Sunday, February 7, 2010

Children of Narcissus

To what extremes people are prepared to go to in their battle against ageing and deformity! Very few members of this society are at peace with the physical manifestation of themselves. Face lifts, cosmetic plastic surgeries, liposuctions...the list is endless and as time moves forward, the menu from which to choose from only grows larger. The hunger and drive to look beautiful and younger is eating away at the stomach of this degenerate population, driven by that shallow, decadent beast: materialism.

I can only think of a few constants and certainties that exist in the physical world we live in; ageing and death are perfect examples - neither can be reversed or slowed down. Attempts in doing so could be compared to drawing a line on the edge of a sandy beach, only to have it erased by the successive wave that flows in. So why do people choose to lie to themselves and the people around them by altering their image? Why is it so hard to accept the reality of old age and imperfections? To answer these questions we first need to explore the term beautiful.

Beauty is an abstract concept that changes entirely from one age to another. Stick one of today's super models inside a time machine and set the dial to the eighteenth century - the model would be in tears with the whole village making fun of the skinny freak. She would probably end up in a travelling circus! Within a short span of time, fat has lost its top spot in the list of fashionable looks, and what was considered as beautiful for men (and women) a few centuries ago is being looked down by the same (evolved?) societies. Time is a changing factor in the concept of beauty, but not only; it also varies accross different races and even countries. Women with blonde hair are seen as an exotic spieces in the southern mediterranean region, where everything is a tad darker. A blonde woman in Sweden, however, is simply another drop in a vast, Swedish ocean. In most African countries, men are still mainly attracted to bigger women and in China people with western eyes have an innate advantage over the local population. So the real question is, which of these concepts of beauty is the real deal? Since today's idea of beauty is different from that of yesteryear and changes with a simple flight to a neighbouring country, is there a 'real' model of beauty we could aspire to? The answer is no.

Beauty is relative to the age and country you choose to live in; this is what makes it absurd to fight your physical appearance and let some doctor cut into your face or inject botox into your lips. Society dictates what should be considered as beautiful and pushes its decision down our throats by splattering images of 'model' people in magazines, newspapers and movies. Our perception of beauty is distorted by this constant bombardment of images, beauty products, adverts for cosmetic surgeries and so on. People get sucked into the beauty vortex and feed the machine by opting for a nose reconstruction or hair transplant, hence, satisfying the beauty God...the new nose will only be the start...what about a breast implant to compliment my new face?

However there is a universal concept of beauty that stands the test of time and that remains unchanged from one country to another...the inner beauty within us - that warm person who's presence makes you feel good; the person who makes you laugh; the friend that would do anything for you; the big-hearted people who make this world a better place to live in. This is what Narcissus never understood...

1 comment:

  1. 'When old age shall this generation waste, thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe,
    That ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st

    "Beauty is truth,truth beauty,"

    That is all ye know on earth and all that ye need to know.'

    Keats ( Well more or less this is what he wrote in Ode to a Grecian Urn)


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