Paint and Plastic
Last night I was commenting on a picture of a friend near my age, noting how beautiful she was. She laughed, but truly there was so much beauty and light in face, and a lifetime of stories in her eyes. To me, that IS beautiful! She was also natural, my kind of woman. I have little time or interest in "paint and plastic" and sometimes it pains me to see what people have done to their faces and bodies in the name of "beauty". If you want to be horrified, go to Google Images and search "plastic surgery gone wrong" - before and after pictures that are tragic, to say the least. What is wrong with a society that pushes people to such extremes in an attempt to look 21 forever? Why is it that we can't see beyond that very surface appraisal of what is attractive?
I once had a friend that used makeup like an artist's palette, applying thick layers of bright colors and ridiculously long lashes until she looked very much like a circus clown, or at least Tammy Faye Baker's sister! Her husband tried to tell her to tone it down a bit, we all tried subtly to suggest that less can be more, but when she looked in the mirror she felt that all this was necessary to make herself "beautiful". How sad. The Creator made her beautiful when she was born, and she remains that way today, with or without makeup.
I've never been one for much makeup or fancy hair - it's that 60's thing again, I suppose. From time to time I have worn a little, and wear eyeliner now just because I like it. Eyes tend to disappear behind glasses. I dyed my naturally auburn hair for about a fifteen year period too, in a futile attempt to make early gray hair disappear, and also for the fun of it, trying on lighter and darker colors to see the effect, and once even going candy-apple red... that was "interesting"! :-) I have no problem with young people who do that, we all need to do a bit of experimenting to find our style and discover who we are in life. My issue comes with those who feel they are ugly without all that, that being "Plain Jane" isn't good enough. Sometimes I also have the urge to approach my middle-aged male friends who have dyed their hair three shades too dark and ask them if they really, truly think it makes them pass for younger. If we look in the mirror and can't abide what we see, the problem is most likely far deeper than what meets the eye.
The same goes for plastic surgery. Would I love to lift droopy eyelids a bit or tighten up that sagging chin line? Sure, I'd prefer if gravity didn't take a toll on our bodies as we age. But would I go to the extreme of paying someone to surgically attempt those alterations? Hell no! I am fine with being 58 and I am fine with looking every bit of that. I am also blessed to have a husband who loves the natural look, who says please don't dye your hair, and whose own hair is prematurely silvery white... and I love it! When I braid my long hair in a single braid, as I often do for work or sleeping, the colors are a mix of everything from white to darn auburn and I think it's lovely that way. I'll be thrilled if it someday turns totally white! I am not 21, and I have no desire to try to pretend I am, or 30, or 40. To be in great shape for your age is admirable, and I wish I was. I can improve that some with a bit of effort. But other than that, I am what I am, and when I see other women who are comfortable in their own unaltered skin, I see beauty... naturally... the way God made us. No paint or plastic for me please, but to each their own.