Lemon County: Hey, Good Looking...
Cute, Real Cute...
Now remember, I'm from the island that equates dental hygiene with vanity. A place where, if you told people you were an orthodontist, they would reply, "oh that's nice dear, we like birds too."
Imagine my culture shock upon landing on the alien planet known as Lemon County, where, let's face it, pretty much everyone, is gorgeous. Both the young girls and boys are so good looking, the parents take them to the aforementioned orthodontist to ugly them up, so they won't be interested in each other until after middle school.
Somehow, my funny accent masked my natural unattractiveness, long enough for me to snag a female Lemon County beauty for myself. (Greatest achievement to date.) But, the first thing I got to do here, was to get my teeth fixed by a real dentist. This stoic man did not recoil in horror at what was left of my teeth, but patiently explained about crowns, and dental hygienists, and, my least favorite thing, root cleaning.
After purchasing a home in Washington State for him, I can now blend in, at least dentally, with the natives. And yes, when I go back to England, the mouths of “my” people horrify me.
Here's the strange thing though. All this actual drop-dead gorgeousness all around, and yet no one thinks it's good enough. Plastic surgery adjusts the bits that gyms, trainers, and diets can't reach, and it still is not enough. It seems so sad to me that no one seems to be enjoying his, or her, gorgeousness. Go to a former eastern block country, people, you will look like Gods in comparison!
I think there is a lesson to be learned from the Brits here. Stop worrying about the details. My own beauty constantly bemoans the fact that she is aging. She reports lines and sags that I simply don't see. True, aging also, very conveniently I think, messes with our eyesight, but she would be worshiped for her beauty in 90% of the rest of the world.
And age happens. Joanna Lumley is a grandmother, and yes, still hot.
And the thing about your bits succumbing to gravity, get over it. It is our imperfections that let others in. I'm a long way from poster child, and would be described as the friend with the nice personality, but I'm not too sure I care. I can make people laugh, for one thing. And I've discovered, over time, that I'm not a leg man, or a butt or breast man, though attractive attributes of the former kind certainly lift my mood, I've figured out that the best thing, the most attractive thing about a person, is their smile.
Now, to smile means earning a wrinkle or two over time, but the beauty in the smile does not diminish with age.
Who'd have thought it? I'm a beautician...
So, am I advocating that no one bothers trying to be as attractive as possible? Certainly not. My point is that, somewhere between the spin classes, the yoga session, the nail salon, the hair salon and the Pilates, take five to feel good. French women seem to have this down. Chin sagging? get creative with an Hermes scarf, for example, then discretely check yourself out, and smile.
And that’s very different from waiting for someone else to tell you that you look good.
Just be mindful of the juniors around you.
Body image issues are a nightmare for the junior inhabitants of Lemon County. The standard is perfection, as determined by the movies and magazines, but minus the benefits of soft lenses and Photoshop.
Part of the problem is that many of the “adults” do not want to move on. They remain firmly fixed in their teens for decades, leaving little room for the Teens to move into. Old Guys, despite the exhortations of the T-shirts, do not rule. Well they do, but they shouldn’t.
It’s very difficult to be a counter culture when the guys you are supposed to be rebelling against, are busy shouting, “just ten more minutes, OK?” and still trying to catch the perfect wave.
Young women have equally as challenging a time. Technically, and biologically, your Mom is supposed to look older than you. It has to be a real downer, when you look exactly like your Mom, except that you have zits. Once upon time, girls would “borrow” their Mom’s clothes to look more mature. Now, the poor teen has to guard her closet with her life, due to the regular Mommy raids.
I am, of course, happy that fifty is the “new” thirty, in that it somehow benefits me, but the same math makes college grads, toddlers, and young men and women under twenty, not exist at all.
No matter how good looking they are…
Dear Hub Reader
If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,
Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,
A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.
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