On being Aphrodite: How far can you go to be beautiful?

Few weeks ago, my friend, Micah, invited me to spend time with her after work. She suggested going to our basic hangout place, SM Mall of Asia. Having nothing else to do after, I decided to come along. Apparently, it was on her schedule to go to our local waxing salon to de-hair herself. With enough cajoling from my other colleagues to have my body hair under the mercy of strangers, I settled for “I will try”. And I did try.

Lay Bare waxing salon logo

Lay Bare Waxing Salon is a waxing service franchise from US. I don’t think a lot of Filipinos are naturally hairy, but it seems my opinion was incorrect based on its growing number of branches in the metro and nearby provinces. In my village alone, there’s a branch exclusive for us!

Micah has been using its service for quite some time now, so I am not 100% scared that something will turn horribly wrong for me. Still, it’s my first time and like any other firsts, I was embarrassingly nervous. I do shave, albeit seldom, since there’s really no need to do so. I am almost completely out of hair. Really. Anyhow, I tried to put on my game face and pretended to be brave about it.

I signed up for eyebrow threading and underam services. Confession time: I don’t like touching my brows. They are naturally thin and go separate ways – I mean not like McD’s or Mazda eyebrow styles. I think they have only been “touched” less than ten times in my whole existence and those were the times when I really had to doll-up with the assistance of hair and make-up artists.

Anyway, let’s move on with my story. When my name was called to the booth, I walked slowly to my attendant. I explained that I was a newbie for the service and she gave me a smile which was often reserved for kids going to their dental check-up. Then she went on with her job. And I wished she hadn’t.

Never in my life had I thought that a single thread could give so much pain in my person. Imagine my surprise when the first “attack” happened. I was like an earthworm being tortured by naughty kids with rock salt. It was too painful, I cried. Too much for keeping a game face. The staff informed me that the pain will lessen soon, but I wasn’t soothed with that. I felt too much pain that when I complained again, the attendant scolded me of drinking tea on the day of a waxing appointment. According to the rules, drinking something with caffeine before going to a waxing session is a definite no-no. Thankfully, the next session wasn’t that as painful. We breezed through it while she complained that I don’t have any hair to remove in the first place. She went on with “Don’t go back here anytime soon”, “You just wasted money on these services you don’t actually need”, and “Your hair is like that of a baby”.

Why did I go with that “rite of passage”? Why did I even make myself susceptible to that beauty pain? What did I want to achieve? Did I want to prove that I’m already a grown-up and not a sweet, charming teenager? My mind was asking too many questions while I was waiting for my Micah in the lobby. When she finally emerged, she filled me with her stories on how painful it was to go Brazilian. It triggered more questions in my head.

Why do women have to go through a lot just to be called beautiful? And I’m saying physically beautiful. As far as I observe, pain comes along with beauty.

under the knife

A pretty face has a price. How many of my Korean friends confessed of wanting to have parts of their body changed and some who really did it after? How many actresses and singers do we know have altered beauty? Do you doubt that they went through various kinds of pain just to achieve how they look now?

I personally know someone who had her surgery at the age of 16. She often voices her envy on my huge, ugly, double-lidded eyes. She thinks I am gifted with eyes of an owl and wanted  hers done. In her country, the surgery is quite normal that it is not surprising to meet others who have done the same thing no matter how young.

double eyelid

But will others get contented with just the eyes? In Korea, a perfect face must consist of: big, round, double-lidded eyes; straight perfect nose, and V-shaped face. Gangnam Style.

face alter

More alteration, more surgery. Well, at least I hope women who underwent surgeries are happy with the results. They might have gone through a lot of pain during the process, but I hope that they gained more self-confidence and satisfaction with what they got now.

Even though I personally dislike cosmetic surgery for myself, I don’t have anything against those people who went under the knife. They have their personal reasons, and mostly those are sound ones. However, I can’t help but frown at others who seem dissatisfied with life in general. Here are the not-so-common and can be termed “crazy” surgeries I think others do:

  1. Dimpleplasty and chin cleft surgeries. Both look good at first, if you think a permanent “scar” as beautiful, but what about 5-10 years after? As we age, so does our skin. Who wants a sagging scar as he/she grows old?
  2. Toe shortening. It seems others really find something wrong in their body. Those who do not like that their second toe is longer than the third or the rest of the toes go for this surgery.
  3. Ear pointing. Who fancies being as pretty as elves and faeries? This procedure can be done by cutting a portion of the ear and stitching the two sides of the altered part. Result? Pointed ears!
  4. Abdominal etching. Who doesn’t want those yummy abs? For men who want to get rid of those belly fat without exercise or any fad diet, they believe this is their answer. This is done by “sculpting” or “drawing” on layers of fat to make that sexy appearance. Again, what will happen when they grow old?
  5. Cankle liposuction. Being a stick all my life, I never experienced worrying about my ankles. Call me insensitive, but it’s true. Lately, I read something about a woman fussing about her chubby ankles. Perhaps there’s something sexy and feminine with thin ankles? Whatever her reason maybe, I do not plan to waste $5000-$8000 by removing fats from my ankles.
  6. Collagen feet fillers. It is true that wearing high heels boost confidence in women. Makes us feel beautiful, glamorous, and sexy. But wearing those stilettos and cigarette heels usually kill our feet. That is why some people decided to have some protein injected in the balls of their feet to act as cushion and padding while wearing those skyscrapers. Hmm what’s next? Surgery to make your feet like Barbie’s?
  7. Pubic hair transplants. Seriously? Yes. I was also surprised when I read this. And to think that according to the article I read, it is common among Asians! WTH. Something to do with fertility. Ugh. No way, highway.

Why do people go through all those kind of surgeries? Is being beautiful and sexy so important that we turn a blind eye on the pain that comes along with each? How about you? Will you have something done for your body? What is your take on cosmetic surgery?

37 thoughts on “On being Aphrodite: How far can you go to be beautiful?

  1. As I have aged, it has become very obvious that the most important part of any human being is what is on the inside. You are brave, enduring the pain!

    1. I agree with you on that. Some people I know do not believe in this for the mere reason that only ugly ones think that what’s inside is more beautiful. I can’t say I am brave. I just fed my curiosity and look where it got me.

  2. I had an entire head transplant once. Only hurt when I swallowed…they didn’t quite line up the pipes right. But for me it was a whole new way of thinking.

  3. What a fantastic post!. Absolutely awesome. I wonder all these myself. I am totally against going under the knife. The cosmetic surgeries you mentioned are crazy man. I never knew those existed. That woman’s face is so changed!. Jeez. My first experience with threading was ok. I felt too kiddish to cry. But tears were rolling down my cheeks!

    1. Yeah. It was a full transformation for her, right? I don’t want to be touched like that. Haha I guess I did not write it well. I really did not cry like a child. Tears just rolled down my cheeks as I tried to ignore the pain.

  4. I have made a pledge to myself. I won’t alter my body or face. But I do get why people do it…
    I have heard of some of the cosmetic surgeries you listed, but numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 7 are the ones I have heard about. Number 7 is just CRAZY!
    I have no need to for a chin cleft surgery since I have been born with one. Not that it helps me though. People seem to have a irresistable urge to point out how my chin is a “butt chin” 😛

    1. Me, too. I like the natural, ugly me. Haha! I think I’ve learned in science classes that dimples and cleft chins are abnormality while you were being conceived. Still, I sometimes envy people who have dimples. My sister and I don’t have a single one, but my younger brother has four – two on each cheek, and those cat like dimples.

      Having a cleft chin is nothing to be compared to butt chin. Think of Angelina Jolie!

  5. I have realized that historically, I go through phases of fixating on something that I think is hideous about myself. The first one I remember was my elbows. I thought they were pointy and rough skinned to the point of deformity. Then from Jr. high into early high school, I hated my ears (also because they were pointy). I absolutely would not show them, and never wore my hair up because I wanted them covered. My sister even told me that I had elfish ears like a European model and I still wouldn’t cover them. Then I moved on to a different self criticism, and then a different one.. I still get them, but now I know that its just something I get over, and my perception of whatever the “flaw” is at the time isn’t real.

    I’ll remove whatever hair I don’t like, and color my hair, and get tattoos, but I don’t think I could ever have plastic surgery. I have learned how jarring the “repair” of a flaw can be to people who know you.. but that’s probably a blog in itself.

    1. Thanks for the insight. I understand you perfectly. It is true that our worst critics are ourselves and we often see flaws in ourselves which others actually don’t see or mind. I agree with what you said in the second paragraph. I can change my hairstyle and color, wear contacts, but not surgery.

  6. I’ve heard in Korea, nothing is natural anymore. Cosmetic surgeries are a dime a dozen. Coemetic surgeries are advertised in subways. Parents give that as birthday gifts. It of course doesn’t speak well of the culture. They don’t like their own appearance. They want Western faces. Do they think of their ethnic appearance as below standard? To be blunt, ugly?

    1. It is too natural in fact, that when you sit in a coffee shop by the window, you’ll see women passing by wearing the same “face”. Especially in Gangnam. I think media is to be blamed for this. I don’t think the face is actually Western, but I get what you mean.

  7. Yep, pain comes with beauty. I often wondered about people’s motivation, too, in having cosmetic surgery but as I became exposed to different people, I realized what beauty means to them. By enhancing their features, they feel more confident and are more positive with their outlook in life. It’s like a beacon of hope to them.

  8. I love this post. Would you mind if I post a link to my Wrinklequest blog that was designed to answer this same question? Why do women equate their beauty with self worth?
    I didn’t even know that some of these prodcedures existed! Thank you for sharing:-)

  9. Whatever insane things are on offer people will flock to them…no one has any self esteem any more. society strips it away for profit. it is nice to be educated though.

  10. Hi! It really interesting to read your post about being beautiful. Some said beauty is about pain but for me, there is no measurement or standard in saying someone beauty or ugly. The way of you think, the way on you look at yourself is more important compare to what others said. Beauty…… who can really define it

  11. I’ve heard about 1-4 but not 5-7. I can’t believe people really go through that. Maybe they couldn’t stand the so called “tiis-ganda”

    Also, I’ve tried LayBare. First time’s always the worst.

    1. Number 7 really could be renamed as the worst-heard surgery ever. Tiis-ganda or not, I don’t see myself going under the knife. It’s just not me.

      Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one. I don’t know if I will go back to LayBare though.

  12. I’ve recently heard of a new surgery, called ‘tittooing’… yes, it is what it sounds like. I’ve never understood the use of surgery; laser eye surgery is about the only one I could see myself getting, and only because it’s practical. Waxing, I understand, because I like swimming and waxing lasts longer than shaving. I recently read somewhere that beauty is to do with how you perceive yourself – if you carry yourself confidently and believe you are beautiful, others will believe it too. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  13. Just got around to reading this post… which reminds me, will prolly go back there tomorrow for my monthly “when it’s time to see hair it’s time to lay bare”. :))

    So, are you going back for a threading? 🙂

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