What makes the vanity of others insupportable is that it wounds our own.
~François de la Rochefoucauld
A Walk in the Woods
TONIGHT on TV
Nothing--dinner in Sacramento
BOTOX AND OTHER IMPONDERABLES
8 August 2004
Would someone please explain to me the attraction of botox?
Botox kind of reminds me of olives. Who was the person who picked the first olive off a tree, tasted it, discovered it was the most vile tasting thing in the world, and then decided that if he soaked it in lye for awhile, it would become edible?
Botox is a shortened version of "botulism toxin."
Whoever decided that if we took some botulism toxin, the kind of stuff that scary movies are made about, the sort of weapon of mass destruction that the Department of Homeland security wants to guard against, the kind of thing that the Department of Agriculture warns against when you cook your chicken, and if we injected that botulism toxin into our skin, it would be a good thing?
There was a time when Dr. G was talking about botox injections to smooth out some wrinkles on his balding forehead. I don't know if he ever did it, but I think he must have because I remember his wife (now his ex-wife, by the way) joking about it.
While I don't see the value of having toxic substances deliberately injected into my skin to remove wrinkles, that is, perhaps, a somewhat legitimate use for the substance. But you have to repeat it every 4 months.
"Sorry, dear, it's time to go have poisonous toxins injected into my skin again..."
Something else I don't understand is lip augmentation. It seems that you can't find a star in Hollywood these days that isn't walking around with Ubangi lips. (Those are the guys who stretch their lips out to unnatural lengths--I remember those from my Bozo the Clown records when I was a kid.) With very few exceptions, they end up looking just ridiculous.
Sometime in the past year, Leslie Stahl must have had some sort of lip augmentation because she comes on to introduce 60 Minutes and all I can think of is that she looks like a clown these days. It's not in the least appealing. Every time I see her, I remember that my father used to comment, when I first started wearing makeup, that I looked like I'd been hit in the face with a tomato. All I see of Stahl is big lips and red-red lipstick.
Julia Roberts, an otherwise "pretty woman" never strikes me as looking natural--I'm just always drawn to her lips and instead of thinking "my word, that's a beautiful woman," I am thinking "what in god's name did she do to her lips?)
Angelina Jolie is a beautiful woman--but would be just as beautiful without the huge lips.
Nobody has to explain to me the attraction of breast augmentation, but I've seen a lot of augmented breasts in my days chaparoning breast exams for Dr. G and with only one exception that I can remember, none of them ever looked natural.
I used to watch the topless dancers at the Bada-Bing on The Sopranos and I can't imagine (a) carrying something that heavy around, and (b) that something that looks so unnatural could be a turn-on to anyone.
(Of course there are those who would argue that the floppy breasts that come with middle age and a decade of breastfeeding are a lot less appealing overall, so I suppose I have no right to cast aspirsions.)
(I would parenthetically like to state that the things I'm discussing are the vanity things, not the surgeries that are the result of some medically caused condition, breast reconstruction after mastectomy, etc.)
Men don't get off scott free either. Has anybody ever seen a good looking toupee? There probably are some, but the average joe who puts one of those things on his head looks like he's gone out wearing a piece of roadkill--or the family cat--on his head.
(I will admit, however, that a bad-fitting toupee is better than a single strand of hair wound around a bazillion times to simulate a full head of hair--or the spray-on hair substitutes. I know a guy who uses both techniques. He doesn't go out in bright light often!)
I really don't understand stomach stapling surgery. I'm a compulsive overeater who would love to be 150 lbs again, but I got this way from eating too much and being unable to stop eating. People who go for the surgery say that they've "tried every diet" and can't stick with it. That much I understand. But, unless there is a serious health risk, you're undergoing major surgery, which is, in itself, fraught with potential lethal complications (just ask Gilbert), and when the surgery is finished and you've gone through the weeks/months of painful readjustment, then you live the rest of your life on the most strict diet you've ever tried. You can't eat anything, at least not in any quantity.
Well--if you can stick with that diet after you've had the life-threatening surgery, why the hell can't you just go on the diet to begin with and avoid putting your life at risk by undergoing surgery and the uncomfortable aftermath?
I suppose I really have no right to criticize anyone who attempts to improve their appearance or who gets a boost by looking better. I sit here overweight, out of shape, using no makeup whatsoever. I'm not exactly irresistible. But at least everything I have is all mine naturally.
Web Recommendation Today
I love this web site for Tom's friend Brian (I earlier linked to his kindergarten web site). This one is for his
newborn daughter--be sure to read the "application to date my daughter."
(the only question that bothered me was "Do you have one MALE and one FEMALE
parent," as if that should make a difference.)