The cost of beauty
As I sit here starring at my destroyed nails and prying for them to grow quicker, I wonder what is the cost of beauty?
I’m not talking about the inner beauty, or the natural born beauty, the inner health which comes out as beauty, but what society has made seem essential and expected these days (from females anyway - for now), the fake, the artificial beauty. The beauty that money can buy.
Take something as simple as nails. Natural, long, strong, clear nails aren’t enough, I was asked to get them painted, to look more, I don’t know, upmarket? More escort like? More classy? More something? Sexy? Does paint on nails make one sexy?
Since I had that booking on a tour, and didn’t have the time to get them done there, I opted for gel nails, as beauty therapist reassured me it does not damage nails, and they will last a month as opposed to chipping 2 days later with normal nail polish. Paid $180 in a posh saloon, and got my pretty, bright, shining nails and toe nails for a month. Frankly towards the end of that month I couldn’t stand that colour any more, and you could see how much nails were growing. Then seeing the effort it took for them to remove that gel, I’m not surprised by the state of my nails now.
I ended up with broken, chipping, weak, crappy looking nails and toe nails, which are somehow even sore. There is the temptation of putting fake nails again, to have them shiny and pretty again, but the damage it does to them is too high a price to pay I believe… They can’t breath, they just wilt away.
I decided to grow them out and have my healthy ones on again in time…
At least I can still do what guys love so much with them. Luckily. Or I might have had to cancel all bookings. Saying I’m sorry my nails are broken. Does that sound better than “I can’t go out, I have to wash my hair” excuse? Haha.
What about other beauty procedures? Do they damage the body parts just as much? Probably. I was working in the fashion and beauty industry for a number of years, and heard numerous stories of eyelash extensions killing natural eyelashes, hair extensions doing the same for hair. My flat mate had hair extensions done and spent the night walking the corridors scratching her head and cursing.
Waxing creates stretch marks, eyebrow wax - droopy eyelids, spray tan - besides the horrific stink, damaging the body, chemicals going in to the blood stream. Non organic hair colour - more chemicals in the blood stream.
Breast implants - need regular changing, every 7 years, otherwise could leak. So many scary stories from people I know. That’s not mentioning the severe pain, trauma to the body, foreign mass inside a very sensitive place, all side effects and the potential for disaster. Like my striper friend who went dancing too soon, and had one implant fall out on stage in front of everyone.
I’m certain botox injections, fillers, extreme facial treatments increase inflammation and the body is busier fighting those, and leaving some dangerous pathogens to roam freely.
A year ago when I started working (after a few years break in which I really didn’t give a shit how I looked - the freedom of which I miss now), as previously doing modelling I was younger and looked after myself really well, but after the break, coming back in to the visual industry, I didn’t feel too crash hot, altho I loved my body, even with all the compliments re my looks I was getting, after a few months of working, I started feeling guilty for not getting all the beauty procedures done, which seem to be the expected norm not just within the working ladies but pretty much all females 20 years and older. When my very young beauty girl told me she has a face full of botox, fillers, enhanced lips, lasered hair, tattooed eyebrows… holy shit!
I did feel guilty for not “looking after myself” by paying loads of money to all those professional people to make me “pretty”. After spending a couple of grand on various “treatments”, going thru a lot of pain, for someone with very low pain tolerance those things pretty much killed… However I do like to challenge myself, and some of my decisions were to check if I can go thru it.
I realised a few things - guys can’t tell the difference. None of my regulars noticed! (Also the practitioner told me many wives hide it from their husbands, so obviously they don’t see the changes). In fact my girlfriends didn’t notice either, my eyebrow wax girl didn’t see the difference even once I told her about it, obviously she sees many people but still…
My body started catching every cold that was going around after not being sick for years. I also stopped going to the gym and infra red sauna which I loved, because the medical practitioner told me it will destroy all the hard (and expensive!) work she has done. If I didn’t exercise or go out on the sun, go swimming or visit saunas I should have been “pretty” for 1.5 years. Well, even with being “good” and not doing any of those, my body managed to eat thru it all in 3-4 months. Also my skin became more sensitive and magenta, which doesn’t quite match the rest of the body which is more olive, thanks to the couple of damaging facials I got, which were called “treatments”. My ears even rejected earrings! And grew the holes closed.
I didn’t do much in terms of “treatments”, certainly didn’t go over the top with anything. A few needles here and there, and a couple of strong facials. But I’m thinking now to return to being me, true to myself, and get back to gym properly, not the scared 30 min quiet workouts hoping not to damage my fillers…
But to go out and enjoy. Enjoy again when guys touch my face, enjoy frowning if I feel like it, enjoy making funny faces, and just be me.
I feel plastic surgeries are addictive. If all goes well, making you look pretty, but the effect doesn’t last long. It’s also by stuffing up the original site that got treated, making it worse than it was before, is making it more necessary to continue with the procedures.
Hey, even make up, not the occasional use, but the every day, all day wear, makes the skin worse, lips go pale. I lived with my auntie for a while when I was a child, and was shocked to see her doing full make up before her first cup of coffee, every single morning! Even on days she didn’t get out of the house. Russian ladies are usually very much in to their make up. Majority believe their husband shouldn’t see them without their “face on”. Not sure where that gene has skipped me.
Don’t hate me. Everyone needs to do what works for them. I certainly know hundreds of people who are happy with the changes they had done to themselves. I just wonder if everyone needs to be pushed in to this world, expected to change their body, how plastic is our society getting? The nurse who was doing my treatments, with sparkling eyes announced that now even guys come to her for botox! Imagine guys with no expression lines, no smiling wrinkles around the eyes, being unable to lift their eyebrows up… bizarre.
Unless things change, in another 50 years, we will need a screen on our foreheads with a mood symbol, as we won’t have any expressions left on our faces, they will be a complete mask of neutrality.
I don’t know if I won’t get seduced in to the dangerous world of body modifications (I think it’s a better name for it than “treatments”) but I doubt I’ll ever think much positive about that industry.
Wish people just ate healthy, drank less alcohol, slept more, had more sex and let the natural glow show.