comprehending why ‘aging’ has become taboo in our culture. I don’t understand how wrinkles, laugh lines and gray hair, all NORMAL signs of getting older, are now considered bad. It makes me think of the movie, Logan’s Run, where anyone over 30 years of age was murdered. Is that where our society is headed?
I find the revolution of ‘looking young’ quite disturbing. Recently, a 7 year old girl, with support and approval from her parents, underwent plastic surgery to pin back her cupped ears…ones that stick out…as a preventive to getting bullied in the future. But here is the kicker, according to her mom, adults, yes you read that right, ADULTS, were the worst in making comments, not other kids. Really?!?!?!?! What is this world coming to? And since when is our acceptance based on what someone else thinks?
Maybe that is the whole problem. Today, there are many walking around living their lives according to someone else’s views and opinions. My ex is a perfect example. You see his own mother was very opinionated and never had a problem criticizing, putting down or sashaying what she thought whenever she thought it, regardless of who she was speaking to. When we first met, he revealed to me how he had attempted suicide because she wanted him to go to Notre Dame and he couldn’t cut it. Unfortunately, he never ‘grew’ up and till the day we separated, approval, from his mother was what he lived for. And if she didn’t approve? Her favorite line was ‘I disown you.’ Really?!?!? Looking back, I realize she had an issue with control, due to the fact her family lost everything when the bomb hit Japan in WWII. Yet, my ex and his siblings, with the exception of the youngest, still kowtow to her, living their lives according to what she dictates. I understand they don’t want to be rejected, especially by their mother. And I realize all moms, whether we admit it or not, have sometime in our lives, put the quilt trip on our kids. However, what mom or parent, would ever disown their child because of something they did not agree with? Okay, I know there are exceptions to the rule, there always are and circumstances are different for every family. But, there are also very manipulative, self centered people who believe their way is the only and right way. Unfortunately, this cycle of attitude was not broken and continues today when my ex interacts with our sons. Thankfully, because I no longer live with him, I have erased this way of living, causing a ripple to touch my sons, helping them to live their lives as they choose. Most importantly, I have learned to button up my lip. In this way, I am able to hear the passion behind why they have chosen the life paths they are on, resulting in acceptance instead of judgment. No it is not easy, especially when they fall flat on their faces. It is then I stand quietly on the sidelines, watching. For I know, extending a hand will not help them figure out how to stand tall again. Nor will it help them know the pride that comes from moving through failure.
Yes, I began this post about plastic surgery leading me to the most important factor of all…being accepted in a society that rejects extraordinariness, so called abnormalities, inside beauty, and being different. Why is it being a carbon copy is more acceptable? Why is it looking like a replica of Ken or Barbie is considered the norm? Where the hell have we gone wrong? It is no wonder, the Lady Gaga’s of this world are frowned upon, spat on and criticized for being unique.
Something has to change. I would love to see advertisements with ‘real’ people, not ones who look like mannequins or whose many surgeries have actually caused them, in my opinion, to look deformed, not youthful. The Dove company is advocating this with their campaign for real beauty. But it has been slow in catching on.
There is no fountain of youth. And no amount of surgeries can prevent a person from dying. Joan Rivers is a great example of that adage. Maybe instead of facing the aging process with fear, we need to face our ultimate demise of dancing with the Grim Reaper. No one is immune from his grasp.
So, to close, wouldn’t it be better to advocate advertisements that promote ways to stay optimistic, get along with each other, learn to civilly agree to disagree and accept one another with no pretensions or judgments? To me these are the ways to heal hearts, spirits and souls. Plastic surgery may temporarily rejuvenate youthfulness, but it doesn’t permanently cure the scars hidden deep within suffocating the beauty everyone possesses. Only love, hope and unconditional approval of who we are can turn pain and suffering into a balm of healing comfort, forever.