Beauty and the bobbleheads
I wrote this article for the Valley Journal fifteen years ago (reprinted here with a few nips and tucks.) While it is from my early years as a columnist, and slightly more judgmental/immature than I would like to remember being, it’s still surprisingly relevant. I find people who have had their work done on the inside to be much more attractive.
I saw a bobblehead in the grocery store the other day; a woman so skinny that her head looked much too large for her body. I involuntarily did a double take, like when you see someone in flesh-colored pants, and for a split second you think they’re not wearing any. This woman had a George Hamilton tan and she looked as surprised as I felt. I’ve seen bobbleheads before, but rarely, and always upvalley. Which is why I was ill prepared to see one in the Carbondale City Market. They say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, all I beheld was shock and horror, closely followed by the desire to get her a sandwich.
America needs a new standard of beauty. This Janice-from-The-Muppets look of all cheekbones, lips, and hair does nothing for the men and women I know. The familiar clichés are breast wo/men, legs wo/men, ass wo/men, but never have I heard of a head wo/man.
“That’s a HUGE noggin. It’s like an orange on a toothpick!” – Mike Myers
Hollywood perpetuates this wannabe pre-teen skeletal rage, and then the Los Angeles locals that “live here” bring it to us. This valley has a history of attracting beautiful-on-the-outside people, like the world class skier who was fatally shot in the femoral artery because he was a molester, and the mediocre film star who pleasured himself during a massage on his honeymoon. But by living here, we have an opportunity to influence their idea of gorgeous; to set the Cos Bar a little higher. #roaringforkbeautiful
We have the ability to appreciate beauty at every age, instead of injecting a disease into our faces to try in vain to mask the evidence of living life. Crow’s feet and laugh lines are not ugly, but frankly, fifty trying to look twenty is. Why on Earth would we think looking constantly surprised is more pleasing to the naked eye than the effects of smiling in the sun… or put more importance on plumped-up lips than on the words coming out of our mouths? Especially when personality can so define a person’s looks. Take Paris Hilton, for example: youth, status, and an inheritance that turns even Aspenites green, she should be the most beloved person in America. Yet, through her actions, she chooses to perfect the School In the Summertime Look— No Class. (You really can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can tell how much it’s gonna cost.)
Obsession with our outside appearance can cause neglect of the beauty inside. You know it’s bad when we are convinced that to be desirable, we must put up with heavy-duty staples in our heads. Or worse, agree to a c-section in order to keep tissue tight, repressing the organic in pursuit of picture-perfect-plastic. My advice to bobbleheads is this: the next time you find yourself contemplating a plastic injection of any kind, you should stop, drop, and roll— no wait, that’s if you’re on fire. Instead, stop and think, “What could I do to improve my inner beauty?” How about a nice trip to the shrink, or an hour-long foot massage in Chongqing? Instead of desperately trying to stop the clock, why not lose track of time…
With the shelf life of attractive women getting shorter and shorter, girls in their twenties are visiting the plastic surgeon! I know some people want a trophy wife, but they don’t really want her to look shell-shocked like the beast’s head mounted on the den wall, do they?! I don’t have any heads on my wall but hanging in my bathroom is a sign that my sister gave me a long time ago, and every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded that: Beauty is not a state of body… It is a state of mind.