Friday, December 4, 2009

Chasing Beauty

I stumbled across this story today & thought it was something that everyone needs to hear. I wanted to share this excerpt from the book written by Jamieson Dale (known as Laura Pillarella) called "Chasing Beauty"

"I think that I am finally pretty. I have a hard time writing that, and an even harder time saying it. I still feel ugly. It took fifteen cosmetic surgical procedures over ten years, costing a total of $61,000, to realize that average is okay, and certainly simpler. What began as my ordinary bad hair, bad skin, bad bone structure, bad teeth, and bad self-esteem was rearranged into surgical freakishness and finally into probably attractive. The bad self-confidence remains. To try to escape my common flaws, I have undergone repeat upper and lower "eye jobs"; a chin implant augmentation; a lip lift; collagen injections; several surgical lip augmentations; a nose job; a TCA chemical peel; laser peels; Alloderm cadaver implants; dental braces; jaw advancement; chin genioplasty augmentation; two cheek lifts; a mid-facelift; an eyelid canthopexy; and a lateral brow-lift. My Result is that I now know that scalpels, syringes and lasers are not beauty tools--or worse, toys--as I had once felt. They have each cut and injected into more than my skin, crafting with each painful healing a personal character from which I had wished that surgery would save me from developing. I had only wished to be one-dimensional by chasing beauty and its easy, breezy image. Far from that, I'm now something scarred: Wise. I am only 35 years old. ···························································My journey appears to be over. My eyes appear sloe instead of sleepy or "scooped out" as I was once told. My nose is smaller. Most of my acne scars have been burned away, and my skin has a healthier glow (or what I suppose "glow" looks like). I have a jawbone less subtly defined than before. The lips look poofy without manual poofing, but not too poofy. I step back from the mirror. My cheeks have been rescued from their steady slip into jowls (a distasteful word to match distasteful facial betrayal and one that my orthodontist misspelled as jowels on my initial visit chart and which I didn’t have the stomach to correct) and put back where cheeks should be. The legacy of my wayward chin is over; it has submitted into proportionate, finally getting along and blending with the rest of my features. Appearances are deceiving. Pretty is a poor cure for insecurity. I still obsess, out of habit or because I’ve compared myself with the ubiquitous teen model in my favorite magazine or watched magnified movie-star perfection or because I’m bloated or having a bad hair day or had a fight with my husband or just because. Today is one of those days. Moving closer to the glass now, I wonder: are those broken capillaries I see etched across my cheeks? Is that a double chin? I scrunch down my face, tucking my chin, trying to see my collarbone. The effect confirms the presence of ugly submental fat ("submental" being one of the many unfortunate technical terms attached to female fear that have assimilated into my own vocabulary over the years). Stretching my mouth into a grimace produces crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes. I frown, making it worse. Where is the smooth brow of my youth? I wonder, as I tug my hair off my forehead. Didn’t my hairline used to be lower? Is everything where it should be?Despite my harsh surgical history, I still sometimes fall for the siren call of instant cosmetic gratification. Maybe just a little Botox? I think as my fingers mimic its smoothing paralysis effect on my facial muscles and skin. It looks so good on the media world, and good in imitation. Ooh, that’s better, I now see, feeling calmed by the effect.Quickly coming down, and closing the bathroom door behind me, I regret that good hygiene will bring me back in here, back before the mirror before long. I guess that it will take time for me to not only say that I’m pretty…but to actually believe it. Without Botox. I at least know that I’ll never again ask a cosmetic surgeon if I am. Ten years of cosmetic surgery - ten years of swelling and distortion and bruising and financial deceit and high anxiety and downtime and pain and disappointment and marital strain - haven’t answered my question: Who am I? It has only prolonged the search for it.I may finally look okay, but I feel worked over, and I still don’t know the answer.This book is the way that I remember asking."

Let's all remember to take a good, hard look at ourselves in the mirror & learn to love what it reflects! We are all beautiful in our own special way!!!


Elaine said...

Wow...that was a powerful story!! We all need to be satisfied with how we look because that is how God made us and he thinks we are all beautiful.

Jamieson Dale said...

Thank you so much for sharing part of my story with your readers. As one reader wrote to me, "People will change their minds and not their faces because you wrote this book!"
That change is the aspiration of my book, through one gasp at a time over my sad story.