From the comments

On Perfect Friends

I was reading your comments about “Perfect Friends” yesterday (all very engaging!), and I found that one really interesting…

It’s a com from Pixelite:

I have just read this 5 min ago, seems to be relevant to your topic,

“Cosmetic surgery fundamentally is about businesses trying to convince people to get unnecessary, invasive, very risky surgery. They know as well as everyone else does that women hate their bodies on a massive scale, and the solution they offer is the knife; they don’t say, actually, we need to change the culture which is fuelling the self-hate and making women feel like this. They say, cut up your body to fit the culture.”

and, on the other hand,

“I don’t believe anyone has the right to judge another woman for the choices she makes in a highly sexist culture. Women have to find ways to survive and get by each day, and how we do that will depend upon our circumstances. I think judging other women on that basis is the antithesis of what feminism is about.”
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/oct/14/kat-banyard-feminist-pornography-equality)


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46 comments

Add yours
  • Louise*Sk October, 18 2012, 10:35 / Reply

    J’ai un peu de temps là, je peux te traduire le texte avec plaisir, je te l’envoie sur quelle adresse ?

  • Sevan October, 18 2012, 10:50 / Reply

    Je ne l’aurais pas mieux dit moi-meme !

  • SueM October, 18 2012, 10:56 / Reply

    I have to agree that it’s really ALL about judging, and whether we acknowledge it to ourselves or not, we are are constantly doing it. In a good way, it results in support, love of fashion and positive actions.
    I had the strangest personal experience with this post: read it, commented, and thought a lot about your feelings being hurt, and why that would be. I tried to imagine what it would be like not to be told by a close friend about something like that, agreed it would be odd, wondered why we feel hurt by these instances (ego etc) and then wondered what I would do if I had a procedure myself, whether I would tell people. All the while having these thoughts in a philosophical manner, you know, detached. Not until later in the day did I have the thunderstruck moment: I DID have a procedure done this spring (restylane) and I had only told 2 people! The results had been very disappointing and I’d simply forgotten. Wow.
    I think I didn’t tell all my friends Garance, (I am saying this very gently) because I was afraid of being judged. Whew. Big hugs.

  • Elisabeth October, 18 2012, 11:00 / Reply

    What else can I say but: This is soo right!
    I felt anger when I read the post about cosmetic surgery.
    But its not anger about the women who are hurting their bodys but about this perfidious industrie.
    Thanks

  • Liz October, 18 2012, 11:08 / Reply

    sometimes it is necessary. Deviated septums are a huge problem…some women need to get breast reductions because it is a problem for their backs. It just depends on the situation…

    http://lavieenliz.com

  • Joana October, 18 2012, 11:21 / Reply

    Bon je me lance pour la traduction car c’est très intéressant ;)

    “J’ai lu ça il y a 5 minutes et ça fait totalement le lien avec ce sujet:

    “La chirurgie esthétique c’est avant tout un gros business qui essaye de convaincre les gens de sauter le pas et de se lancer dans de la chirurgie inutile, qui rend accro et qui est très risquée. Les gens qui travaillent dans la chirurgie esthétique savent aussi bien que les autres qu’énormément de femmes détestent leur corps et la solution qu’ils offrent c’est le bistouri ; Ils ne disent pas qu’en fait cela serait mieux d’essayer de faire évoluer notre culture qui encourage le mal-être et les femmes à se détester. Ils disent plutôt mutilez vos corps pour vous ajuster à cette culture.”

    Et d’un autre côté,

    Je ne pense pas qu’on ait le droit de juger une autre femme pour les choix qu’elle fait dans notre société extrêmement sexiste. Les femmes doivent trouver un moyen de survivre et faire face à chaque jour qui passe, et comment elles se débrouillent pour cela dépend des circonstances que chacune trouve sur sa route… Je pense que juger les femmes par rapport à cela est juste l’antithèse de ce qu’est le féminisme”.

    Voilà, j’espère que ça convient.
    Et je vais de ce pas lire les commentaires de l’article Perfect Friends…

  • Melissa October, 18 2012, 11:44 / Reply

    I agree with the comment about judging these women. I think it’s really an opportunity for me to think about why cosmetic surgery bothers ME so much. As Gloria Steinem pointed out, we shouldn’t chastise Snooki or Kim Kardashian, we should chastise a system that makes women feel as if their sexuality is the only currency they hold in this society.

  • Tiffany October, 18 2012, 12:07 / Reply

    All men and ladies should visit the following website: http://www.beautyredefined.net/ It’s a movement dedicated to taking back beauty for women instead of letting the media, culture, etc define it for us. I found it super helpful and uplifting.

  • Gigi October, 18 2012, 12:23 / Reply

    La personne qui a fait ce commentaire est juste génial, je ne l’aurai pas mieux formulé et pourtant je pense comme elle à 300%

  • James Pouliot October, 18 2012, 12:38 / Reply

    Interesting how something as “simple” as fashion and beauty can strike such an intense debate. Maybe it’s not so frivolous after all.

    Much love,

    James
    http://www.19rivoli.com

  • Cony October, 18 2012, 12:48 / Reply

    Truth be told, we all want to be skinny and pretty and with or without the media involve, we always have that part of our body that we want to change, so I don’t think that having a surgery is an excuse to criticize someone. We all could go through that, but not all of us really dare to and congratulations with you if you think your body is perfect just the way it is! I think it’s all about feeling comfortable with yourself, and yes maybe the environment is not helping and some people leave the hospital worse than they came in before, but it’s all up to you. And yes, of course you can try using natural products for your wrinkles and spots and stuff but there are thing that you can only ‘fix’ through surgery. Like having too much breast or not having breast at all. My cousin for example had a mayor depression because she didn’t have any breast and I mean she really didn’t!!! So after a while she went through surgery and now she’s the most confident girl I’ve ever known!

  • dane October, 18 2012, 12:48

    But I think that is the point about what they are saying about The System. “Depression” is really serious, and (trying not to be judgmental here) the fact that having ‘no breasts’ would have that strong a hold over a person to make them depressed, and then after they have some artificial mound on their chest would make them confident speaks volumes. If your cousin were to get pregnant and have a baby for example, do you think that baby would judge her for having a flat chest? My guess is that they would not and would love those tiny breasts unconditionally. What is it about ‘us’ that makes this such an issue?

  • Angela October, 18 2012, 12:55 / Reply

    I had to go back and read your article over again, because when I first read it I got the impression that you were more concerned that your friend had not confided in you about their upcoming procedure. However, I do understand that the media places a lot of pressure on individuals to look a certain way but really it is up to us as individuals to feel good about ourselves (of which I know is hard for many).

    Having reread the article I am still under the impression that you felt your friend was just fine as she was and didn’t need to do anything and maybe if she had spoken to you, you would have not encouraged her to go down that road, but would have supported anyway. I think your point was “she didn’t confide in me” and yes I sure that I would have felt the same.

  • Laura October, 18 2012, 12:57 / Reply

    Totalement d’accord avec ce commentaire

    Xx
    http://lauralexo.blogspot.com

  • Emma October, 18 2012, 1:02 / Reply

    In the ideal world, the evolution of the first (a gender equal society) would then eradicate the second (feminism and overall judgement).

    A change in cultural and societal projections of the female, which encompasses all the possibilities of shape and style, and have that same change of acceptance applied to many many many other arenas, could remove the need for women to validate and alter themselves.

    There are always expectations though. To be good, to be healthy, etc, and all of them can produce extremes which are destructive. People are emotional and unique, therefore an entire population cannot be expected to adhere to fair and healthy regulations. The difficult yet necessary task is for humans to remind themselves that they must be who they want to be. And in turn, to remember that their opinions of others are natural to have, yet unfair to impose.

  • h. October, 18 2012, 1:11 / Reply

    as always, Garance, your blog offers us readers a variety of interesting, inspiring and challenging ideas, and provides a wonderful forum to discuss them.

    It’s interesting to me that while there’s an increasingly strong visual beauty present in our day-to-day lives (social media, ahem, included) that we are still surprised by some of our friends’ surgical pursuit of perfection (or simply, improvement.)

    Your blog does a good of touching on the importance of developing the inner self and seeing beauty in things beyond the expected. But there’s still a long way to go for us women to truly understand the importance of beauty from the inside. And I think it’s because it requires an intense vulnerability – towards oneself (gotta be honest with your self first), and with others.

    I am only now, nearly 35, understanding how intensely vulnerable and fragile my female ego still is, after years of developing confidence in my appearance (without surgery). For me, my struggle to conceive a child has spurred this – and it’s something that, like plastic surgery, is something that’s very difficult to admit to even my closest friends because it’s such an intensely emotional issue. And because it connects to my very identity as a women – I can intellectualize it all I want, but at the end of the day it’s still a part of my very being, this need to be a mother.

    I think being honest with yourself, and what is really causing your unhappiness or need to make changes is the first step in finding true beauty — because she’s there in all of us; she’s our inner self, and she’s perfect already.

  • Jo October, 18 2012, 1:41 / Reply

    I agree completely with both sides. This is not a simple issue. The norms of our society are incredibly powerful and we are stuck in a situation where we want escape them but end up ourselves reproducing them. I do not blame anyone who gets plastic surgery (and let’s be honest the line between necessary and unnecessary is blurry) but it does make me intensely sad that we are so determined to focus on our flaws and not our beauty.

    I recently saw an old friend who has been fight for her life for the past few months because she hasn’t been able to keep down food and her body fat percentage was shockingly low. The battles she faced just to keep food down made me realise just how ridiculous any notion that we need to super skinny is. We are living organisms, we NEEEED to eat. These perceptions of what we should be can be ridiculous to the point of being deadly and that I find distressing. They are so disempowering. So I think the best thing to do is to be content with the junk in your trunk (well I’m trying to be!) or what ever the “flaw” may be that’s driving you crazy. We are human, we are flawed. Everyone who has every lived and will ever live will be flawed. Which sort of makes it not a flaw at all but normal? SO IT’S OKAY!!!

    xxxx

  • Nini Piccola October, 18 2012, 1:44 / Reply

    Yes, there has definitely been an explosion of cosmetic surgery in the past ten,fifteen years? Especially with regards to breast implants! If you look at vintage photos of beauty contestants in the 40s and 50s women all had natural shaped breasts! What was wrong with that???? Today beauty shows, (not that I really watch) have contestants walking around so pumped up with implants it is scary! And Garance, perhaps your friend really wanted to keep her procedure a private matter? Maybe she was scared of the outcome, the pain, and judgement…?

  • maryse October, 18 2012, 1:47 / Reply

    totalement d’accord avec ce commentaire ! c’est la société qu’il faut changer, pas les femmes.

  • Monsieur J October, 18 2012, 2:05 / Reply

    “Elles traînent dans tous les cafés, sont montrées sur les plateaux d’émissions télévisées, circulent sur Internet et sont au centre de nombreuses discussions. Elles, ce sont des cartes postales montrant dix-sept paires de seins 100% naturels, «made by nature». A l’origine du projet, le Conseil des femmes au Danemark et l’actrice Karen Nielsen. Cette dernière voulait représenter des seins ni retravaillés par Photoshop ni retouchés par le bistouri. Des femmes de 20 à 60?ans ont accepté de se prêter au jeu. Pourtant, le but de la campagne n’est pas de critiquer à tout prix la chirurgie esthétique, mais plutôt de lutter contre l’uniformisation, et de provoquer une réflexion et un dialogue. «Ce serait tellement ennuyeux si tout le monde se ressemblait, a expliqué Karen Nielsen à Libération . Il faut que les gens apprennent à s’aimer eux-mêmes. Et puis tomber amoureux, c’est découvrir ce qu’il y a de spécial chez l’autre. Et l’aimer pour cela.»”

    Vous pouvez retrouver l’article paru dans la presse suisse ici:
    http://www.lematin.ch/societe/seins-bistouri/story/29060906

  • Elizabeth October, 18 2012, 2:26 / Reply

    breast reductions apparently have the highest rate of happiness afterwards which makes sense because it is a corrective; the real danger is chasing an unachievable goal: one’s lost youth, being more loveable, regaining the affection of someone, an ill defined idea of perfection. It’s not just the danger of not knowing when to stop. My maternal grandmother died after a facelift in 1965 when I was a small baby so I never knew her. I wish she had been able to find peace with her wrinkles ( smoking & sun) so that I could have had some time with her. We forget that these are medical procedures and don’t take the risks seriously enough across the whole range from botox to facelifts/breast augmentation.

  • G October, 18 2012, 2:27 / Reply

    That post really has touched a nerve! This question of changing ones appearance to fit society’s expectations or to avoid it’s negative judgement – why do we immediately react so negatively to cosmetic procedures? Where do we draw the line to what kind of change is acceptable? We change the colour of our hair, cut it, we tan or bleach, we rip the hair out of our bodies! That’s acceptable and has been for centuries. Why are cosmetic procedures worse? Botox fades, fillers are absorbed by the body, ‘done’ noses continue to grow with age – what’s the difference? And what if the decision to change is about more than appearance? What if you’re wrinkly forehead reminds you of the painful relationship/job/etc that created them, or your nose reminds you of the parent who treated you badly, or you simply don’t see the body in the mirror that you see in your mind.

    But once you decide to start changing your body, how do you recognise that it’s time to stop? Especially before society starts judging you negatively again?

    Interesting topic! :)

  • Corinne October, 18 2012, 4:22 / Reply

    Seems to me it’s a part of human nature. Changing, decorating, intensifying, beautifying our bodies. Tribal cultures have done it to mark coming of age. They’ve cut, tattooed, stretched their necks, ears, lips. Chinese cultures have wrapped little girls’ feet to the point of barely walking. Worse of all (in my opinion) is genital mutilation. But ALL in search of a more beautiful form. Our bodies, our canvas. Sometimes in celebration, sometimes in self-loathing, sometimes to be accepted culturally. But REALLY, the biggest change is the one within. When we are shining, we exude that quality. In our eyes, our smile, our voice. When we feel sexy, really sexy, it seeps out of our pores. Our lips feel more plump and we are so fucking delicious that the men (or women) can’t help but respond. When we are happy, it glistens on our skin. When we are passionate, our cheeks flush. When we are healthy, we feel amazing. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, god I’m gorgeous. And sometimes I’m like, eh stop looking! I wear my mood. So when we are self loathing stressed out neurotic overworked bitches, well, we look like it. But then we get to choose, knife or badass journey inwards to will true change?

  • FLAM October, 18 2012, 4:23 / Reply

    Je ne sais pas pourquoi, je pense à cette psychanalyste anglaise, Susie Orbach, dont le “Fat is a feminist issue” (1978) m’a fait comprendre quand je me débattais avec la boulimie dans les années 80, à quel point nous étions soumises à une pression de la conformité de l’apparence. Lire aussi Germaine Greer, Naomi Wolf et, récemment, Mona Chollet.

  • suzy October, 18 2012, 4:42 / Reply

    you have the most intelligent readers – love it

  • Nini Piccola October, 18 2012, 4:42

    Yes, I so enjoy reading all the other points of view! Too bad we can’t have a Garance symposium/conference so that we could all meet and chat live!

  • Teresa October, 18 2012, 5:55 / Reply

    Thanks Garance. I think there are so many shades of grey and also believe not taking anything that serious and not letting anything dominate us. As I told earlier, I had a nose job and cannot be happier about it. Would I do more to my body? No. Love.

  • Elena October, 18 2012, 6:26 / Reply

    Talking about fitting the society standards and negative judgement, I found this take on beauty fascinating: http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2012/09/bearded-sikh-woman-teaches-reddit-a-lesson.html

  • D October, 18 2012, 6:39 / Reply

    Chère Garance,

    Merci beaucoup pour ce post.
    Je n’ai jamais laissé aucun commentaire sur aucun blog, mais ce post-ci me touche particulièrement.
    En fait, j’ai eu recours à la chirurgie esthétique il y a 7 ans (pour une mastopexie) et depuis l’opération, je l’ai raconté à 6 personnes. (petits amis compris)
    Non pas parce que j’adore l’idée que ces personnes me voient comme un être né avec des seins parfaits, mais parce que je me sens mal à l’aise d’aborder ce sujet avec qui que ce soit. Ceci est dû en particulier à ma peur que que des sentiments assez “bas” tels la curiosité, le voyeurisme, voire la “Schadenfreude” (même avec de très bonnes amies) viennent jouer là-dedans.
    Comme le dit FLAM, les femmes sont soumises à une forte pression de conformité de l’apparence. Et j’irais même plus loin, disant que c’est à cause de cette pression que certaines sont curieusement heureuses quand elles se rendent compte que cette pression poussent d’autres à s’automutiler et se “changer” artificiellement grace à la chirurgie esthétique. En guise d’exemple, les quelques femmes auxquelles je l’ai dit m’ont plutot intérrogée bizarrement ou m’ont considérée comme une bête de foire plutôt que de traiter cela comme n’importe quel autre sujet. Cela m’a blessé. J’avais l’impression d’être en situation d’infériorité par rapport à elles, car moins sûre de moi puisque j’avais été prête à sauter le pas.

    Je ne sais pas si d’autres l’ont vécu de la même manière….

  • dana October, 18 2012, 8:19 / Reply

    My mother is one of those women who has had several procedures. I think she is beautiful, her surgeries were expertly and naturally done. But I also know how insecure she is in private. I know her fears of aging, of not being sexually appealing, about her paranoid fears of my father’s infidelities (because of her age.) I can’t judge anyone who wants to go under the knife to adjust some part of their body they’re dissatisfied with.

    On the other hand, I don’t believe that the desire to change this culture of idolizing youth (in women) and disparaging old age (in women) should be seen as “passing judgement.” As a woman, whether I decide to have cosmetic medical procedures or not, I am still subject to the scrutinizing eyes of the public we are all subject to. Unfortunately, it is more common to view men as “dignified” in older adulthood, while a woman of the same age would be considered “past her prime.” I want to change this perception because its damaging to all of us — myself included. This isn’t judgement — but we can together acknowledge the unfairness of this system.

    My mother is in her sixties. After all that she has been through, the last thing I want is for her in these last decades of her life is to look in the mirror and feel ashamed, inadequate. This is why I don’t believe that plastic surgery is the solution. I don’t think its healthy to feed a culture that feeds on women’s feelings of inadequacy.

  • M Ruth October, 18 2012, 8:24 / Reply

    Such interesting comments. I remember an interview with Susan Sarandon a few years ago saying she would never have “stuff done” (I think I’m remembering correctly) and then…. the neck starts looking awful so she had something done to it. I would have too in her place.

    My mother emerged out of the East Tennessee hills and became a doctor in the 1930s -, one of the most liberated women I have ever known. She flew planes, traveled alone in Africa and in India as well as with my father, and had a successful practice. She was a beautiful woman and in her mid-50s had a face lift and an eye lift later and she was totally happy with it… didn’t try to hide it… and she looked great at 90. She didn’t try to look like she was 30, but she didn’t like the sags and bags either. Me? At 66 I’m okay with the wrinkles so far, but I wouldn’t mind something being done about those deep lines between my eyebrows :-) So… easy to say “never never” when you’re 30 or 50, but as 60, and 70 come along…. hmmmmmm… maybeeee….. ?

    As everyone has pretty much concluded…. not judging either way how “good” women look is good, and not that easy.

    M Ruth

  • Coco October, 18 2012, 9:25 / Reply

    I believe that the first one is an ideal that we should hope for and the second a reality.

    I hope that one day our culture makes it so that people feel confident with themselves and love themselves 100%… be it their wrinkles, scars, their nose they think is too big, etc.I think that we should try to embrace these “flaws” as perfect and to empower women to love themselves and to support each other.

    However, I do think that if someone will feel much more confident getting a change done, so long as it is for her confidence and how SHE feels, not because she thinks she must, then she should get work done, and others should not judge.

  • Carole October, 18 2012, 9:25 / Reply

    in America everything is extreme….it’s a personal choice..i see nothing wrong..and most is an improvement….this is an addictive society…and the $ is the bottom line……i always liked how i looked and i was told as a child that i was pretty

  • Patrcia October, 18 2012, 11:27 / Reply

    Imagine, living in Bolivia, where there are a lot more woman than man. Beautiful only is, who is young and has a great body. Older women are mostly frustrated. Infidelity is almost normal (look at the telenovelas..) The business with surgery and at least Botox is normal.

    But what’s about us? Everyone there, reading Garance’s blog, would you look at the blog, if there wouldn’t be nearly every day an attractive women in it? Be honest. Where are the overweight ones, where are the woman, who are not so attractive? Very few woman (but at least, there are…) at advanced age.
    Does everyone in fashion business (mostly) look like that? We know, it’s not like so.

    Everybody likes it, and everybody is responding to it. And that’s why woman, who are unhappy with themselves do that to themselves.

    I know, what I am talking about, recently starting my blog, I am carefully choosing who I will post, because I want the people to like my blog. It’s simply like that.

    But, I am also trying to criticize that in some post’s because I’d like the people to be more open to everybody….

    Besos from Bolivia
    Patricia

    http://www.patriciayclea.com

  • T October, 19 2012, 1:35 / Reply

    I do agree about not judging women based on their appearances and the choices they make, but really, we have much deeper and greater strengths to deal with our struggles.
    Finding ways to survive in a culture does not mean we should give into the pressures of that culture.

  • amanda October, 19 2012, 1:46 / Reply

    These aren’t flaws they are characteristics. There are reasons why some people have more wrinkles than others, why some are more shapely than others, why one nose is bigger than another, why some people have a more yin expression, why some have more yang expression. Embrace your inner beauty so you can release your natural gifts to the world. Stop judging your natural movement and expression. Stop thinking your gifts are weaknesses. Once you have embraced your core needs and traits, you will love your physical traits and those on other people. I believe everyone desires this deep-down security within. The answers lie in the information at dressingyourtruth.com. Carol Tuttle has a goldmine of information proving the perfection in God’s creation in nature and in human nature. Have fun loving your nature and everyone’s nature. Embrace the differences of the diverse human race! I love knowing who i am and being able to love others for who they are because of this website.

  • catherine October, 19 2012, 2:47 / Reply

    i did a small research paper with my friend for college earlier this year we called it ‘Fashion a matter of life or death’- recommended to us from our teacher-we always forget that since the dawn of time people have been painfully altering the way they look for what cultural norms there are and what is considered ‘beauty’-think of lily feet- the binding of asian women’s feet which lasted till the 20th century, at the time the smaller the foot the better-and if their toes fell of even better!! – there’s neck rings, lip stretchers (and although they belong to small cultures and tribes of individuals)-they are doing what they think will make them beautiful-western society amplifies it all through the media but i think its pretty much the same thing -theres NOTHING wrong with wanting to feel beautiful if your not comfortable in your own skin-i have many an imperfection but i wouldn’t change anything so its hard to think of people who are so depressed and affected by the way they look that they cant really be their true selves-so why not?

  • Janet October, 19 2012, 3:31 / Reply

    THANK YOU, GARANCE, for reposting this. And, BRAVO, KAT BANYARD.

    Let’s look critically at the systemic, structural aspects of society that feed women’s self-hatred.

    Let’s look at each other and ourselves with compassion and respect as we struggle to come to terms with this self-hatred.

    xxoo

  • maria October, 19 2012, 4:08 / Reply

    exactly those two options are always in my mind. one the one hand a highly sexistic society which encourage people to change themself with a knife and suggest this would cure their problems.
    on the other hand the freedom to choose which appearrance and outline one would like to show.

    the refusal of ones own body is a core problem. if even 14 y/o already dieting. if mothers telling their children they are gained weight (and not because the gain is going to treat their health, but just because they are not fitting a certain image). ahhh, I don’t know.

    I love fashion and make up and treating myself and making the best out of myself. but it is – in fact – frustrating to think “I am not good enough because I am not good looking enough” – and it desn’t matter how intelligent I am or how much I already fullfilled or achieved.

  • Marielena au Liban October, 19 2012, 5:06 / Reply

    I agree with few opinions, so i just want to add another view: Today a woman on her 50, 60 and even 70 can still look fantastic !, and not at TV, but in real life !! the wealthy society allows us a longer life expectative!! so that is how i see some interventions in people around me: some way of improving natural “decay”…do i judge them?, no i don’t…every person is a whole world, so never dare to do so…bother if my friend didn’t say it to me..??? yes, but you know…friendship always forgive !! motivations to do some interventions? as i know up tu now , the first one is your personal acceptation, i feel we woman, we are tough, and sometimes rude with ourselves….and this means subjectives….so this might lead to wrong conclusions that search for excesive intervention…i will find the line to stop…in people who really loves you opinion’s… ( unless you are Garance and you have to have a camera on fashion week close at 30 centimeters to your face) advice for Garance ?, put a filter on his camera, so you won’t see the litle problems !!!
    by the way, each wrinkle in my face has a meaning, a moment, a circumstance, that make me happy to remember !! but i repeat, i won’t be at vogue!!

  • Lucky Victor October, 19 2012, 6:13 / Reply

    “Cosmetic surgery fundamentally is about businesses trying to convince people to get unnecessary, invasive, very risky surgery. They know as well as everyone else does that women hate their bodies on a massive scale, and the solution they offer is the knife; they don’t say, actually, we need to change the culture which is fuelling the self-hate and making women feel like this. They say, cut up your body to fit the culture.”

    1. Who is “they”? The businesses? Arguably they’re just filling demand in the market. Blaming businesses for existing is like blaming chickens for making eggs. Our culture is made of us. We make the culture. Why blame the surgeons? Why not blame the patients? Assuming we dislike the idea of plastic surgery.

    2. I’m not sure its about self-hate, entirely. It seems a bit strong. I’m thinking about a friend who had her nose fixed because everyone made fun of her for it. In her place I may have done the same. I know women who fill their wrinkles – part of me thinks its about preserving the spirit of youth, and part of it is aesthetics. In an ideal world, yes, it would be better to say who cares! and just age as normal. But given that these options are available, why not use them. Its not natural. So what? 100 years ago it was unnatural to live past 30. Times change, innovation continues, and human beings and desire longer richer lives. Richer lives mean ones full of energy and fulfillment. Youth is the epitomy of that. It’s also why fashion is so fun!

    3. Personally, I haven’t done anything yet (I’m 29) but I don’t rule it out. I desire to age gracefully, and when it starts to bother me, i’ll look into options then. (Though people have already started recommending things to me. How fun.)

    4. That said, happiness is life’s greatest elixir. It is pure joy to see women who love who they are, AS they are, whether that includes work or not. If I’m happy when I’m older, who cares if I’ll have grey hair and kicking my boobs out of the way? Beauty on its own is nothing without a smile and eye creases.

    Thanks for writing such an interesting peice!

  • Veronica October, 19 2012, 9:12 / Reply

    I saw this in my twitter feed yesterday, and even if it is not about cosmetic surgery, it is about how we women are perceived and judged based on how we look instead of our competence and professionalism. Of course I think that I must look decent and appropriate at work, but when it comes to promotions, salaries and other benefits, I want to be judged by my competence and not by my clothes or my competence with the make-up brushes.

    http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-10-17/true-story-my-boss-told-me-my-hair-and-makeup-were-holding-me-back/

  • Une fille à Paris October, 19 2012, 11:23 / Reply

    Tout à fait d’accord avec le premier commentaire. C’est la société qui DOIT changer. Et quand je dis société, c’est hommes comme femmes. Les femmes ne devraient pas se sentir obligées de passer sur le billard pour se sentir belle ! Il y a trop de contraintes aujourd’hui, que ce soit physiquement ou matériellement ou psychologiquement.
    Il n’est ici pas question de juger ces femmes qui passent sous le bistouri de façon récurrente, on n’est pas là pour juger (n’est-ce pas), mais c’est un constat. Et les femmes sont aussi responsables de cette image qu’elles ont, et de la place qu’elles ont dans notre société. Si une femme de 40 ans, qui travaille dans la mode (mettons, je pense que c’est un milieu dans lequel la pression est très forte à ce niveau-là), et qui commence à avoir des rides sur le front, ou la ride du lion. Et bien, si cette femme reçoit des critiques négatives sur “son air fatigué” ou que sais-je encore, c’est aussi à elle de dire : “Je suis une femme, j’ai 40 ans, je suis belle et je vous emm****”. Tout n’est pas tout noir ni tout blanc. Les hommes aussi, je pense, sont victimes des pressions physiques, que ce soit sur leur corps ou sur leur visage.
    Nous sommes dans une société qui ne supporte pas la faiblesse, qui ne veut surtout pas la voir. Et c’est à tout le monde de changer ça. On est au-delà du féminisme, là.
    Je comprends les femmes qui se font refaire par crainte de montrer leur âge, leur fatigue, leur faiblesse, mais je pense qu’il faut avant tout lutter contre ça. Et dire aux femmes, quel que soit leur âge, qu’elles sont belles, c’est déjà un progrès. Que les magazines diffusent des images de femmes belles et de plus de 40-50ans est une bonne chose (je pense à a couverture du Vogue Paris d’Octobre).
    Il faut bien comprendre que tout résulte d’un business, et que l’industrie cosmétiques ainsi que la chirurgie esthétique ont tout à fait compris comment exploiter les failles de cette société si dure envers les femmes.

  • Lara October, 19 2012, 5:29 / Reply

    Hello Garance,

    i can agree with what lots of people said in regards to how media influence us (women). But i want to tell another story – of a mother and daughter. There was a little asian girl growing up in what seems to be a normal asian (korean to be precise) family and she was told by her mummy that she was almost perfect – with one minor defect so to speak – her little asian eyes (copy of her mom’s ironically). So time passed by , but growing up in non asian country – it became quite obvious for the girl that she was in fact – not ‘normal’ not like everyone, not blond, not with huge green/blue eyes. so the girl grew up to hate her asian look and had her eyes fixed (which pleased her mom very much) . .. and still she is pretty happy about it, i guess… only sometimes it makes her really sad, why even her own mom could not see that she was really perfect.. cute litttle girl with cute little asian eyes…

  • debi c October, 20 2012, 1:45 / Reply

    i love these statements..i was exactly thinking this same thing when i read your post the other day..

  • erin October, 20 2012, 2:13 / Reply

    Instructions for a Body
    by Marty Mcconnell

    Praise the miracle body: the odd,
    And undeniable mechanics of hand,
    Hundred-boned foot, perfect stretch of tendon.

    Praise the veins that river these wrists
    Praise the prolapsed valve in a heart
    Praise the scars marking a gall bladder absent
    Praise the rasp and rattle of functioning lungs
    Praise the pre-arthritic ache of elbows and ankles
    Praise the lifeline sectioning a palm
    Praise the photographic pads of fingertips
    Praise the vulnerable dip at the base of a throat
    Praise the muscles surfacing on an abdomen
    Praise these arms that carry babies and anthologies
    Praise the leg hairs that sprout and are shaved
    Praise the ass that refuses to shrink or be hidden
    Praise the cunt that bleeds and accepts,
    Bleeds and accepts
    Praise the prominent ridge of nose
    Praise the strange convexity of ribcage
    Praise the single hair that insists on growing from a right areola
    Praise the dent where the mole was clipped from the back of a neck
    Praise these inner thighs brushing
    Praise these eyelashes that sometimes turn inward
    Praise these hips preparing to spread into a grandmother’s skirt
    Praise the beauty of the freckle on the first knuckle of a left little finger

    We’re gone, in a blizzard of seconds,
    Love the body human while we’re here,
    A gift of minutes on an evolving planet,
    A country in flux.

    Give thanks,
    For bone and dirt,
    And the million things that will kill us someday,
    Motion and the pursuit of happiness,
    No guarantees.

    Give thanks,
    For chaos theory,
    Ecology,
    Common sense that says,
    We are web,
    A planet in balance or out,
    That butterfly in tokyo setting off thunderstorms in Iowa,
    Tell me you don’t matter
    To a universe that conspired to give you such a tongue,
    Such rhythm, or rhythmless hips,
    Such opposable thumbs,
    Give thanks,
    Or go home a waste of spark.

    Speak, or let the maker take back your throat,
    March, or let the creator rescind your feet,
    Dream, or let your god destroy your good and fertile mind.

    This is your warning,
    This, your birthright / do not let
    this universe regret you

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