Monthly Archives: May 2016

You’re Fine Just the Way You Are

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

2 cows talking

“I’ve decided to have udder implants.”

This is a continuation of the conversation in my last blog post.

Few admit to having a face lift, or bags removed from under their eyes, or (fill in the cosmetic procedure/surgery blank.)  The euphemism “I’m having work done” has replaced the embarrassing to admit, “I’m having plastic surgery.”  The euphemism “to look more refreshed” has replaced the truer “to look younger.”

We’ve all heard the phrase, “That’s between a woman and her doctor.” If it’s so okay, why the secrecy, shame, avoidance of public discussion? Do the refreshees think that others don’t know what’s going on; if it isn’t spoken, it doesn’t exist? Do they think that others don’t know the huge amount of money they’ve expended to look youthful which could have been spent on something much more substantial like their retirement? Do they think that a face without wrinkles and bags really matches nicely with stooped bodies, age spots, sagging necks, loose skin, etc?

Shakespeare, that sly bard, said, “What’s in a name?”  Yes, if we can use a different terminology, we think it changes the stark reality of what’s really going on: I want to look younger because I’ve bought into the hype that it’s more desirable than how I look now—your true age, God forbid.

Marketing for elective cosmetic procedures and surgeries has played on our insecurities: I’m ugly, undesirable, unloved the way I am.  If I do (again fill in the blank), I will be beautiful, desirable, and loved. 

We all know on a visceral level this is not true. But, we’re flocking to the purveyors of these myths “just in case.”

Recently, a friend had cataract surgery. I emailed her to inquire how it went. We had the following back and forth emails:

Lee Gale:  How are your eyes doing?

Friend: The great part is the richness of color and the clarity. I feel like Dorothy in OZ.  The bad part is looking in the mirror and seeing all the lines and bags and spots so clearly.  I aged 25 years in 24 hours.

LG: You are Dorothy. People are attracted to you because of your talents, your enthusiasm, and your zest for life. That was so 24 hours ago and has not changed just because you can see your physical self more clearly. You’re fine the way you are. Don’t start getting crazy notions into your head. I just saw a current picture of (famous 1950s movie star) who now has one of those grotesque, plastic surgery faces. OMG!

F:  I am going to copy your words, enlarge them and hang them next to my mirror. THANKS a hundred mil.

The singer, Michael Jackson, was a sad character who, despite talent and success most people never achieve, was so insecure that he became addicted to plastic surgery and, in his own description of himself, ended up looking like a lizard. We can all name one famous person after another with a similar story. Most of us can name one not-so-famous person, too.

I call it the plastic surgery merry-go-round which is my euphemism for addiction to those types of procedures. I’ve heard of practitioners who put out newsletters about the latest tweaks available for potential buyers of their wares. Others have parties so their clients can show off their most recent, surgically-induced look to each other and shop for what their next youth-enhancing move will be. Then, there are those addicts who are so self-critical that they have the same procedure repeatedly because the outcome from the previous one wasn’t exactly what they had envisioned, or now that look is out and another is in—kind of like trendy clothing. Michael Jackson became a man with almost no nose at all.

So, what I want to know is where are the spouses, the significant others, the children, the good friends, etc. to tell people that they are fine, lovable, and desirable just the way they are—that they don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, put their health or life at risk and take the chance of looking grotesque just to get people to like and accept them?

***

Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at:  gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, just contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

 

 

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Being at the Whim of Marketeers

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

NEWS: I am the “Featured Reader” for the month of May in an online newsletter: Janet’s Good News. Click here to read the article (in the left column): janetsgoodnews.com

Now, on to my blog:

Fat in Jar

Marketeers spend a lot of time, energy, and money defining what is desirable and attractive—what we absolutely must have. They hawk it to the masses via advertising and the media. Then, they sell it to us.

I have been a victim of this all my life with my skills, my possessions, my appearance, etc. My insecurity, carefully nurtured from childhood, has always convinced me that if I look a certain way, possess a particular skill, own a specific object, etc., it’s not a big deal—anyone can do it, have it or whatever. Of course, if I don’t have the latest thing trending at the moment, it’s the most coveted state imaginable, and I yearn for it.

That type of thinking is found in groups of all ages, sexes, socio-economic strata, and every other classification into which we divide human beings.  It’s sad the lengths to which people will go to attain that artificially created, can’t-live-without lifestyle.

I read awhile ago about the growing number of Asian women having plastic surgery on their eyelids to make them look more American or European. Of course, it’s easy for me to pass judgment on such an act as ridiculous, sitting on my perch with my Caucasian eyelids. But, I’m the same person who dyed my hair blond for decades because “blonds have more fun.” If you don’t believe me, just ask Miss Clairol.

Look at the success of Botox because it has been fed to us for decades that youth is in and wrinkles, those town criers of aging, are out. What other animal in the world deliberately ingests poison into its body?

The popularity of liposuction is fueled by the current ideal of concentration-camp thin bodies, making zaftig thighs, hips, whatevers so unattractive. By the way, save that fat they suck out of you, people. Kim Kardashian (never thought I’d print her name in my blog) is changing that fashion, and big hips are coming back into vogue. I’ll bet your liposuction guy will give you a deal on reinjecting that fat he removed from your (fill in the blank) a few years ago and you saved in the bottle in your closet, way in the back hidden out of sight behind your luggage.

Of course, you could cut your lipo guy (or dermatologist, or plastic surgeon, or whomever) loose and start being okay with yourself and making your own decisions about how you’ll live your life—what an idea! Think about it. Someone is creating our insecurities and making a fortune off of them. And, it only works because we cooperate so willingly.

Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at:  gowergulch@yahoo.com.  If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, just contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

 

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