Thoughts on temptation and cosmetic procedures

The other day I visited a reputable aesthetic clinic somewhere in The Fort. They do almost everything there, from something as mundane as facials and waxing to more complex treatments like Ulthera (a skin tightening and lifting procedure that uses ultrasound) and cosmetic surgery. I dropped by to try my favorite facial, but before that I settled down to talk with the owner's daughter.

She said she has had Ulthera done on her face, and then showed me a picture with one side finished, mid-procedure. It was dramatically thinner! It was non-surgical too so my jaw almost dropped to the floor! She said she used to have a wide face, and it's probably the same procedure Kim Chiu had to achieve her now-pixie face. This treatment is meant to be done only once a year, and costs about P90,000 per session.

I tell you, I have never been as tempted to alter my face as I had been that time. Cosmetic procedures are more advanced so the pain and downtime are now minimal - the cost is manageable too, if your income is in the upper-middle bracket. It was tempting to try, whether or not the clinic generously offers an x-deal.

This reminds me of a post Regina Belmonte wrote on her Tumblr - it's not about cosmetic procedures per se, but it's related. Regina is Cosmopolitan Philippines' beauty editor-at-large and I believe also editor of The Philippine Star's YStyle Section.

Skinny bitches, feel free to contradict me. Because sometimes, I really, truly, honestly feel that the only reason I don’t have more going for me is that I’m not thin. And in my head, the reasonable half of my brain is like, “That’s stupid, Regina. Your worthiness isn’t dictated by your dress size,” but the less reasonable half still can’t help feeling that way anyway.

THIS. It was a nameless feeling before reading this post, but I feel this way sometimes too (note the operative word okay - sometimes). I feel like I'd have more clients, friends, fame, and basically have better everything if only I looked better than I do now. It's a cut-throat world and in this industry at least, looking very good is a prerequisite if one is to make it big.

I know I'm smart and talented and being who I am have taken me this far. But sometimes there's a nagging feeling that I could be more if my face were thinner and my nose, less round and flat. There's a dark suspicion that it would be easier if only I am more physically attractive.

Don't get me wrong though - I'm not unhappy with the way I look. I like my face and my nose too (with a grudging sort of affection). I think I can lose a little bit more weight because yes I am vain. But deep inside, like really deep inside, I think of myself as a beautiful person. Why? Because my parents loved me and offered every encouragement they can. And I know enough from reading hundreds of books that beautiful people aren't always the ones with the prettiest faces and bodies.

Am I considering a face and body-altering cosmetic procedure? No, not at the moment. I think I look fine. :) Maybe that will change in the future though so I'm not going to close my book on that! To those who do get stuff done on themselves, I think that that's their business. It's their money and their body so I don't presume to have a say on what they want to do with it. 

It's tempting to throw money to achieve a more permanent, more dramatic physical beauty. I'm not there right now. Are you?