Saturday, March 6, 2010

Aging...Loss of Beauty: Some of Our Greatest Fears

"Often, of course, those who try the hardest to be good do so because they fear for their basic worth; and those who speak of having youthful minds and bodies do so because they are so terrified of old age."
Quote from Seth: __The Nature of Personal Reality__Session 643
Amongst the greatest fears that we harbor as Americans...(I should perhaps include most of the western world,) is the natural progression of aging... and the even greater fear of loss of 'beauty.' OK. Not everyone. But mayhaps a few more (if everyone were honest with themselves) then will admit to worrying about 'how I look' to others. Very often the ones who vehemently deny this and loudly proclaim they don't care!--are the ones affected the most...
Funny part is: its not just 'how I look to others' ... its also about being afraid to look in the mirror. Being afraid of our own image. So afraid of any "imperfections"...
Hollywood is largely responsible. Media marketing has been both clever and very subtle at times, promoting the 'look natural' pictures and articles and pricey 'natural comsmetcs.' All of it is meant to SELL products. Period.
Nearly 10 billion dollars is spent each year in America on cosmetics, or some kind of surgery to 'enhance' ones appearance. The appearance most seek is the Hollywood or model stereotype...excessively thin, flawless in someone's interpretation of 'beauty' and of course, hiding one's age.
A reasonably healthy Diet and forms of exercise are, for the most part, good. Provided one is not torturing oneself to obtain 'a certain weight or look.' That is another whole story. To feel better and have more energy is another ballgame. Only the participant knows for sure.
Its impossible to go through a check out stand in a supermarket without being visually bombarded by all those magazines -- either promoting false beauty (a whole lotta photoshopping goin' on...) or pointing out how ugly and unattractive one is if one doesn't adhere to the Hollywood standard of beauty.
I'm not holding myself exempt here. When I choose something to wear in the morning, there are times when I think--oh no--that would not look right on me...To who? And that small phrase speaks volumes. It speaks of fear that you will not be impressing EVEN STRANGERS in the right way. To say "Oh, I just want to look nice...and I do it for myself" is usually one big fat oneself. Perhaps that is the saddest thing of all.
I think this problem is evenly distributed between men and women, as far as worrying about 'how I look'...although I think women are under far more pressure and THAT pressure, quite often, comes from men. Men can 'get away' with more, They don't 'show their age' as quickly and easily as women, and people are less critical of overweight men. All of this programmed-psychology is used by the media and product companies to make money off of what is so easy for us to succomb to: FEAR. In adequacy. Not being Good Enough.
I gave up, a long time ago, looking through the personals for a fun male I was never re-interested in marriage... But it became far too discouraging. A typical male ad would read: "Man, 60 y/o seeks slender, attractive woman, preferably 20 to 50, for relationship." In a way, he, too, is a self-appointed victim of society. He feels he needs is a 'showpiece' so that HE will look good to other men!!. All of this idiocy can be even more difficult for people in the gay community.
Basically, all of this 'false face/stereotype appearance business' is way too much of humanity saying: I am not good enough just the way I am.
In reading through some articles prior to writing this article I came across the horrid writing by some "man" from the UK who said that British women, as far as he was concerned, don't CARE as much about themselves as American women do...or so many wouldn't look so slovenly. Oh, my murderous thoughts that ran through my mind... all primal and unprintable..
Age, in any light, in this country is NOT respected or accepted by the vast majority in this country. Ironically, We even push our little children to look and act older...beginning with infancy! It's pathetic! At the other end of the spectrum, Some TV ads are saying: When you get that over 30, honest to god, said 'over 25.' How miserable and pathetically stupid and ignorant can people be!. And to think some of claim to be religious or spiritual.
I started in wearing wigs a few months back. I was tired of dying my hair and doing this or that to cover up a severe hair loss problem. I didn't do this to 'look younger.' Hopefully sometime this summer, I intend to "go white"... and yes, I will be prepared for remarks. Many will be phony, some will be kind, some will be intentionally hurtful...a few will be supportive--or 'just remarks.' But, one of my mottos, as in the words of the Divine Miss M: "Blank 'em if they can't take a joke." Spiritually intended, of course. Nerd
At the bottom of all this simply Non-acceptance of self. Fear of not being good enough...especially for 'other people' because too often we need their validation to reassure us. It's sad. Pitiful, in many ways.
I loved the TV show "Ugly Betty" which really made a lot of fun of fake beauty industry I've been talking about. Of course this 'sensible' show is going off the air because we need more TV shows that are ultra demeaning, violent, or just plain demented. Gotta keep 'em dumbed down, sayeth the government...
Some of the models at world-class modeling shows look like might frighten the oddest looking aliens from any other planet. Trouble is: too many people take too much of this 'model / star / performer' business seriously as they put themselves down. It really is a crying shame.
This is why I like a good Drag Queen show. Its FUN. Everyone is having FUN and fully recognizing they are being PHONY which gives them leeway to a type of HONESTY that many of the rest of us know nothing about. You see...'they know' who they are and who they are not...and have accepted themselves as they are. Gee, what a novel idea. Maybe we should all try it sometime. Eh?

Picture: Killarney, Ireland: from Photobucket
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