Somehow, over the course of my life, I have moved from one isolated world to another–from an ultra-conservative small-town college to the frantically transient “bubble” of DC, and now a job in the marketing industry, which is as alien to me as anything else I’ve encountered. Like all life experiences, though, it has its educational side. Here are a few things I’ve picked up so far …
1. You look weirder without your flaws.
I don’t watch America’s Next Top Model, but according to friends that do, Tyra Banks agrees with me. Your flaws are your assets—they make you you. I saw a set of before-and-after pictures of a man (aged 50s or 60s, I’d say) who had had a chin tuck. Before, he looked appropriate for his age—yes, he had wrinkles and sagging skin, but that’s age appropriate. He didn’t have some horrendous deformity, he looked normal. After, he still had wrinkles and sagging skin everywhere but his chin—which only looked that much weirder.
The thing is, unless you are actually a model, no one pays more attention to your appearance than you do. Everyone else really is too busy worrying about themselves and what they look like to notice all the things you dislike about yourself. If they do notice, it’s not for long—again, they have their own flaws to obsess about. The crow’s feet, the extra few pounds, the stray eyebrow hairs—these things that plague your morning routine often receive nothing more than a passing glance from others. They are part of what makes the person of you, and if you take that away, you’re just not you anymore!
2. No one wants you to be happy.
Well, your mom, your significant other, and your dog probably all want you to be happy. But anyone offering a service or product that promises to make you happier doesn’t actually care if you’re happy. They want you to be unhappy so you’ll buy what they’re selling—whether it’s Botox, liposuction, the latest weight-loss program, or a new anti-aging serum–in the hopes of becoming happy. Happy people are not profitable.
3. Most health and beauty advice doesn’t make sense if you think about it for more than .03 seconds.
Have you heard of chemical peels? They’re basically controlled skin damage. You get a mix of chemicals slathered on your skin that kills the skin and makes it slough off so that, after the blisters and scabs heal, it forces your skin to renew itself faster. Assuming you take good care of your skin after the peel, it’s one of the few beauty techniques that actually kind of works. It’s basically a more violent form of exfoliation.
BUT THEN … I keep seeing articles warning you not to exfoliate too much or too roughly because it … damages and irritates your skin. So where is the line between “skin damage is bad” and “this type of skin damage is totally okay and will make your complexion look amazinnnnggggg”?
(Well, according to my friend Joy, “They really just want you dependent on their chemical peel providers. And to that I say, ‘F*** THE HEGEMONY’ *claws off face*”)
4. The Reaper doesn’t care about your Botox.
The difficult truth is that you can’t turn back the clock, no matter how many anti-aging products you try or how many fruits and vegetables you ate. Death comes for us all.