This past week something hit me about the truth in why American women are feeling the need to have everything that sags, tags and bags lifted up above their heads. It all started when I saw a neighbor "working" in the garden in a string bikini top and shorts that wouldn't make a decent dish towel in a kitchen for Polly Pockets. Am I supposed to pretend I don't notice that my neighbor, once flatter-chested and age appropriate in her facial expressions, now looks as though she might very well have Jimmy Hafa hiding in her blouse!! Come on, who do you think you are fooling out there! For goodness sakes, have a little self respect!
Almost immediately my minds' eye wandered to a cartoon of my neighbors husband. Why was he not giving her the assurance she needed as a woman - his wife - that she was beautiful (and she was) just the way she was? Had he encouraged her to take the plunge and fill her body full of toxic waste that some call silicone? Had he held the mirror and offered the 'encouraging words' that she would 'look so much younger' after the boob job and face lift? Well, here's what I would say to all of you considering cosmetic surgey...."STOP THE INSANITY YOU IDIOT!!"
While cosmetic surgery isn't new to movie stars and billionaires, it seems that it the normal joe and commoners are making this practice an everyday occurence in America. It is a question that arises with alarming frequency while watching television these days. In the 'olden days' it seemed the birthright of only TV's pioneers. Joan Rivers has talked about her surgery so many times over the years that it's part of her routine. Indeed plastic surgery is so acceptable, it has its own genre -- from reality makeover shows to FX's "Nip/Tuck," lipo, lifts, Botox and implants are as much a part of the cultural conversation as braces and contact lenses were in my younger days. Except braces are temporary, contact lenses invisible and cosmetic surgery, well, it seems to have gotten out of hand.
Want to try a very scary experiment? Okay then, Google the name of almost any female actor older than 20 and the term "cosmetic surgery," and you will be deluged with blogs and websites devoted to deconstructing famous faces and figures, often in the most clinical terms -- several of the sites are run, apparently, by actual surgeons who offer their expert analysis. But among those who are being analyzed, plastic surgery has become like gambling in Las Vegas -- a billion-dollar industry that no one admits to paying for. OMG!!!
Okay, well here is what runs through my mind when I see my neighbor - I am so sorry. I want to say "I am so sorry." I want to say it. So, here it goes, just for my neighbor:
"I am so sorry that you didn't have the confidence and comfort level to age naturally in your own skin - the skin God blessed you with. I am so sorry that your husband didn't let you know how beautiful you were - inside and out - and how he wanted to live the rest of his life with you and grow old with you. I am so sorry that somewhere in your past you didn't grow to like yourself enough or learn that life was not really about looks or that LOOKING the best didn't really mean that you WERE the best. And I am sorry that you must think that looking 10 years younger really gives you 10 extra years on this earth. And I am so sorry that I didn't tell you how great I thought you were or thank you for being a good neighbor or compliment you on what a great job you did with your garden. I thought you were so pretty and I thought you were such a great lady. So please know how sad and how sincere I am when I say, I am really sorry."
Women of America we need to come clean. We need to host a town hall meeting and wake up American women to the truth without seeming like we are engaging in some form of gotcha. Watching 78-year-old Barbara Walters, for example, her face painfully taut and shiny, trying to speak out a few understandable words through her botox and silicone absolutely breaks my heart. Or how about the ridiculus look that Priscilla Presley is sporting these days. Its enough to make Elvis turn over in his grave and ask, "Who the heck is that????" If we don't do something, I would think it not too far-fetched that my thirteen-year-old might be attending Botox or plastic surgery home parties at 25 instead of Tupperware and Pampered Chef.
I say, Women of America, you are beautiful! God has blessed American women with determination, bravery and tenderness that make us a unique breed. An unspoken sisterhood has always connected women to women -- we instinctively know how to seek each other out for comfort, for companionship, or solace and for support. And HELLO -- We are not all superstars who fill the pages of expensive magazines. We are American women - ordinary women going about our everyday lives with grace, optimism and resiliency. We ARE American women - beautiful women, smart women, women embodying the spiritual and emotional connections that unite us a working women, caretakers, lovers and friends. So throw out those notions of what makes American woman beautiful. Because I, for one, don't want to be remembered for being beautiful. I want to be remembered for doing beautiful things. Are you with me?