We all know about Photoshop. That there is nothing like the perfect bodies we see on the covers of glossy magazines is a long known truth. But that doesn't stop young girls from aspiring for flawless skin, glossy hair and what have you.
There is a thing called beauty and it is highly prized. Most of us common people make do. A little bit of sun screen, Vaseline during winter and hair colour. Where is the time for anything else? It was botox which first made a younger, new look accessible for women like you and I. It is a matter of personal choice if I decide not to have a frozen forehead but there are plenty who would and hence they do. Which brings us to the morality and judgemental question: should women pursue perfection? There is one simple answer: who are we, the unknown masses to comment or snigger? If anyone wants to and can afford it, it is their life isn't it?
Look at the bigger picture. After the age of 35, no matter how much you exercise, your stomach will not be as flat as the year before the babies arrived. Hormonal changes will affect your hair and skin in ways you never thought possible. Our eyes lose their sparkle while our brows furrow and then leave a permanent groove.
It may appear to be horrifying as 'going under the knife' makes it sound dubious.
Our grandmothers ground almonds with milk and rose petals, and chiraunji with neem and hair oil was mixed with reetha and shikakai — they dabbed our heads and faces with these remedies, as it were. I would get a head covered in oil twice a week. It irritated the hell out of me as it took three shampoos to wash the greasy mustard oil off. But thanks to those frequent rubs, I still have decent hair which I have virtually killed with perms (I am an '80s person), hot ironing or multiple streaks. So how long is that distance between dousing your mane in deadly chemicals for tight curls to sucking the fat from your lovehandles? Not much actually. Our cumulative buying of the burgundy hair colour of a multinational brand funds the outlandish red carpet outfits and first class travel of celebrity beauties at Cannes.
We also go for pedicures and manicures, an occasional facial and monthly waxing. All to look smooth and ready and nice, if not picture-perfect. These days there are diamond facials which cost upwards of Rs 5,000. So where does that leave cosmetic surgery? In my leave-the-people-alone-to-do-as-they-wish kind of world view, it is just a notch above all the other beauty treatments.
It may appear to be horrifying as "going under the knife" makes it sound dubious. But really, it is not murder is it? It is said that women in their late 30s lose muscle with each passing year. This means that they have to try twice as hard to be fit... as if life was already not fair. Combine that with the stress of menopause and you will understand it when you get there.
The lower abdomen never really moves so much as a centimetre, no matter how many crunches or planks you do. Or male pattern baldness and our plump backs that result from sitting for far too long on our desks. Well, if I could afford it, I would have gone for any type of liposuction; perhaps throw in a boob lift as well.
This is a medical procedure at the end of the day and you should look for the most qualified practitioner. Would you choose the corner operator if you wanted a stent up your bacon-clogged arteries? No right? So if you do choose to freshen up your body, look for the most competent specialist. If you have chosen a procedure like a tummy tuck or breast reduction, it does involve being administered general anaesthesia. Many other surgeries are invasive and performed with local anaesthesia.
Try not to get dimples on your chin or abs on your 45-year-old stomach because that is just stupid! Be your age, be graceful, look good and if that means shelling out money (which I guess you can afford), go for it.
It is the rise of newbie ideas like bigger eyes for slanting ones, face lifts to give new prominent cheeks and tight chins which are in great contrast to the rest of your body that raises the spectre of the horror of cosmetic surgery and increases the chances of it being botched up.
The skin needs time to heal and it is too tender to be carved up every year. You can be judicious and you can look better, but try not to brave the 16-year-old look. That is where cosmetic surgery begins to get a bad name. And of course the cost of it all. But the likes of you and I can always try crowdfunding.
Till then, I shall drag my ample bottom from chair to chair and hope that it magically disappears!