Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Picture Perfect

I'm guilty. I did it.

I, too, jumped onto the celeb-smut bandwagon and bought that People magazine detailing D-list (is she even that high on the alphabet?) reality "star" Heidi Montag's 10 plastic surgeries.

In my magazine-buying defense, I did get it at Costco for 30 percent off, so it's 30 percent less offensive. I did, however, flag the before-and-after photos with a Post-It so that my coworkers and I could flip straight to them. That probably adds back 10 percent of offensiveness.

Anyway, how sad that we live in a society where a young, perfectly attractive woman thinks she has to go through all that to meet the crazy ideal that Hollywood considers perfection: arched brows, boobs bigger than your head and an undeveloped 11-year-old girl's bottom half. Now, I'm not against plastic surgery. In fact, I'm all for it when a young woman — or man — is so ashamed and embarrassed about a particular physical trait that it's crippling to that person. But I also think it's even better when you have enough self-confidence to hold your head high and be proud of whatever that unique physical trait is (i.e, Barbara Streisand and her nose; me and my A-cup chest).

Now rant over, I must admit that I've always wanted to get my cheeks done. The ones on my face.

They're chubby, full. So full that someone once asked me if I'd had my wisdom teeth removed.

"Yes, I did...." I answered, incredulous that anyone could tell 10 years later.

"Yeah, your face looks swollen," came the response.

Swelling doesn't last that long. As a teen, I waited for that baby fat look to melt away into sculpted cheekbones. Never happened. Then, I heard about women getting silicone implants for that so-sharp-you-could-cut-meat-with-'em bone structure. I realized, though, that I couldn't do it.

My face is my face. How weird would that be to look in the mirror and not see those features that I was born with, no matter how imperfect they are. And, as much as I still wish I had cheek bones you could detect, I feel like my face matches my personality. It's me. They're staying.

My stomach, on the other hand, I would trade in a heartbeat.

After having three kids, it is a sad, stretched-out pooch. True confession time: I saw a plastic surgeon a few years ago because — after some research — I figured I was a candidate for a lower abdominoplasty, which isn't as extensive (or expensive) and fixes that poochy belly right up. Let me just say that fewer things are more humiliating in life than when a perfect stranger grabs a handful of chub and declares, "Oh no! You'd need a full one."

I still have the slip of paper with my surgical estimate: $8,000, not including hospital fees.


You know, it's still very, very early but I'm pretty darn sure at least one of my children isn't college material. I could totally spend that college fund now and have myself a bikini-worthy midriff. Or, at least one that doesn't spill over the waistband of my low-rise skinny jeans.

Some days, I think, well, that's just proof of what my body has done, is capable of, and it's nothing more than a battle scar. I feel like it's not so bad — like those women on those Yay Motherhood! Being a Mommy Is Soooo Empowering! Web sites that proudly flaunt their freakish stretch-mark riddled bellies and saggy boobs. Yeah, I look at those sites when I want to be scared away from any foods that'll make my gut bigger.

Other days, most days, I resort to an infinitely cheaper DIY tummy-tuck — the Yummie Tummie tank top. It sucks in whatever I can't. And, it's not half bad.

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