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Aug. 20th, 2008

Just before CONvergence, I bought some new clothes. T-shirts and shorts, and some new underwear. They were two sizes down from what I have been wearing, and were a little bit tight but still ultimately presentable.

A few days ago, somebody mentioned that I'd need to be getting some new clothes soon. And I was wearing one of the new shirts. And yeah, it's a little loose anymore.

My work pants are all way too big now, and the only thing holding them up is the belt. I'm way past the holes anymore, and am into the stretchy web material. I haven't adjusted the belt for a month, and yesterday the pants fell off while I was walking in the house.

It's good, certainly. But there is the other side of the coin that pushes all of the buttons, and that's the "it's not enough" voice that gets reinforced pretty much everywhere, the voice that asks if you're willing to wear a skin-tight T-shirt or tank top in public without being embarrassed, the voice that tells you that your worth is based heavily on how you look, that your physical appearance is the opener of doors, the grease on the wheels, the Great Lubricant of society.

Having gone from an extreme to being pulled somewhat into the fold, I can tell you that the voice isn't so much inside my head as it is fed by the world around me. Yes, it's shallow and ridiculous, but it's also the prevailing undercurrent. It's Hollywood Plastic etching its way into our collective unconscious.

I want to deny it. I want to say that I am better than that, I want to rise above it and be unaffected, but I have no immunity. I am symptom and disease rolled into one.

Today at the dentist I was seriously considering cosmetic dentistry. It's driven by vanity, and I recognize that, but it is not without it's practical social consideration. I'm also considering Lasik for much the same reason, though the practical side of not needing glasses has some weight there.

But I am conceding to vanity. Or starting to anyway. I'm not quite into being "pretty" yet, and I'm not capable of wearing a skin-tight T shirt without being embarrassed yet either. Truth be told, I don't know if I ever will be, but I'm closer now than I've been in close to 20 years.

Altruism be damned, I wanna be hot. I want to be sexy, and take-your-breath-away stunning. And part of me hates me for wanting that, for being so shallow and vain.

I'm still going to work toward that as a goal. I may never get there, but it's certainly a healthier place than I am now, or have been in the past.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
qob
Aug. 20th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
you are the most self-critical shallow person I know!
magicmarmot
Aug. 20th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
The depths of my shallowness are boundless!
ignusfaatus
Aug. 20th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
um.
you'll get over it
magicmarmot
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Over, under, through, betwixt, between, around. The path is unknown, the other side isn't.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
oh go on, be a little vain. more men should bother to take care of themselves instead of expecting that women will (a) do it for them and/or (b) appreciate it, because they're only supposed to see inner beauty. whatever. we like all kinds of beauty.

I haven't done a recent cost/benefit analysis of cosmetic dentistry lately, so I have no opinion about whether or not it lasts long enough to be worthwhile, but heck Lasik is a medical upgrade to your quality of life, not just skin deep. I for one had some laser hair removal while in a period of needing to spend some money on myself, and I don't regret it at all.

however, if you are WORRYING yourself about vanity consider talking a little with a counselor -- you're in a big changing period, and having some unbiased professional advice is perfectly reasonable.
magicmarmot
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
Not so much worried as seeing shallowness in my person, recognizing something that's been there and dormant instead of something new.

It's like discovering that you've been walking around with a booger for the past 30 years.
dracut
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Nothing wrong with a bit of self-recognized vanity. Your personal project list is fine. More people need to create one and start working on it as intently as you have.
magicmarmot
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Inner conflicts are sometimes tough to diagnose. This one sort of presented itself while I was writing. I like those.
alcippe
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
I don't care what other people think, I want to look good for myself. I'm going to get new teeth soon, and when I'm 60 (or there-abouts) I'm going to get a face lift. Because I want to look in the mirror and like what I see.

I paint my face, I bleach my hair, I sculpt my body with exercise.
I am my own living work of art. My own experiment.
magicmarmot
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
Aye, but you have a good canvas to work from. Mine isn't properly stretched and is all saggy. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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