Maybe it’s because I live in Miami, or maybe it’s because throughout most of my online leisure activity, beauty is consistently a spotlighted subject. It seems (myself included), like Cleopatra, we are always trying to find the perfect recipe for physical beauty. I’ll shamelessly admit how much I enjoy looking up “life-saving” beauty tips, like how to make your real eyelashes look like fake ones, or how to make your manicured fake nails look more natural. The amount of beauty advice and beauty advertising right now is off-the-chain. It’s amazing; I can even look up beauty reviews on my phone while in the store trying to decide if this makeup foundation will last as long as it claims to. Some products actually do seem to work miracles, and then there’s those that totally let us down by luring us with their pretty promises.
When men, or non-makeup wearers in general, reveal their confusion to me, regarding the many people’s obsessions with beauty secrets, products and skin inventions, I guide them toward clarity with one strong analogy that they seem to really empathize with. I tell them, keeping up with the latest beauty products, making new sparkling or smoothing discoveries is simply a basic hobby, no different from being obsessed with a sports team, no different from examining the new rookie on board, which coach follows through or which team seems to continuously let fans down. Suddenly, my anti-cosmetic counterparts have a newfound understanding for a person’s obsession with makeup and beauty.
On the other side of the coin, however, rests the cons of a fanatical obsession with one’s appearance. In Miami, so many women around me seem to have what I like to call, “Kim Kardashian issues.” These issues include an obsession with plastic surgery, particularly in the realm of the bottom or “booty” as its commonly called. Down here, butts are bigger and perkier (almost freakishly perky) than Bentleys. Actually, I’m sure many of these women could easily balance a champagne glass on their bottom just like Kardashian did. In Miami, we really didn’t see the big fuss.
Kim Kardashian issues also lead to the immobility of hair, the over-preoccupation with body boosting, but mainly uncomfortable clothes, a fixation with brand labels, a general lack of authentic and individual charm, heads in the clouds, narcissism, and the worst sign that someone is struggling with Kim Kardashian issues is the inevitable neglect of anything that doesn’t have to do with beauty building, like investing in an education (rather than a new nose) or finding your inner peace (instead of the most outrageous shoes) or even outreaching to the community in a positive way (rather than focusing on how others perceive you).
The hobby of beauty should not impede your own personal, professional or social progress. Like when any other hobby transforms itself slowly into a compulsive and costly obsession, both mental, social, physical and financial health unavoidably degrade.
10 Ways that an Obsession with Physical Appearance Harms Your Potential for Success
1. The blatant problem that comes from an obsession with beauty is a common symptom of any other type of obsession or compulsion. It’s all the time you don’t spend enriching your life with diversity, empathy or personal growth.
2. The beauty obsessed individual simply has nothing interesting to say to those who aren’t so familiar with the details of Botox or posture.
3. The focus on the appearance of the body, rather than the health of the body leads to activities that, sure, might enhance your looks, but cause some serious health scarring. Plastic surgery can lead to irreversible aesthetic damage (or even social humiliation) as well as life-long health problems.
4. It costs way too much money to be beautiful 24-7; it literally steals your savings.
5. It’s way too much work to be beautiful 24-7, taking your attention and energy away from the more long lasting rewards of a strong career or the products of care-giving.
6. It annoys people, especially someone you’re dating or married to. Sure, they look at looks, but looks only go so far, especially when it comes to things that really might turn a person on, like spending time and energy on learning his/her favorite hobbies. A man won’t care how thick your eyelashes are when you just managed to catch a fat yellow-tailed snapper, and dislodged its hook with your bare (perhaps manicured, wink!) hands.
7. It’s a never-ending battle. As we all know so well, as all the magazines and beauty queens constantly tell us, our beauty “fades” as we age. It’s an unbeatable fate. Constantly trying to defeat the undefeatable is like trying to swim up a waterfall. Screw the impossible, and go check something else out, like the elephants drinking water on the bank you somehow never noticed before.
8. It makes a mess of your self-worth. A person preoccupied with his/her own looks forgets what else he/she can bring to the table. If you rely only on your looks, you lose touch with your other assets, you don’t develop new ones and like a leg in a cast too long, your perception of reality can atrophy (seriously).
9. The people a beauty-oriented person attracts will be limited in terms of diversity. For example, a person obsessed with peoples’ appearances will most likely be attracted to a person that appears to be gorgeous or guapo. The opportunity for social growth is stunted.
10. Others tend to value only your looks too (since it’s a major component to your identity), thereby devaluing your potential for genuine personal development or inner peace.
Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic. ~Rosalind Russell
Beauty isn’t worth thinking about; what’s important is your mind. You don’t want a fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head. ~Garrison Keillor
By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower. ~Rabindranath Tagore
I’m so pleased to announce that three of my poems, “Slots,” “Scraping” and “Make a Decision” have been published in Barking Sycamores Literary Magazine Issue 13. Barking Sycamores is dedicated to neurodivergent literature and its craft. I’m so honored to be a part of this project. Barking Sycamores Issue 13
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