Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mirror mirror on the wall

“Mirror mirror on the wall,
who’s the fairest of them all?”

I happened to watch an episode of Oprah Winfrey Show the other day. And I was surprised to hear about Jenny. “So who’s Jenny?” you ask.
Jenny is a 28-year old woman who has already had (hold your breath) 26 plastic surgeries!! She decided to go under the knife because "My ex-husband told me that my nose was too big, that my boobs were too small, so eventually I got a boob job to stop the comments.” And from then on (albeit clichéd), there was no stopping her. She was 25 when she first had her brow lift. So if you consider the fact that she is only 28 years old now, it implies that she had 26 surgeries in a span of three years (??)!!!
Mind boggling figures those. She has had Botox, cheek implants, three nose jobs, veneers on her teeth, three lip implants, two boob jobs, three breast lifts, and liposuction on her arms, stomach, hips, thighs, and knees. Jenny says that the total cost of her plastic surgeries is about $80,000.
Look closer and frankly decide. Is that close to “perfection”? What is perfection? And is it possible to attain perfection?
(To me, that appears fake...plastic, if you will).

Meet the new kid on the block… the surgery addicts! Sure, you’ve heard of drug addicts, alcohol addicts, smoking addicts….but ‘plastic surgery addicts’??? At first, it seems easier to pass off such cases as ‘freaks’ or as exceptions. But then, it mirrors an alarming trend. And it’s not just one person.
I was surprised to see there were more such cases. These are of course, extreme cases of excessive ‘obsession for perfection’. There are many other individuals who are just as eager to get a ‘makeover’; it is just that they don’t have the resources, the knowledge, or access. So what is with this whole ‘appearance’ thing? Why is it that when some people look into a mirror, all they can see is imperfection? Sure, we occasionally stare at the mirror and wonder why the noise is a wee bit pointed, why the hair-line is receding, why the lips are too thick. But to be obsessive to such an extent defies logic.

Today is the age of ‘looking good’.
Want to impress your prospective employer? Your boyfriend? Or your Boss? Then look GOOD!
Infact, personality nowadays is grossly mistaken for appearance. People are engaged in improving their looks and forget about themselves in the process. In turn, their confidence and performance hinges on their looks. They end up believing that improved looks is a solution to all their problems. And let’s not blame these hapless souls alone. Today, guys don’t want to date girls; they are interested only in ‘chicks’, ‘babes’ and ‘hotties’ who have swinging busts and butts. So you have self-obsessed women undergoing face-lifts, breast implants, nose jobs, liposuction and the works. They try to fit in because they crave for social acceptance.
And society does nothing much to ameliorate the situation. We have models with wafer-thin bodies sashaying on the ramps. On what account they are ‘models’ to others, I have no clue. They would sure give the under-fed Somalians a competition!

But not all women bow owing to social pressure. For some people, it’s more of a psychiatric problem; a sense of feeling inferior on account of their looks. In Jenny’s case, her husband’s comment triggered it off. And like any other addiction, it never ends with one. You change your nose a little to realize that it doesn’t suit your face, and then you ‘change’ your cheeks, brows, lips and so on to make it ‘perfect’. Then you want a hot bod, so then the tummy tucks and liposuctions are resorted to. This is known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which usually strikes people in their teens. It is when the subject is obsessed with how she looks and is constantly worried on that account.

A clear case of lack of self-esteem and self-loathing.
And that is what exactly needs to be tackled. People should realize that they are worth more than what they weigh, what their nose looks like or what colour they are. Until then, we’ll hear of stories weirder than that of Jenny’s.
Quote for the day: "Say nothing good of yourself, you will be distrusted; say nothing bad of yourself, you will be taken at your word. "


  1. Hi Vinitha,

    Beautiful blog.........

    That girl in the photo. She really looks bad. As if she has had an accident and they have fixed her up. Its so sad that people are going crazy over looking good. Can't blame them too I guess. We behave based on what we see and hear. And what is it that we see and hear all the time. TV TV and more TV..... People going aaaaaa oooo uuuuuu on some 'sexy' guy or girl.......

    I sometimes see that fair and lovely ad and feel why somebody has not given a public interest litigation petition against it. They are so very clear - If your are dark skinned, you look bad. Men won't like you. You will be unsuccessful in your career. You won't be able to reach your dreams. You will be a looser.........

    There is no solution to this too........ Lets just sit and watch, where this all leads to....

    Do you what I felt when I was seeing your pics? Why o why are these people going to singapore, malaysia, australia, etc, etc, when even a whole life time is not enough to visit this beautiful country called India......... One of my greatest desires is to go to Srinigar on a bike. That would be a really great adventure.........

    Malayalam English thing...... I thing this problem now only exists in our previous generation. For our generation people, now English is so common and everyone speaks it so well, there is nothing great about English...........

    The bus ride. Yes our life is just like that. A bus journey. And we are not in the drivers seat. It somebody else who drives. But in the end you ask whether we were in the driver's seat. To take control. That so much contradicted all that you had said till then. Did you mean something else??

    Made some excellent reading...........
    Keep blogging........

  2. Hi 'me'...
    Now, you do agree that sounds wierd. Next time around, leave your name ! :)
    I totally agree with you; that Fair and Lovely ad is nothing but rubbish...and they reinstate the fact that women with fair skin always succeed.
    As far as the Malayalam-English thing; maybe things are changing because without English, one can't survive. But then, sometimes BALANCE between both is lost. You either have the purely town-bred, english-mouthing youngsters. And then, you have those youngsters who can't STILL express themselves in English. Believe me, coz I've seen enough and more of such cases. In short, the growth in proficiency in English is still skewed.
    Well, about the journey metaphor.
    I meant life is a journey.
    And don't take the 'driving' and being a 'traveller' thing together.
    Most people have no aim or goals; so they just 'drift'. So what I meant by taking control is that atleast decide what you want to do in your life YOURSELF....let not the time and opportunity pass; and then regret.

    Thanks for you comments....
    Glad to know that some people take efforts to appreciate others...
    (Still wondering who this is....
    is it someone I know personally?)

  3. Hi Vinitha,

    I am Vivek. :-).........................

    You are right 'Me' does sound a little weird. :))............Thanks for pointing it out. :-)...........

    And do you know that goal which you have in your life is like that interesting concotion of oil and other interesting substance that you are forced to smell off a woman's hair in the bus. You have no control over it............. Those who have it have it, they cannot say no to it and those who don't have it, they cannot ask for one, they don't have it. We are helpless. ;-)..........................

    Hope you had a beautiful weekend. :-).................

    Vivek :-)...............

  4. Wow, you are really against plastic surgery, hey? In my experience, the ones who are the most violoently opposed to it are the ones who won't admit to themselves how badly they want it. I am 25 and I had breast implants in 03 and a rhinoplasty in 06 and couldn't be happier. Will I have more work done in the future? Most definitly. Does that make me an addict? No.

  5. Hi Barbie Girl,

    Rather late in the day (heck, even years!) to reply to your comment.
    But in case you do stumble by, Hi!

    First of all, I am not 'violently opposing' plastic surgery. I know that people do get 1 or 2 (what explains the actresses' looks?). My problem is with people like Jenny who are doing 26 in 3 years!

    Of course, it's your personal choice to get it done; and mine to express my views. So peace! :)

    By the way... "the ones who are the most violoently opposed to it are the ones who won't admit to themselves how badly they want it."

    Count me out of that!




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