Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who Started all this Beauty Madness? by Kat Magendie

I flip through a magazine and realize it’s no longer strange to see clever ads for Botox and plastic surgery, the ones that make the decision seem a smart and savvy one for the up and coming woman of distinction. Why are we so hooked on “Beauty” and who started all this madness?

Let’s see. In ancient Babylon, not only the women but also the men wore eye shadow and eyeliner, darkened their lashes, curled their hair, and used henna for nail color. Ancient Grecian woman crushed berries to blush their cheeks and applied fake eyebrows made of ox’s hair. The Egyptians liked to show off their veins with blue "paint." Those girly Roman women made facial masks out of flowers, honey, wheat, and eggs. Oh, but the hardy Medieval women slapped bat’s blood to their faces (good god), while both men and women used pumice stones for toothbrushes (ouch). Beginning with the sixteenth century, women patted white lead on their faces to look “pale” (lord help them), and while they were at it they lightened their hair with lye--of course their fell out so they had to wear wigs.

Huhn. Well. Maybe a few lines and dark under-eye shadows aren’t so bad, considering what some will go through to look, um, good. We can laugh or say, “EEK!” at the ancient ways of beauty, but really, are we much better now? Today there is the aforementioned Botox and plastic surgery; and then, liposuction; hair plugs; weird crazy diets and supplements; stomach stapling and banding; “full body” lifts; lip plumper-outers that look as if the woman was stung in the lips by fifty-two hornets; cosmetic foot surgery to reshape the feet, for god's sake; and the uh, er, ahem, “female body parts” plastic surgery to beautify "down there," geez.

I smile at myself in the mirror. I’m not so bad. In fact, I’m grateful for the good genes my parents passed down to me. Good teeth, solid bone structure, healthy body. Yeah. Not so bad at all, considering the “cures” for what is the natural progression of our lives. I’ll take it…I’ll take me, just as I am. Be thankful for what you have, or else where will all this madness end?

7 comments:

Nannette Croce said...

I can handle weird beauty regimens. Even animals preen.It's the constant striving for youth (and staying slim) that bugs me. When I was younger I can remember certain elderly women being considered "handsome." Elizabeth Custer lived into her 90s and was still considered a beautiful woman, with no face lifts and several extra pounds.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I've been waiting for the "beauty obsession" pendulum to swing back the other way for a long time now. It's overdue. For now, I'll follow the lead of Jamie Lee Curtis who is beautiful and ALL natural at 50, gracing the cover of AARP magazine. Hoorah for her! Here's a very short article which state her thoughts on aging: http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2008/03/22/topless_jamie_lee_curtis_promotes_aging_

Barbara Quinn said...

It's easy to get caught up in the beauty culture isn't it? I try to not get too caught up with all this maintenance. Way too much time. I remember being 31 and a dermatologist asking if I wanted to do something about the lines around my eyes. Boy, did I get ticked and I switched docs after that. But the flip side is who doesn't like to look at beautiful things or faces? Recent studies show that even babies are attracted to good looking faces. So, the key as always is balance and finding where you are comfortable in your own skin and saying the heck with everything else. Be confident and smile and your inner beauty will shine through.

Anonymous said...

your words give just a hint of your real inner beauty. a fine companion to your natural outer beauty. i'm thankful for both.
r

Patricia Harrington said...

I like the idea of the "YOG" and believe the thought behind it contributes to one's beauty and outlook. The theme of the crazed poet and beseiged painter who suffer are known. I write to create and create stories to share life. Writing makes the DNA stronger, if that's possible. And I'd like to think that the "message" left behind creates a better world, a bit of insight to at least one person. If the latter is the case, then it makes the writing all the more meaningful and adds to the "beauty" gene pool, however that's defined.

Pat Harrington

Kathryn Magendie said...

Everyone - I am enjoying these comments....as I sit here with my head still coifed with bed head at 12:44 since I have yet to shower -- well, I worked out and then cleaned the house a bit; that's my exuse, and I have not a trace of make up and I need to brush my teeth again and and...well, the critters on the mountain don't care and if my hb does he wouldn't say...

later, in just a few, I will shower, wash out the bed head, and put on something decent ...yes, in just a little bit ...just a bit...

Kathryn Magendie said...

Pat H....oh how lovely and true

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