The other day I was attending a funeral service and there was this acquaintance right beside me who kept muttering, This is so sad, although her face remained unmoved, frozen. She had just had botox injected all over her face that morning, and could barely speak. Another acquaintance whom I thought I´d see there couldn´t make it, because she had just had liposuction the day before and it was still very painful to move. Both women are about my age: 38 years old, and have always been attractive, healthy women who really didn´t need those interventions.
I´m not saying we shouldn´t care about beauty. There´s nothing wrong with females (and males) trying to look good. Make-up, moisturizing creams, jewelry, perfume. I love all of that. The problem is when we can´t draw the line. When we stop being human beings above everything and live our lives around cosmetic procedures that will make us look like this or that celebrity, sometimes of the opposite sex.
Why are we, women, so obsessed with being someone else? First of all, let´s absolve the guys. It has absolutely nothing to do with them. In fact, most men are perfectly fine with the way we look. Second, I don´t think it has to do with beauty. I can´t be convinced that substituting your actual and normal nose for something that looks like a light switch will make you look more beautiful.
I think I´ve had a glimpse to where the problem may lie observing mothers and daughters, including myself and my daughter. Our daughters growing up means we´re getting older. That´s basic. But I´ve been observing something else in this complex relationship: mothers can do many damages to their daughters´ self-esteem when, instead of behaving like parents, they behave like same-age friends with a credit card. Instead of saying- my love, you don´t need those (astronomically expensive) jeans to be beautiful, you are beautiful being yourself- we go ahead and buy them because all her friends have them, too.
Now, when we buy that , and into that, what we´re actually saying to that young girl is: yes, a pair of very expensive jeans is all we, women, need to make us feel we´re worth something. It can also be a handbag, sunglasses, a pair of shoes, a boob job, a car, a crystal engraved cell phone, the list is endless.
I have wrinkles around my eyes, and they are most evident when I smile. It´s part of me. Many times I don´t say anything, I just smile with my eyes and the people I love know what I mean. I also don´t wear expensive and exclusive clothes. I choose clothes that are beautiful (in my opinion) and comfortable, and that have to do with my personality. My nose is not small, but it´s exactly like my father´s, and I´m proud to have inherited it, among his many other traits: he was an awesome man. I think the best I can teach my daughter is that being comfortable in one´s skin is one of the most beautiful things you can find in a person.