Well, thanks to my friend and photographer extraordinaire Jimmy Flix – now I know.
And staring at myself, “practically perfect in every way”, I am buffeted by some very mixed emotions.
- Longing – oh how I wish I really looked like this! No wrinkles, blotches, and the racoon-type circles under the eyes are gone.
- Envy – not easy to admit, but deep down I am just a teeny-weeny bit jealous of the women who can afford to have the kind of polishing, treatments, and yes, procedures that achieve this kind of result in the real world.
- Resignation – now really, let’s face it, I am never actually going to look this good in real life.
- Annoyance – dammit, why not?
- Acceptance – but it’s ok. There are those who love me anyway. Wrinkles and all.
It’s an interesting debate, though. Should one strive for this kind of glamorous perfection – presupposing of course that that is what your heart desires – or should one believe the mantra that “it’s what’s inside that matters” . Isn’t that something some well meaning parent or teacher would say – in those syrupy, sympathetic tones that leave your already fragile self-esteem shattered at your feet?
Following the mindset of the Secret, if I focus on the illusion long enough, will it not become real?
What is reality anyway, if not an illusion upon which we all agree?
I saw a Twilight Zone episode in which all women, once they reached 18 years of age, were required by the State to undergo a procedure which basically turned them into supermodels. The story centred on a girl who didn’t want to undergo this transformation, and her passionate battle to remain just as she was. I remember her stating that in making everyone beautiful, they were basically making everyone the same. In this Utopia there was no room for wrinkles, saggy skin, crooked noses – indeed, individuality of any kind.
And I do believe in individuality.
So while I love my airbrushed Perfect-Self in the picture, I think I can be happy just being my Best-Self, ever changing, ever improving, always unique.
Viva la Difference!