I remember my mother telling me to “just be yourself” whenever I was confronted with a new situation where it was necessary to make new friends or acquaintances…like going to sleep-away camp for the first time, or starting a new grade at school, or joining a new club or group like a dance class or the church choir or running for a class office in school. While, in theory, the advice was sound, it is not too pertinent or practical today. I find it impossible to just be myself.
As far as I can tell, very few of us are our true selves anymore (at least not physically). We have all changed over the years. In the course of several decades, for instance, my hair color and styles have gone from mousey brown to Marilyn Monroe bleached blond, to brunette with a hint of red, to brunette with chunky blond streaks and now blond with a few brunette highlights. And that’s just me. My twenty something granddaughter has gone from brunette to blond, to auburn, to pink, to purple and back to being a redhead.
I’ve compiled a list of the changes I’ve noticed in those around me. It’s astounding to admit that there is very little natural about us women now-a-days. (And men too, I suppose) Starting at the top of a fictional girlfriend's head (but truer than most would care to admit), note these body modifications:
- Change in hair color
- Change in hair styles and length (Extensions)
- Botox injected into forehead and crow’s feet lines
- Tattooed eyebrows, eyeliners and around the lips (permanent makeup)
- Lip and cheek fillers
- False eye lashes
- Face lifts and/or neck lifts
- Breast implants
- Tummy tucks
- Cool sculpting
- Acrylic or gel nails
I am sure that there are many other procedures that have alluded me. So, my mother’s advice to “just be yourself” actually should only apply to one’s personality and morals, not to our physical bodies. If I were asked to give advice to someone today on the same subject, I would say, “Find a good plastic surgeon and a talented hairdresser. Seek spiritual guidance to strengthen your morals and convictions.”
In the meantime, as soon as Covid is under control, I’ll see you in the waiting room, in line for my next Botox shot.
Until my next inspiration…ciao.