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, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website:

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):

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, and so on. 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 a while 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.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Being at the Whim of Marketeers

  1. I am fine just the way I am…AND I had a face lift. No, it was not to make me look younger. I’ve always portrayed myself as a youthful, aging “gracefully” woman. I had horrible cystic acne as an adolescent, and it left horrible scarring on my face. I went through most of my adult life with these facial scars. I found men who loved me just as I was.
    I tried to fix my skin with three painful and debilitating dermabrasions in my thirties. They resulted in a smoother overall complexion but left me with the scars. Every time I looked in a mirror or saw pictures of myself, I became miserable.
    I occasionally searched for less invasive, and newer, procedures to help. Trust me, none of my spouses, friends, or kids felt I wasn’t fine just the way I was. It was I who hated how I looked.
    Finally, a dermatologist who could’ve talked me into an unnecessary and expensive procedure told me frankly that the only thing that could help with my scarring was a face lift. She referred me to a plastic surgeon. The procedure pulled my skin slightly which flattened out a lot of the scarring. It was NOT a Joan Rivers overdone look. Most people didn’t even notice, even after I told them I’d had a face lift.
    I didn’t do it for THEM. It didn’t change my life, make me look younger, or get me a newer and better spouse/boyfriend.
    I just felt better about myself.
    Sometimes people live very sad and isolated lives due to horrible deformities. What’s wrong with knowing there is a way to fix them?
    I realize the drift of your blog was about those who get plastic surgery based solely on vanity. But please realize that lives can change dramatically for the better for those with poor self images by getting help.

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