Friday, August 6, 2010

Body Image: What is fake? What is natural?

Someone asked me a question on my formspring and it really got me thinking. It's a specific question, but I generalized it into the entire spectrum of plastic surgery and body image. I thought it was a really good question and I wanted to open it up to the rest of you so I could hear your thoughts and opinions. Here is the question and MY opinion. (If your opinion is radically different, that's awesome! This isn't a debate and there is no right or wrong answer! This is merely a stating of opinions and beliefs! We can all be adults here!)

Question: What is your opinion of women who get boob jobs or plastic surgery? Do you think they're fake?

My answer (plus elaboration): Good question! No, I do not feel as though they are fake. There are some women out there who I PERSONALLY feel may be "overdoing" it, but I'm not in their body or mind, so I can't even begin to imagine how they seem themselves.

While I have always felt that I wish more women could be comfortable in their own/natural skin, even I am guilty of not feeling my best when I'm 100% natural. Yes, I do wear hair extensions, I dye my hair, I fill in my eyebrows and sometimes I sport colored contacts. But I do this because I feel comfortable doing it. I think people should do whatever they think is necessary to feel their best. If that means breast augmentation or veneers or covering their bodies in tattoos, so be it. I'm not that person so I don't feel comfortable passing judgement on anyone. The difference is, I wish people would make these changes because THEY want to... not because they feel like they will be more widely accepted by society (because we've all seen that this is usually not the case). Sometimes we see a gal with an obvious breast augmentation or pouty injected lips and we don't stop for one second to think about how they must see themselves. Instead, we pass judgement immediately and deem them "fake." To me, THIS is what is wrong with our society.

I may have come to terms with certain aspects of myself like my size or my not-so-perfect smile or whatever, and these are things that can be fixed with surgery or whatever else, but there are definitely days when I hate the way I look. We all have bad days. My teeth are too crooked or my face too round. My butt too big, etc. I don't feel like that makes me a hypocrite (though some will argue).

I wish we, as a society, didn't feel like we needed to play into someone's ridiculous image of the "perfect" man or woman, but we all fall victim to it at some point or another. This is something that could easily be fixed by changing our mindset to not automatically judge someone based on what we see. Either she's too fat or too fake or too tan or wearing too much makeup. Even the skinniest of gals have body issues. This "disease" of our mind does not have a target demographic. It's an epidemic that includes and infects every. single. person. whether we want to admit it or not.

Some of you leave comments to me saying you wish I'd be more "all natural" or go back to my dark hair or you love my red hair, etc. While I appreciate all of your comments and concern, even the opinions that are different from my own, I wish you could realize that I do these things because I feel comfortable doing them. Maybe I fill in my eyebrows because I'm self conscious of them without it. (Even if you think they're unattractive... it's not your place to judge me for it. and it's certainly not beneficial to anyone to leave unsolicited comments saying so.) People ask for pictures of me without makeup because I'd "look so much prettier" but they don't realize how detrimental comments like that can be! It's not suddenly okay to say those things because you pin a backhanded compliment to it. While I may parade around in many places without makeup or without doing my hair, I don't feel 100% comfortable posting those photos online because no matter what, SOMEONE will have some incredibly rude to say. Even if it's "you're so much prettier here! [without makeup]" because instead of taking that kindly, I'll start thinking "I look so fake!" when I wear makeup. It doesn't benefit anyone. Maybe Mary Ann likes her breasts to be a fuller C cup as opposed to her natural A's.... it's not our place to tell her they look awful. She's trying to feel better about HERSELF. She's not trying to please us. Just like I'm not trying to please you, and I don't expect you to try to please me.

What about the transgendered community? Do you feel like a "man" who undergoes gender reassignment surgery to become the woman he's always identified with is fake? He's bypassing nature, right? When you dumb it down to the very basics, you start to realize the flaws in our mindset. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone or blaming you, I'm just saying that we've all been there. We've all been the judge and the judged in life. Don't you think the world would be a better place if we accepted everyone for who they wanted to be and how they wanted to look?

Some people will argue that my use of hair extensions and colored contacts makes me fake or makes me a hypocrite because I preach that we should all love ourselves, but I think we should love OURSELVES most importantly. Mega emphasis on OURSELVES! We shouldn't have to love what our next door neighbor does with his beard (even if we think it looks a little weird). We don't have to necessarily agree with everything everyone else does, but we should respect it, as long as it's not hurting anyone. 

Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now! I just want to hear YOUR thoughts! Do you feel like plastic surgery or hair dye or extensions makes someone fake? Is there a fine line for you? 

(This is merely a discussion thread! Not to provoke or promote ignorant comments or remarks toward others! Please keep it civil!)


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