I wasn’t always the self-confident narcissist you all know and love. In fact, there was a time in my life where being beautiful was the most important thing in the world to me. It was all I cared about.
I think that’s probably why I’m so hard on others who focus on their looks. As some famous shrink who I can’t be bothered to Google once said ‘we hate most in others what we see in ourselves.’
Back in the day, before I realized there was more to life than nice skin and good hair, I did some crazy shit to myself in the name of beauty.
I got Restylane Injections
Have you ever seen someone right after they got hit in the mouth with a 2 x 4? I think that was the look I was going for.
Despite the fact that my lips are pretty proportionate to my face, I elected to go out and have hyaluronic acid injected into them so I could look just like Angelina Jolie. Instead, I looked a bit more like this;
The injections themselves were about as painful as…getting hit in the face with a 2 x 4, which I guess makes sense. Once they were done, my lips were bruised, bumpy, and looked like a couple of inner tubes sewn together. After that, I swore off injectables forever…or at least until I’m in my 50’s and looking to fuck 20 year olds again.
I ate cotton balls
Yes, this is actually a thing, and not something I made up. Women would eat cotton balls to fill themselves up, no calories involved. Being 5’5” tall, I knew that my ideal weight should be about 85 pounds. So I started eating cotton balls instead of food, thinking I would lose a ton of weight.
Instead, I got sepsis and shit out something that looked like a bunny. I still can’t remove my nail polish without gagging.
I duct taped my boobs
Strapless bras just weren’t good enough for me. I wanted the kind of cleavage that only Lowe’s could provide. So, using several rolls of this industrial strength tape, I taped my tits until they had the perfect ‘I just got implants’ style cleavage. To be honest, the girls looked great!
Then, I had to take the tape off…and one of my nipples nearly came with it. An important lesson was learned; home improvement belongs in the home and no where near your areolas.
I washed my hair with beer
This one didn’t hurt physically, so much as it hurt mentally. Oh, the waste of beer in the interest of shiny hair! Not to mention, I smelled like a brewery for about 4 days after.
But hey, at least my hair was shiny (eye roll).
I haven’t set foot in a tanning salon since a tiny black mole on my stomach made me reconsider how much I was willing to sacrifice in the name of beauty.
Tanning was easy to give up, the second a black mole showed up on my stomach and whispered ‘malignant melanoma’ in my ear. The fact is, one person dies of a melanoma every minute in this country, and I was not willing to be that one person. I didn’t want people leaning over my casket, admiring my golden glow and commenting on how healthy I looked.
People out there, if you’re still doing the tanning thing, please reconsider. There are alternatives available that will make you look just as good, without the risk of death. Try a spray tan. It’s much faster, and you won’t come out smelling like Indian kebab.
In the name of beauty, I’ve risked my health, my life and my beer supply. I don’t know when it all turned around, or when I stopped caring. It might have been after I hit my thirties, it might have been after I came face to face to my own mortality…and it wasn’t pretty.
All I can say is you won’t truly understand how freeing it is until it happens to you. You won’t understand the weight that lifts off your shoulders once you stop caring about what you look like. You won’t understand how much better you can be until you accept that there are better things to life than just being pretty.
When I stopped caring about my looks, I tossed my Cosmo and picked up Canterbury Tales instead. It still sucked, but at least I can hold my own when pompous people start talking Chaucer.
When I stopped caring about my looks, I saved thousands on ridiculous beauty treatments, facials, cosmetics, clothes and more. When you don’t care, WalMart sweatpants are a perfectly acceptable alternative to a pair of True Religion jeans (and much more comfortable).
When I stopped caring about my looks, I stopped being afraid of getting older. Instead, I managed to look forward to it.
In the name of beauty, I sacrificed a lot. I wasted a lot of time developing something passing, when I could have been working on building my mind. So I don’t do things in the name of beauty anymore. I rarely look in the mirror and I brush off compliments (or complaints) on my looks.
There is more to life than beauty. Once you realize that…well that’s just fucking beautiful.