I used to work with someone a long time ago who used to be appalled when us younger women talked about plastic surgery. Martha (not her real name) was probably in her mid to late fifties while I was in my late 30s. We worked in a salon and we were always talking about nip tucking.
She hadn’t done anything at all to herself even though she worked in the beauty industry. She looked great too! Yes she had frown lines and crows feet, but she was beautiful! Her smile and her energy made her radiate!
“Don’t do it!” She used to say. “You’re beautiful just the way you are!” “Why would you want to erase your history?”
I used to laugh at her, with lots of love of course. We all did, even the twenty year olds who were thinking about breast implants and Botox.
Recently, however, I’ve been thinking a lot about her and what she used to say to all of us.
I’ve had some work, breast implants and a lift after 15 years, a little lipo which in retrospect I totally didn’t need (should have exercised more) and Botox a few years ago, just because.
But, last year, I had an accident. I literally fell on my face getting out of a huge pick up truck. My heel caught, I think. The door swung open as I tried to grab it and literally fell on my face! Never occurred to put my hands out.
Ended up in ER with a busted my lip (12 stiches), couple of chipped teeth, some scratches and bruises.
If any of you know me, you know what pride and joy I take in my mouth. It was always the first compliment I received. “Wow! You have a great smile!” “My goodness your teeth are perfect!”
So when this happened I was DEVASTATED to say the least. I recuperated, the bruises healed, I fixed my teeth, but the scar remains. A visible reminder of #summer17.
I’ve been getting treatments to make the scar look better. The treatments didn’t work. But was super excited when the doctor said I was a perfect candidate for scar revision and that the insurance would pay for it since it was a result of an accident.
NOT! The insurance rejected the claim and as you can imagine, I was as devastated as I was when I had the accident.
Then I started thinking about Martha. Your scars are a part of your history. I started thinking of people with real health issues. My grandmother passed at the age of 82 due to arterial disease in her legs. Basically her veins were collapsing and they were considering amputation. She never made it.
My father in law passed from lung cancer though he had never smoked in his life.
My ex sister-in-law lost her son two days after he was born due to accumulation of liquids in his system and ultimately a stroke.
And I am worried about a scar on my face?!!? Talk about priorities.
We live in a world where everyone is striving to be perfect.
We are bombarded by social media with images of snatched waists, unusually disproportionate asses, perfectly perky breasts. We Botox! We Juvederm! We plump our lips! Highlight! Contour! Diet! Cleanse!
I mean sheesh it’s a wonder we have time for things of substance.
Look I am all for self-preservation, but where do we set limits and boundaries??
Why do women, myself included, have such trouble accepting ourselves in all our glorious beauty??
Why do we measure our inner worth by our outer beauty? Why do we let others define that beauty?
There is so much more to us than what is on the outside. And there are so many perfectly beautiful people with nothing on the inside.
I am trying to come to terms with this scar and even though it was an accident I’d rather forget, it also reminds me of a pretty fantastic summer.
I partied! Connected with friends! Had tons of laughs! Went to Belize! Ziplined for the first time! I mean it was pretty unforgettable!
But all I can seem to focus on is this scar! And the idea that I am now imperfect.
Imperfect by whose definition?
Listen, I don’t know if given the opportunity and finances I wouldn’t go ahead and remove the scar.
But for now this scar is a part of my history and if people are going to define me by that scar than those are people who do NOT need to be a part of my journey.
I would like to think that I have way more substance that I bring to the table.
I’d like to think that my kindness, my love, my care and concern for others means a lot more than a perfect face.
And disclaimer here: I do NOT judge a single person that opts for any type of “work”. What I am merely saying is that sometimes we are searching for things on the “outside” to make us beautiful, when we already have it on the inside.
I don’t know about you, but I know there many things on my inside that are far more beautiful than what you see on the surface.