Being a man, there are many things in this world that I don’t fully understand. But the obsession with augmenting our bodies, specifically women’s bodies, has got to stop.
Granted, there have always been some rather twisted things that women have done to make themselves more physically attractive, most of which have been based in particular cultural images of beauty. There have been times where heavy set women were the ideal of beauty because it meant that they were rich enough to have an excess of food. Women paint their lips red to mimic high levels of blood flow to the lips that is associated with arousal. The shaving of body hair is based in our culture’s obsession with youth and the image of a perpetually young woman. More recently people have had fat sucked out of certain parts of their body only to have it injected in others. There have been all kinds of foreign substances that we have filled ourselves with for a variety of reasons. Most disturbing to me is BoTox, which stands for Botulism Toxin and is the same thing that will kill you if you don’t can your vegetables in the right way, but people now inject it into their foreheads to paralyze their muscles to reduce wrinkles. There’s even a children’s book out now called “My Beautiful Mommy” to help kids cope with a parent who has had plastic surgery and is now unrecognizable.
This week I’ve seen two more things that have really put me over the top. The first was print advertisement for a plastic surgery center with a very thin woman in a Bikini. The tag line was “You (only better)” Really?! Never mind the theological implications of trying to improve what God created, is this the self image that you really want to impress upon young women, or any women for that matter?
As if that wasn’t bad enough I then saw an advertisement for a new drug treatment for the purpose of lengthening your eyelashes. It is a glaucoma treatment that they figured out would also cause your eyelashes to grow. The advertisement is below, but notice the side effects. One of which is the possibility that it will change your eye color permanently.
Now, it’s not like Men don’t have their share of crazy things marketed to them. Between Viagra and Enzyte, it seems like every man in America should question their ability to preform in bed. Or maybe there’s a different problem. What does it mean to be beautiful or to preform well. We’ve been sold this unattainable image of beauty for so long that we’re now actually trying to turn ourselves into the Monsters that we so idolize. Maybe the thing that we should be questioning is our definition of beauty. There have always been ugly people and beautiful people, but what criteria society has judged them on has varied widely depending on you place in time and what location you find yourself in.
For those who say that the Bible is ancient and irrelevant, let this be a testimony to it’s relevance to modern day life. In a point in history that surpasses all others in both the message of self loathing and the pressure and ability to augment our physical bodies, the message that every person is created in the image of God and is loved is as profound and earth shaking as it has ever been.