Good Enough?

Beauty Issues

It’s a funny cartoon, but it still poses a great question: Why isn’t the face/body/etc we’re born with good enough?

There are some that might blame the media for pushing an unhealthy (and largely unattainable) depiction of what “beautiful” looks like.  And, while I would agree that the media deserves a healthy portion of the blame, I’ve no doubt that many of us would still have body issues, even without the help of movies, models and more.

Take me, for instance.  When I was a little girl, I used to want curly hair (still do, but we’ll get to that in a moment).  My nana once told my Mom that her first-born would have naturally curly hair.  “Well, I was the first-born,” I said to Nana after I found out about the prophecy, “So why don’t I have curly hair?”  My nana made up a story about how my original angel mother had naturally curly hair, but she was sick on the day I was born and I was, instead, aided by an angel with straight hair.

I’m sure Nana hoped that story would act as a salve for me, but it had the opposite effect; for years I was mad at my “angel mother” for getting sick.  AND, I was mad at my brother, David, who’d received the naturally curly hair that was supposed to have been mine.

Hating my straight hair so much, I started getting perms at the age of 10, I believe, and every four months or so, I’d sit in a chair for hours while my mom wrapped my hair in rollers.  They never gave me the gorgeous head of curls that I’d hoped they would.  Instead, I wound up with a horrible white girl frizzy afro that did NOTHING to make me feel pretty.  Still, I did it because the alternative was lifeless, straight hair.

I’ve since gotten to a place where I don’t mind my straight hair as much as I used to.  I still don’t like how it looks on me–and I still get perms as often as I can (with better results nowadays)–but I do like how luxurious and soft my hair feels when it’s straight.  And it’s much easier for Craig to brush my hair that way, too.

My point is, when I was a little girl, I don’t believe I had the media “in my face” saying “only people with curly hair are beautiful.”  And, even if that were true, why haven’t I been more “okay” with my straight hair when it was the rage and popular?

I think there will always be at least one thing we don’t like about ourselves.  I’ve never met a woman who liked the hair she was born with.  If it’s straight, they want it curly.  If it’s curly, they spend hours straightening it.  So I can’t give all the blame/credit to the media for things like that.

However, where I think the media goes overboard is with the concept of beauty=young.  Our society is so uber-obsessed with being young, that we’re failing to see what’s good and beautiful about growing old.  No, I’m not talking about having to use Depends, or maybe needing Viagra–I can see why people aren’t thrilled about those aspects of aging–but why are people so obsessed with face lifts, facial creams, hair implants and the like?

Personally?  I’m looking forward to getting wrinkles.  For a long time, I’ve seen them as a wonderful road map of one’s life.  And there are even some people who look more handsome or beautiful the older they get.  Sean Connery?  I didn’t find him attractive until he had the whole salt and pepper thing going on.  Malcolm McDowell started looking very handsome once he had some lines on his face.  And Patrick Stewart is sexy; bald head and all!

When people think that looking young will keep them beautiful, it often has the opposite effect.  Kenny Rogers is no longer recognizable!  Goldie Hawn’s lips look HORRENDOUS when she gets them pumped.  And we just saw Last Vegas recently, and I could see the ugly line where Mary Steenburgen’s face had been tucked.  It ran across her face out from her mouth, making her look like a marionette.

Now, those stars probably have studio heads pushing for them to try to look younger, but we non-celebrities don’t have the same pressures (at least, I HOPE most of you don’t).  So I hope that you will learn to embrace the visible proof that you’ve lived a good, long life.

I’ll leave you with a great poem by Jenny Joseph.  Simply click on the image to be able to read it.  And I’ll see you all at the next meeting of the Red Hat Society . . .

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie Benbow
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 11:07:34

    Alex – this is a timely musing for me. My hair started to grey in my thirties so I always had it colored. Then about ten years ago I stopped – too much trouble – and went ‘natural.’ people commented that I had nice grey hair. I got used to it. Then earlier this year I had an accident. During the rehab process (that is still going on) I decided to lose some weight. So far I’ve lost just over forty pounds. Oh, and I turned sixty in June. Recently I spent some time thinking about what defined me: my grey hair? my weight? my injury? my accent? I decided that none of those would define me. So I had my hair colored back to the lovely brunette of my youth, committed to losing the next pounds, and registered to run the Bay to Breakers next May. As the wonderful colorist, Jeffrey at Carmicheal Salon (http://carmichaelsalon.com/) said to me, “I bet no-one said that your grey hair makes you look younger.” I feel good about how I look and don’t care about what society thinks a sixty year old woman should look like – or behave for that matter. I want to be defined by my heart and the my friendships, And I really do like having an English accent!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Nov 22, 2013 @ 12:19:21

      I think you’re lovely, Julie, & yes, I adore your accent! 🙂 If you feel more beautiful coloring your hair, then go for it. You definitely need to live by your personal definition of beauty, & not what anyone else thinks.

      I’m glad to hear you’re recovering from your accident, & CONGRATULATIONS on the weight loss!

      Thanks for stopping by today. I miss seeing you, dear lady.

      Reply

  2. Dolly Chamberlin
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 19:41:59

    I decided a long time ago, I enjoy thinking of myself as eccentric. For me eccentric is doing what works for me, regardless of what other people think.
    I believe, & raised a couple babes with the ism -what you think of yourself is far more important than what anyone else thinks of you.
    LOVES :}

    Reply

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