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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Pressure of Looking Good

Yesterday I was watching a long documentary on Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy. During the documentary, there were small interviews of women who had been beautiful models and Playmates many years back. In their youth, they looked ravishing. But now they looked very different. The extensive use of plastic surgery and Botox had destroyed the structure of their faces, bloated their lips and made their skin hang like bags. None of them looked like graceful old women. On the other hand, Hugh Hefner looked very graceful, like a mature grandfather who has aged in a natural way.

Generally many of us live in awe of good looking women who seem to carry the kind of power which comes to them effortlessly. The world gives plenty of attention to them. They get special treatment everywhere they go. They have more and better options while seeking a job or a man. There are professions which reward them handsomely for their looks. On every front, they have an advantage which seems a little unfair.  

But after watching those ex-Playmates in the documentary, I felt the dark side of being totally dependent on good looks for financial security and social status. Looks and youth are impermanent, and they come with an expiry date which cannot be extended with the help of chemicals and surgery. It’s natural to get frustrated when somebody starts losing good looks and the power that comes with it.

And today everywhere we glorify good looks. Many of us go to gym not for good health, but for a good body figure. With this obsession for physical beauty, we are increasing mental pressure on ourselves which will get worse with time. This mental pressure is a huge price to pay for the little attention we can get from others.

It’s better to seek happiness in other things which are more permanent. For middleclass types like us, taking a home loan could be a good option because its EMIs are everlasting. One can spend decades working in a bloodsucking organization because he has to get rid of the loan. It will guarantee happiness because leaving the job can bring instant unhappiness.

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