Monday, March 25, 2013

Reality and TV

My brother recently wrote a blog that mentioned the pleasures of yelling at television characters when we have our own ideas about what they should be doing. This morning I was scanning my online news sources when I came upon a photo of a senior citizen featured in an article. My first thought was: You need to whiten your teeth.
“Get a hairdo!” I might yell at some poor soul on TV, or “Honey, pluck your eyebrows!” “Haven’t you ever heard of brown spot remover?” And who among us can’t spot a bad wig, especially on a man?  
The long, wide reach of the media does not leave many of us out.
I’m finding that I’ve been slowly and subtly—perhaps subliminally--conditioned to expect white, perfect teeth and flawless skin, beautiful hair and an attractive physique on anyone in the public eye. Some part of me is surprised and turned off when these folks don’t “take care of themselves.”
At the same time, there are TV channels I will not watch, a whole swath of them featuring (my term) “fake women” chosen for reality shows that highlight their bitchiness and balloon-like lips. Plastic surgery can enhance us or make monsters of us.
I find it disturbing to see young people who have never experienced a wrinkle hawking anti-aging products, for example the beautiful girl in the Juvederm ads. How old is she, twenty? Could that trend have anything to do with reality shows that highlight bridezillas barely out of their teens plumping up their faces for their perfect day? It's all part of the media message.
The next step, after blithely informing the men and women on TV that they need Botox or a Lifestyle Lift, is looking at oneself. Ah.
With a second book about to be published and a co-author who would love for us to be interviewed on TV, I keep wondering if I should be taking my own advice. I suppose a few layers of Luminess sprayed on before the cameras roll would give me that airbrushed look, but what about taking advantage of the products and procedures that are now as common as face powder?  
I have friends who routinely take Botox injections, have their makeup tattooed on, get chemical peels, and always look like they should be in the movies. I often think it’s too late for me, that if all those procedures had been pushed at everyone with a pulse twenty years ago, I might have started.
What about the money, the endless appointments, the risk? Marie Osmond looks lovely these days, but she does not look like Marie Osmond. Does it matter? What if things didn’t turn out so well? What if I underwent some procedure and the doctor overdid it? Can you ever go backwards? Do any of these enhanced people ever want to return to their former selves?
The world has become so competitive. I’m not sure what I’ll do about beauty enhancements, but I keep thinking about it, weighing the questions, especially this one: If I had, if I did, who would I be right now?


  1. Interesting thoughts. This book is so good. Funny and yet serious at the same time! Awesome job by the two of you.

  2. Ah Jane, another fantastic, thought provoking blog. That snow has allowed your fertile mind to flow to the keyboard; and as a reader, I am thankful for your inclement weather :0) Like you, I see the hype and ads on youth and being slim. I noticed yesterday a commercial for "slimming" pants for Chico's on TV and the model had to be 6 feet tall and weigh no more than 98 lbs. If I buy a Victoria's Secret panty/bra set will my body also look like their "Barbie dolls" in the commercials? I don't think so! Likewise, I look at pics of me years ago and I am still ME, not a characterization of me. Of course my neck is not as taut as when I was twenty and the knuckles on my hands are showing some enlargement due to inheriting some of mom's arthritis. For those ladies like Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton and countless others who can afford it and need all these enhancements, it's their body.... but ultimately they are the same age inside and Father Time and gravity won't be ignored. I do believe in preventive measures: protection from sun, good skin products, exercise and eating right. Being blessed with good health shows on the outside too as well as one's gene pool. Frankly, I'd much rather have a friend tell me I look great for my age, rather than wonder who in the heck I am b/c of all the plastic! That's my opinion and I feel everyone is entitled to theirs. Again, your blog was so stimulating, I believe I just wrote a blog under your EXCELLENT blog ♥♥♥.

    1. I think you did. Thanks, as always, for the great comments.

  3. Jane, you are so funny! I love reading your blogs! May I assume I am one of the friends you spoke about having Botox injections and permanent make up? Non invasive procedures have not changed my face other than a few less wrinkles.Permanent make up saves me a little time in the morning. The mini peels help get rid of brown spots from sun damage! Oh how I remember the days of Baby oil & Iodine! If I only knew then what I know now. Anyway, I look at these things as preventative. I am just trying to fix what I can before it actually breaks! I will never be one of those women who look like you could lick their lips and then stick them to a wall! You always take care of yourself and I think you look great!!! Again, I love to read your blogs! HUGS

  4. And you are beautiful! Your decisions have enhanced you in the best way. That's how to do it, in my opinion. Thanks for the comments!

  5. Great blog! Jane, I have always said you are a beautiful woman! Debbie's comment made me burst out laughing! I agree that when people look like you could lick their lips and stick them to a wall, attractive is not the word that comes to mind! I have seen some horrible botox jobs. They looked like their eyebrows were frozen to their scalp!!!!!!!!!! That lasted for months! A constant look of shock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That took wide eyed look to amazing levels. :)I have also seen awful permanent make up done. Bottom line, you are beautiful and I say, don't mess with mother nature, because no, once the botox is done, there is no going back until it wears off. Surgeries even a worse horror story! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and I am telling you, you don't need a thing! Perfection is never the answer. Being real is the answer. :) You have enhanced yourself through alot of hard work exercising and eating right. Those benefits also improve your health so that's a win win! :)

  6. Just be yourself!!! Do you think I like seeing my mom in the mirror? It's nice to say hello, of course, but surely that's not me.