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Life is only what you wonder.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

But The Person Underneath, Where Does He Go?

I was reading a post by my buddy Tony about gay men and their never-ending quest for beauty.
Later on, while carelessly flipping channels on the TV, I came across a show on Discovery Health about plastic surgery. These were success stories of women who had procedures done -- and don't they look fabulous now?

All of that got me thinking what kind of work I would have done, if I were so inclined.
The first step was identifying my flaws.

Let's see. Pectoral and bicep implants would be good. No amount of working out, no matter how strenuous, has ever made a bit of difference in my physique. I have the chest of a fourteen year old boy. It'd be nice to take my shirt off at the beach and have someone go, "Wow!" instead of "Oh my God, you have no definition al all!"
A nice V-shape to my back wouldn't be unwelcome either, and of course I'd have to have my shoulders built up to compensate for it, but I could have the torso of an underwear model.

I would have my teeth all redone. Capped, bonded, bleached, straightened. I would have a perfect set of even, gleaming-white, movie-star teeth. You'd need to wear sunglasses when I smiled.
Corrective surgery would eliminate the need to wear glasses. I can't wear contac.t lenzes because of my astigmatism.
Dermabrasion would smoothen the skin on my face, and a little Botox would eradicate that little furrow between my eyebrows. Oh, it's not so bad now, but in ten years that sucker will be the size of the Grand Canyon.

See, that's the thing. Once you start listing your "flaws", where does it end? Where do you stop, draw the line? There's always something else that could be modified, corrected, or otherwise improved upon.
Try it yourself and make your own list. You start thinking like that and you start feeling really, really ugly.

But, OK, let's say I went and had the works done. The whole shebang: teeth, chest, body, face. eyes, skin, what have you. And while both our feet are firmly planted in Fantasy Land, let's also say I got a golden Bains De Soliel tan, a brand new hairdo, a new high-fashion wardrobe, and some bangin' bling-bling to go with it.
Would all of that make me a better person?

I guess that depends on your definition of "better", doesn't it? The media would definitely say I was much improved, and so would almost anybody else you care to ask. I would have only gotten more desirable, more interesting.

But would my extreme makeover make me a better conversationalist? A more kind and caring person? More intelligent? A better person on the inside?
And what happens when I look in a mirror and I don't recognize myself? What then?

Everyone has this fantasy of walking into a room and everyone is awe-struck and dazzled by your incredible beauty. You're a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love, you are! You're beating the men off with a stick. You're so handsome everyone wants to be with you. People stammer and stutter and fawn all over you because your so fuggin' gorgeous.
But that's all it is -- a fantasy. That's not going to happen no matter what I do. And would I really want people desiring me just because I'm that incredible-looking? How shallow is that?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself. And if that mole on your face bothers you so much, then, by God, have it chopped off. But, as Tony pointed out, beauty (even extraordinary beauty) will all fade with time no matter how much you try to keep it at bay.

A makeover is best when you start from the inside and work outwards.