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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Life in Plastic Ain't Fantastic

Before I continue on with the Thursday Diary for this week, I thought that I would post a music video for all of you that is linked to today's subject.

Now, granted, I know that some of you are already annoyed by the song. I'll be the first to admit that “Barbie Girl” isn't my favourite song by Aqua.

(I'm more of a “Turn Back Time” kind of guy.)

However, the reason why I have posted this song is because of a song lyric that I purposely want to contradict. That sometimes life in plastic...ain't always fantastic. Now, I warn you ahead of time that a lot of the points that I will be making in this particular blog comes from a note that I wrote three years ago...but sometimes there comes a time

August 8, 2013

I can't believe it's the eighth of August already. It's a day that I like to refer to as “Crazy Eights” day, as if you write the date out numerically, it reads as 8/8. Get it? Crazy eights?

(Ahem...if you're stretching and you know it clap your hands! Clap Clap!)

Anyway, I suppose that since the theme of the day is “Crazy”, I thought that I would talk about a subject that drives me absolutely bonkers. It's something that I see many people doing – some of which who are absolutely beaming with pride over it. Yet as far as I am concerned, I think that it is totally unnecessary. And although I'll likely start up a debate with my honest opinion on this very subject, I still stand by my opinion.

That subject is on plastic and cosmetic surgery.

I mean, is it just me, or does it seem to me that more and more people out there in the world are becoming obsessed with cosmetic surgery? Everywhere we look we're bombarded by images of people getting nipped and tucked with the promise that if we want to we can look like we're twenty-eight again at any age!

And, I gotta tell you. I'm not all that impressed.

At 32, I have come to one conclusion about myself. I'm not the perfect specimen on what a man should look like. I have flab. My hair is thinning on top. And as for the rest of my body, I have so much hair that I could maybe give Robin Williams a run for his money!

(Well, okay...maybe it's not QUITE that bad.)

The truth is that for guys and gals all over the planet, many of us strive for that one little thing called perfection. We're all brainwashed into believing that perfection is the only way of living our lives. We have to have the perfect body. We have to have the perfect tan. We have to have the perfect smile. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

How perfectly ridiculous.

Here's a news flash. Perfection is impossible to achieve. It doesn't matter how good your genes are, or how much money you have to burn. Nobody is ever perfect. Everyone has that one little flaw about themselves whether they'll publicly admit to it or not.

Unfortunately, some people will not listen to reason. You could walk down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and scream that message out with a gigantic megaphone, and still people will tune you out. I mean, look at a place like Hollywood, California – a place that celebrates public bronzing and rewards the ability to squeeze into a size zero dress with prime roles in summer blockbusters. Many people strive to become a part of that inner circle of actors, directors and producers, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not something that I would want for myself at all.

My opinion is that it's a place where if you know the right plastic surgeon, then anybody can achieve their dream of being a living Barbie doll driving around in a pink, plastic convertible to their Malibu beach house where their equally plastic Ken is waiting for you with plastic underpants and a painted-on smile.

Yeah, that's not what I want out of life either. Besides, plastic underpants sound uncomfortable. I'll stick to cotton, thanks.

I guess what I struggle to come to terms with is why so many people would feel the need to alter their appearances with cosmetic surgery when in all honesty, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them at all. I just don't get it.

Before I go on with my arguments though, I just want to state that depending on the circumstances, I can see where cosmetic surgery can be a good thing. If a person gets a tattoo that they absolutely regret and they want to undergo a laser procedure to remove it, I say go for it. The same deal goes for reconstructive surgery after a severe car accident or a brutal round of cancer treatments, or if a person suffers severe burns.

And you know what? Even if people have a healthy attitude about going under the knife, and are absolutely honest about the work that they have had done (I'm specifically looking at Cher and Dolly Parton when I say this), then I'm going to respect them for it, because I believe that they had the procedures done because they wanted them for themselves. They didn't do it to impress other people or to get a film role.  Heck, the late Jeanne Cooper actually had a facelift done on the set of "The Young and the Restless", as a way of educating people on what plastic surgery is really like.

That said, I do wish that more people would accept the idea of aging gracefully. This might just be my crazy opinion, but I think that aging is one of the most beautiful things about life. All of those wrinkles, age spots, surgical scars from medical emergencies, and fine lines tell the story of a life that was well-lived. Every face tells a story, and sometimes the most interesting tales come from those who have the most laugh lines on their faces. But again, that's just from my perspective.

Again, I'm not completely against plastic surgery if it is done for the right reasons (some of which I have mentioned above). But what I do take issue to is the number of young women who are already naturally beautiful feeling as though that natural beauty simply isn't enough, and they feel that the only way to feel beautiful is to go under the knife and undergo a bunch of procedures that make them feel beautiful, when in reality they look no different from a Barbie doll or a Stepford wife.

Case in point...Heidi Montag. Now, many of you are wondering who Heidi Montag is. Apparently she starred on some reality show called “The Hills” with her husband Spencer Pratt, and some other wannabe reality show celebs who have seemingly disappeared since the show was axed a few years ago.

But anyway...when I look back at photos of Heidi Montag from, say, 2007, 2008...she was an absolutely gorgeous stunner. She had natural beauty, and her smile could light up a room. Therefore the very fact that she would have close to a dozen cosmetic surgeries in ONE DAY in an effort to enhance that beauty makes me want to bash my head against a wall.

Never mind the fact that Heidi Montag didn't need the surgery to begin with. At the time that she had the work done, she was TWENTY-THREE! I mean, seriously? I don't know about most of you out there, but when I was 23, I certainly didn't think about cosmetic surgery to improve my looks. The thought never even crossed my mind. When you're 23, you eat a sensible diet, you work out at a gym, you may even buy a brand new outfit...but to have plastic surgery? I mean, what was she thinking?

And here's the tragic irony of it all. When the scars healed and the swelling went down, I'm sorry to say it but all the work Heidi Montag went through to beautify herself was for naught. Sure, aesthetically, it looked good – in a completely manufactured plastic way. The natural beauty that once defined Heidi Montag was erased forever. A real shame.

And don't even get me started on the 2005 reality television series known as “The Swan”. The television show aired on FOX for, I believe two seasons – which according to me is two seasons too many, and the premise of the show was simple. You'd have a bunch of women competing against each other in a beauty pageant after they've had a makeover done, and the winner would be known as “The Swan”.

Now, if this show only focused on hair, wardrobe, and juggling flaming torches as they do on the Miss America pageant, it wouldn't have been such a big deal. But when you consider that “The Swan” basically took random women, performed EVERY POSSIBLE COSMETIC SURGERY IN THE WORLD on them, and then forced them to compete against each other in the pageant, that raises a red flag.

In fact, I'll state for the was the most disgusting and cruel reality show ever produced and shame on FOX for greenlighting it.

Would you like an example to showcase what I mean? Well, here's a clip of the eventual season one winner, Rachel Love-Frasier. At the time the show was filmed, she was 27 years old. By clicking HERE, you can watch the transformation – if you can stomach it.

Now, granted, Rachel did seem very happy with the end result, and I'm certainly not going to take that emotion away from her. It was a life-changing event, and she seemed to really embrace her new look. The issue I have is...was it really necessary for her to undergo all that surgery when all she really may have needed was self-esteem?

I honestly thought that she looked beautiful before. If anything, the only problem that she had was that she had a father who didn't believe in her and a husband who was a complete pig. I imagine that had she cut both of them out of her life, she could have realized that she didn't need to have all that work done to impress them. I think a better way the show could have handled it was by giving her a “What Not To Wear” style makeover, letting the husband and father see her all dolled up, and then Rachel gaining the self-confidence needed to tell them to go suck an egg as she left them in the dust to pursue her brand new wonderful life.

That's something that I would have loved to see.

Here's the truth. People have cellulite. I don't care to read all about which stars have it at the supermarket counter, nor do I want to see an expose on Entertainment Tonight about it. It's insulting and embarrassing the way that these forms of media treat cellulite as if it is some contagious disease. Supermodels have it. The hosts of Entertainment Tonight have it. Hell, I'll bet you that I have it!!! It's cellulite, not leprosy! Sheesh!

And it's not just women who get the scrutiny about looks. As a man, I get bombarded by it too. If I don't have 6-pack abs and have the body to look good in a pair of Calvin Klein tighty-whities, then I best just throw myself off a cliff.

I think that society as a whole puts way too much pressure on people to look a certain way. Society's complete focus on outer beauty is so great that it makes others put less emphasis on inner beauty, if any is put on at all. And, that's a real shame. I'd rather live in a world filled with people who don't fit the mould and have healthy attitudes rather than a world of perfect looking people who act like complete jerks because of their ever growing insecurities.

I do not fit the role of being a tall, rugged, masculine looking, manly man. Well, okay, I AM tall, but that hardly constitutes being a perfect specimen. The difference is that I've accepted my imperfections as something that makes me unique. I have a snaggletooth and an overbite. I wear glasses. I have a bit of a soft gut. These are things that make me who I am. I suppose I could get veneers, laser eye surgery, and do about eighty thousand crunches to make my abs as hard as a rock...but I don't feel the need to do that. As long as my insides work perfectly fine and I'm in fairly good health, then that's all that matters. Besides, at the very least, I use Old Spice products, so I can be the man your man can smell like. I guess in a way, I really respect people who can look at themselves and tell themselves that they are great people both inside and out...people who are proud of their wrinkles and imperfections. People who don't give a damn what other people say except for those who truly matter to them.

And, really, that's what I find beautiful. People who can look at themselves in the mirror and like what they see no matter what size or shape they are. True beauty comes from within. I'm hoping that in this world there are more people who can see that anybody at any size or any age can have a truly beautiful life if they look within themselves.

Wouldn't that be beautiful?

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