Friday, July 3, 2009

The Picture of Dorian Gray Hair Cover-up

Hello all.  I know it has been too long since I last posted. By way of excuse, I am taking two summer classes, working and have recently started dating someone.  Like actually dating them.  Like I have a boyfriend.  But I digress.  

Last month, I was reading the June issue of Vogue, and was enjoying the issue as I usually do.  Then I came across the article "Fat Chances", an article that has the sub-headline of "will body perfection one day be possible...a new world way beyond lipo".  The article goes on to detail how women these days along with wanting to look thin, also want to look young: "Ten years ago, the women who came to see me just wanted to look they want their body to look younger, too".  (May I add here that this is coming from the magazine that at some point last year had what they called the Body Issue, which celebrated many different types of bodies.  yeah.  seriously.)  The article has sections titled "The Fat Blasters: Lipo Plus", "Fat-Dissolving Injections", "The Tighteners" (which in my opinion sounds like the title of a horror film), and "Cellulite: The Eternal Scourge".  

I think at this point, I put the magazine down and thought about never opening another issue of Vogue again. 

As a young woman, with virtually no gray hair or wrinkles or other "age" markers, I haven't really thought about what it will be like to look older.  I have thought about what it will be like for my hair to go gray, and have pretty well decided that I will never dye my hair and just let it age naturally.  I read a quote by Ann Curry a few years ago that I tried to find, but could not, so I will paraphrase, but it was something like "I hope that one day my wrinkles will show how much I laughed and lived".  It was something much more poetic than that.  My point is that I am going to live a full life and laugh a lot and probably cry a lot and yeah, my face is going to show that.  Yes, I use moisturizer and eye cream and wear huge sunglasses until dusk, but I'm not that worried about getting wrinkles. 

Now, apparently, I need to start worrying about what age my BODY looks.  

If you've read any of my previous writing, you know that I get a little worked up over body image issues.  However, I've only focused on the problems that YOUNG women face, children, teenagers and women my age.  I guess I sort of assumed that women matured out of the whole "caring about what the world thinks of you" thing.  I assumed wrong.  It is not enough anymore to think that you aren't thin or pretty enough, now you need to think that you're not young enough. That maybe your stomach isn't that flat anymore or your hips are a little bit wider (the author of the article mentions the "curve of her lower back".  I had no idea that was a problem area.  oops).  

What in the hell is so wrong with looking your age?  

When we are younger, we want to look older.  When we are older, we want to look younger.  I get that.  But going to extreme measures, using something called "the tighteners" to look 25 again?  

In the same issue of Vogue, there is an interview with Cameron Diaz, in which she says, "I'm not 25 years old anymore, nor do I want to be.  I wouldn't even want to go back to being 30.  That journey-I've done it already".  HOW CAN YOU HAVE THAT IN THE SAME ISSUE AS SOMETHING ABOUT HATING YOUR AGING BODY?!  Nice work, editing.  

There is a lot that is screwed up about the way Americans treat women, the way this culture expects women to look like, so my next statement is most likely unnecessary, but what happened to age=wisdom?  What happened to the respect that comes with living, with experience, with knowing more about the world through LIFE?  Or is that still there, we just expect our women to live always in the shadow of impending liposuction?  We can only respect an elderly woman if she appears to be 30?  

I really hate that this new way of self-loathing has been brought to my attention.  Now I know that for ever long I live, there will always be a new way to hate my body. 

 I better go wrap myself in sea kelp now and age away in an infrared sauna.  


Stuart Conner said...

Ah, vanity.

Even as man, there's pressure there. I'm 24 and balding and I get plenty of scuff about it. I hate hearing people tell me to look into Bosley. I'm not about to have surgery to "correct" something that God has well enough set in place.

But these are the things people look at. These are the things that are "important".

Stuart Conner said...

(I'm not trying to say that the pressure for men is in any way comparable to woman, I'm just saying that even we have it, to some extent.

Leah Hollett said...

wow! you are GOOD... let's get together sometime so we can burn that issue of vogue. Also, you should bring your boyfriend to the commerce ward so I can embarass you... jk so I can congratulate him on his fine catch!