Distorted Reality

woman in teal sleeveless dress painting

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

When I take a break from writing, and want to give my brain a rest, I go on to YouTube and find things that help me relax. My favourites are watching ballet, anything about animals, babies and amusing things like fails and pranks.
If really tired, I’ll choose something banal, like a make-up tutorial. It was while doing this, about six years ago, that I came across a young woman, with a pleasant personality. Apart from telling us how to apply make-up, she also promoted her, then new, clothing line. Clearly, she wanted to use the internet to help make her name in this business, and doing make-up tutorials was her way of trawling people in. It worked. She is now very rich and has many followers on all social media outlets.
A woman only in her mid-thirties, who can now afford a Hermes handbag, must be a success story, you might say. Not really, I say.
You see, just isn’t happy with herself. Apart from having a nice personality, this woman also had beauty. Yet over the years, she’s had botox and fillers pumped into her face, to such a degree, she now resembles a bloated puffer-fish. I don’t say this to be unkind to her, it’s just that every time I switch to her channel, this is what I see.
When looking at the comments below her posts, many people have told her to stop doing this to herself. She doesn’t listen and has even said that she doesn’t intend to listen. Her actions, she maintains, are to ensure she doesn’t age.
But we all age, don’t we? And turning yourself into a caricature in an effort to stop this process, is rather like a shining sphere enshrouding itself in an ugly, dome-shaped casket, lest its precious light escapes.
Some might say she is vain, and being aware of her own beauty, she valued it to such a degree, she is even willing to undergo painful procedures to preserve it. Now, I don’t think being vain in necessarily a bad thing. Without a little vanity, wouldn’t we all smell bad, look unkempt and lose most of our teeth to decay?
No. The problem with this woman, I believe, is that her self-esteem was so low, the value she puts on her beauty substitutes her feeling good about herself. And now, her perception of what she sees in the mirror is distorted alongside her sense of reality.
Nobody likes getting old. Age sucks, blah, blah, blah. Yet, there are things we can do to slow it down, like taking daily exercise and protecting our skin in the sun. But, we can also take joy in life and in love. If we do that, and we get our perspectives right, we can acknowledge that youth is a transient thing, without going to devastating lengths in an attempt to stop it.
Youth is precious, yes…but healthy self-esteem is for more enduring.

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