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Saturday, August 13, 2005

What Price?

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What price, my body?

I recently encountered a few comments about my physique. It reminded me of what young children use to do in schools. For a child who is on the heavier side, he/she would often end up being the butt of his classmates’ jokes. They will be called various names associated with animal kingdom. For the lightness of a being, like me, our fate is no better. We get objects inspired name. As far as name calling goes, the more creative the names gets, the uglier the language, the more pain it inflicts.

So it is no wonder why beauty treatments, or rather aesthetic science as it is called nowadays are gaining in popularity. Someone asked a very good question recently, “why is it that Aesthetic doctors gets paid more than doctors that saved lives?”

Whatever happened to beauty is skinned deep?

I guess people just didn’t believe it anymore. I didn’t know that botox treatment is available to common folks like me. Until recently, Madonna no longer have the exclusivity of a good thing. Wrinkles, freckles, sagged skinned, too big, too small, too tall, too short. From cosmetic folks, to spa boutiques, gym, aesthetic science and even some religion are positioning themselves as the godess of beauty. Gone are your beauty woes, seek them and be beautiful. The idea that I look beautiful, therefore feel beautiful seem to appeal to both male or female alike.

I am a victim

Since “rebonding” (a technique that straightens curlyy hair were out), everyone went wild over it, especially those who were borne with unruly hair. I am one of them. I went for it, and experiened a momentous slick straight hair. The moment of turning my head felt so divine. Believe it or not, I instantly felt beautiful!
I suppose, the only excuse I can find is that we Asians just do not know how to appreciate natural curls, or it could be that as human beings, we’re just so dissatisfied with ourselves. I did my rebonding, but 6mths later, my stylist commented that I should cut it and let my natural curls spill. It was a tough one for me. I felt that since rebonding, I no longer have to care how my hair went each time I step out of the house. To be specific, I don’t even comb my hair anymore!

However, after rounds of persistent nudgings by my stylist, I finally caved in. She layered it, so my natural curls revealed itself. Fact of the matter is, I never knew I could love my hair the way it was created. It dawned on me that my creator is a pretty good artist himself. So why doubt his workmanship? I guessed God made us different not just so we look different, but so we have strengths and weakness that can complement and support the others in the community. He made us different so that we can learn to love those who are different, including ourselves.

If not beauty, then what?

Since beauty seems to be closely related to parts of our anatomy to a certain extent, I would like to think that the biggest culprit is our eyes. Our eyes are prone to wander. They look at objects of beauty and led our heart to believe that for all things to qualify “beautiful”, it has to follow that ‘benchmark’ or ‘standard’. Hence we judge others and ourselves on the same. Sometimes we are harsher on others, sometimes harsher still on ourselves.

So we see people rushing to go under knives, or to invest a huge sum of money for a complete make-over. Surely the motivation must be pretty major. Underneath the need to be beautiful may very well lie a desire to be transformed, to be accepted, to be admired, to be loved. Well, to me the motivation seems common enough, I guess everyone who is a human being needed that.

The question is, “can we actually ‘buy’ acceptance by going under the knife, or pouring thousands into making ourselves look good? I tend to be a little more skeptical in this. Are we trying to gain the acceptance and love of people who are superficial or are we insulting the intelligence of those whom we think will accept us based on how we look? If I am going under the knife or ‘invest’ thousands of dollars, I want to make sure that the goods I get are genuine and so are its functionality. I certainly don’t want something that looks good outside but faulty on the same inside.

The fact of the matter is that beneath that layer of skin or the body that we see everyday lies a very very precious thing call the heart. Come to think of it, our eyes has so convincingly lead our heart by the nose … literally, to believe that acceptance has got everything to do with our body and nothing to do with our heart. A picture of acceptance captured my heart so often is when I take the bus. I see parents holding their babies with such love and adoration even though their babies look so helpless, are pesky or disobedient at times. The picture reminds me of our heavenly father. Some of us may not have perfect figure or perfect physique, some of us may be handicap. But like a parent, God is a fair God, he accepts and loves us JUST THE WAY WE ARE. Isn’t that such a freedom truth? Isn’t that unmerited favour? Doesn’t that include everyone? Wow!

Think about it, such acceptance will even make beauty cheap isn’t it? Because to me, if the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings of the universe had already loved and accepted me regardless of how I look, why would I still be chasing after the love of mere mortals? Wouldn’t that be cheapening the love that God has freely gave?
Someone once said, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you, what matters is that you mean the world to someone. And that someone is the Majestic God who created the universe and created you and me.


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Silent Lucidity... said...

oh oh... i jus rebonded my hair. hahaa ;p ..but i agree with your piece~

popuri said...

I think its not so much of no cosmetic, no rebonding etc, but rather taking a healthy view of oneself. There is a difference between preoccupation and good grooming. :0)