What a Beauty!

Haggis McBagpipe
How important is physical good looks to you? What is your idea of good looking?

How far are you willing to go to achieve your idea of beauty? Plastic surgery? Hair colouring? Make-up? Endless hours of workouts? Professional manicures? Tanning booths? Expensive wardrobe?

Do you ever feel enslaved, to a degree, by societal standards of what constitutes attractiveness?
Diamond Sun
Generally, I'm pretty happy with the way I look. I can get up at 6:30 and be on the road by 6:45 and have no concerns.

The only manicure I've ever had was for my wedding, and i don't even know what the inside of a tanning booth looks like. My wardrobe comes from the sales racks on off season, I own three items of makeup, and spend maybe 30 minutes a week working out.

I have my moments, after seeing a gorgeous woman walk by, where I wonder what it would be like to look that way, and then I remember that I have great friends, and a great husband and I don't need to define myself by the way I look.
I always was, am and will be insecure. I am a little overweight, not much just a few kiloes. I even lost 8 kiloes in the last months! But I still want to loose some.

And yes to be honest, I am very much affected by the fashion ideal. Everyone just wants to be thin thinner and the utmost thinnest!

But I would never do plastic surgery or any thing. I have my pride. I have never coloured my hair (I am naturally blonde), never been to a tanning booth and never to a pedicure.

Ow well, it is just hard walking around at uni with all those skinny, pretty girls
American Voice
Up to about four years ago, I was fit and full of energy. Then, something happened--lifestyle changes--and I gained 35 pounds, going from 205 up to 240. I recall seeing my reflection in the window of the supermarket, and recognizing how I looked, I felt embarassed. It was a labor just to climb stairs. It was difficult putting on socks. To lay on my side in bed was uncomfortable. Blood pressure dangerously high. I had never given my bodyweight a second thought before.

I went to a doctor, and he started me on a water pill--nothing fancy, just a ten cent water pill. I dropped about 12 pounds in two weeks. My dietitian recommended reducing my daily calorie intake by half. I tried, but I was always hungry, and faded in the afternoon. I compromised, and cut calories by one third. As the weight diminished, I became more active. Right now, I am down to near 205. I have a really nice suit, a medium gray chalk stripe from Brooks Brothers. The trousers fit me again, and it's great. My blood pressure is normal: 110/70.

Lisa, I know what you are going through, and what you must be feeling. For the sake of your blood pressure and your young heart, be steadfast in your determination.
Haggis McBagpipe
Lisa, you say you will always be insecure, but you are young and it only feels that way. By the time you hit thirty, probably long before, you will feel confident and assured.

American Voice, congratulations, that is a helluva success story.

Diamond Sun, I like the way you do.
American Voice
I'm a pretty average guy, and I will tell you, Lisa, that what a mature man finds attractive in a young woman is confidence. A steady eye, a confident voice, a ready smile--these are what I find charming and disarming. Oh, and nice, wide hips, too.
Hahaha, well that is comforting!

You know, What i really hate is smoking. What this has to do with physical appearance i will explain.
I always hate it when someone smokes, i never have and never will smoke. But then, as of course fortune always turns against me, i met a guy who smoked!

He still is my boyfriend after 4,5 years and unfortunately he still smokes.
When we were talking about a year ago we made a, somewhat weird, deal that if i loose 15 kiloes he will stop smoking. I know that it is not fair, but as he said loosing weight is important for you (I like you as you are) and maybe it is as hard for you as is smoking for me.

Well now, a year later I lost half of it, but i am determined to make it work. I want to see his face when i say: "Just walk with me to the scale, it is done, quit smoking dear!"

American Voice
I have observed that quitting smoking is a difficult thing to do, Lisa. I have never been a smoker myself--well, marijuana, when I was young--but I have seen it.

I was once in the hospital, being stabilized after suffering what is commonly called a "nervous breakdown." Yes, it was the adult psych unit. That's where they place psychiatric cases. It doesn't mean I was crazy, I just had a neurological crisis.

Anyway, one guy there was a bi-polar disorder case. He had been a heroin addict, once upon a time. He got away from the heroin, but he still smoked cigarettes; just couldn't give 'em up.

Another guy was there--long story, and not necessary to tell it--but one day over lunch, he told me about his rate of smoking, and on a napkin I calculated that if he quit, he could afford payments on a new car. He agreed, but asked me if we could like stop talking about it?

A man was brought in during the night. He was a former Marine Corps medic who'd served in combat, in Vietnam. There had been 103 of them, he said, and only seven still survived. Only half had died in combat. You fill in the missing details. Anyway, it was over the holidays, and his outpatient clinic had messed up. They only gave him scrip for his meds (Lithium) to supply him seven days dosage. He'd run out, and his doc was out of town, and inaccessible. He began freaking out. He arrived home to find his wife had placed his belongings on the front porch, in boxes. In one was his revolver, loaded. He told me he'd flagged down a deputy sheriff in the street, who'd been called when he'd become, well, loud in his protestations at being thrown out of his house. Fortunately, he said, the deputy knew him well, otherwise, standing there in the middle of the street with a revolver in his hand, he might have been shot. The deputy drove him to the hospital, where he was admitted under suicide precautions, which means he couldn't be allowed off the unit. Now, fire safety regulations prohibit smoking on the unit. Smokers not under precautions can be taken down to the courtyard, a couple of times daily in groups, to have a cigarette. This guy was incensed at that. At the VA hospital in Chillicothe, which is where he wanted to go, provisions were made for smokers. After he'd been there about a day and a half, when I entered the bedroom--after a couple of hours of shooting pool in the games room--I saw him standing near the foot of his bed, with the back of a chair in his hands, having shattered the seat and legs over the footboard, and two nurses and a tech kind of, well, containing him, though not attempting to physically restrain. When he saw me, I think it calmed him down. I remember very distinctly him saying, "There, you see I'm in control of myself. I've stopped. I just wanted to get your attention." He got to have a smoke. Within two hours, a man arrived from the veterans' hospital in Chillicothe, to give him a ride down.

Lisa, the moral of the story is: don't be too hard on your boyfriend, quitting smoking is a hard thing to do.
Diamond Sun
I was vegging the other night in front of the TV (which rarely happens) and came across a show about weddings, divorces and prenups of the hollywood stars. And apparently in some prenups there are actually stipulations about how much weight the betrothed is allowed to gain before she nullifies any chance of getting alimony.

This is where societies view of beauty is getting skewed. In Hollywood.

Answer me this...why do beautiful women seem to win Oscars when they make themselves ugly (Nicole Kidman in the Hours, Charlize Theron in Monster, Halle Berry in Monster's Ball).
American Voice
I haven't seen any of those films, DS, but I would suppose they are being applauded for placing their craft before their vanity?
Yes, but those are just three examples of women making themselves ugly. All the rest of the female actresses did not make themselves ugly and did receive an oscar. The ones who make themselves ugly are rare.

And about the smoking. He proposed the deal, it was his choice. I do not exactly benefit from him smoking (it affects my longs as well), and if he proposes such a thing himself, I will try to make it work. It is probably the only chance for me to actively take part in the process of him giving up cigarettes.
(And yes, for the rest I love him very much he is the sweetest guy in the world)
American Voice
Quote: Originally Posted by Lisa

Yes, but those are just three examples of women making themselves ugly. All the rest of the female actresses did not make themselves ugly and did receive an oscar. The ones who make themselves ugly are rare.

And about the smoking. He proposed the deal, it was his choice. I do not exactly benefit from him smoking (it affects my longs as well), and if he proposes such a thing himself, I will try to make it work. It is probably the only chance for me to actively take part in the process of him giving up cigarettes.
(And yes, for the rest I love him very much he is the sweetest guy in the world)

Agreed, the ones who allow themselves to be made-up ugly are exceptional, and that is why these few are applauded. What about an actor playing an ugly role? Glenn Close in "Dangerous Liaisons" comes to mind.

Excess weight is a burden on your heart. You must be feeling much more lighthearted now than you did before, eh? Do it for you. You will undoubtedly want to settle down, be married and have children one day. You have to be thinking about your health, for the longterm. I am tempted to make an observation about your relationship with your boyfriend, but I don't feel comfortable doing that, and I believe you might feel embarassed. In general, honesty and respect are what make a relationship work.

There are women actors who become more beautiful as the grow older. Nicole Kidman is one. Audrey Hepburn, another. Candice Bergen. Wendy Hiller. Liv Ullmann.
Haggis if someone was attempting all these activities, when would they find
time to actually live life. Besides have you seen the operation on
television of a face lift. Yikes! they peel your face off Tanning booths
create a fake and bake look in my opinion, just go outside and to things and
wear good sunscreen, you will still get a tan, much better than spending
your time in a coffin, there is plenty of time for that later
There is nothing wrong with excerise, it will probally keep you outta the
coffin later than sooner. No matter what your motives are for it, it makes
you feel better both in the physical and mental state. For myself I only
think of manicures in terms of the lawn.
In terms of wardrobe I refuse to turn my money over to companies that make
their clothing in third world countries with slave labor and turn around and
sell it back to me at a outrageous price, while the guy that use to work for
them is in the employment line. Hemp makes the best clothing next to cotton,
its expensive but it lasts forever, and its usually homegrown, especially
here in BC. It does not have any of that "poly" stuff so it you happen to
catch on fire it won't melt on you. Even when its wrinkled (no pun intended)
it still looks good. Top it off with some good demim and flip-flops and
you are rocking. Thats my wardrobe and I am sticking to it. I was a roots
fan until they decided they would move their operation to another
country, forgetting all about their roots, again no pun intended.

I must concide to hair coloring, I am just to young to have grey hair, but
only 100 per cent vegetable dye purchased at organic planet, chemical free,
I also grab a free range chicken while I am there, kill two birds with one
stone, again no pun intended. Hair salon only get to see my wallet maybe a
couple of times a year. In fact last week I had a friend over and we were
sitting outside and it was so hot I asked to to cut my ponytail off, she
complied and did a few edward sissorhand moves and when someone I know says
hey I like your haircut, where did you get it done and I tell them, a look
of horror and disbelief comes over them.

I only speak for myself but I view all of this as a huge conspiracy created
for the sole purpose of commerce. Like these free makeover shows, its free
because they know they will get alot of business out of it.

Weight is really very simple, whatever you take in, has to be burned up, and it really is that simple.

I am a huge fan of thoreau, and the more you simplify your life the happier you will be. I only speak for myself tho.
Its all part of life's journey to define yourself and who you are. This link might help you and interest you lisa.

www.selfesteemgames.mcgill.ca (external - login to view)
Haggis McBagpipe
Awesome post, peapod! You seem to be about where I'm at (the exception being that I love my hair just as it is, even all those lazy little bastards that can't or won't cough up pigmentation). There is something greatly appealing about going natural, not searching for the youthful look. It looks confident, somehow, in a way that appealed to me when I saw it on others, so I decided THAT was going to be the route I take. I am happy as a clam exactly as I am. Omigod, does that rhyme? Sure it does, and just in time.

Stop it.

Anyway, I cropped my hair super-short a few years back. By short, I mean 1/2" all around. It's great. Right now it is longer since I hate, absolutely hate, spending my time in a hair salon, and also because I have (think Sally, in Peanuts) naturally curly hair.

I don't wear make-up, and I wear what clothes appeal to me (I prefer clothes made in Canada, specifically clothes custom-made by my seamstress).

As for exercise, I have found that just having fun in an active sort of way does a good enough job. I love to cycle, but I like to cycle in the way I did as a kid, just kicking around, wandering the neighbourhoods, splashing through puddles, jumping off sidewalks, and so on. As for diet, I like to keep it simple: little or no snacking, and eat whatever I want to eat as long as it is whole foods, not packaged foods.

Peapod, I like the way you think. You rock.
I'm with Haggis - great post peapod!

Unfortunately I haven't quite arrived where you're at. I still mess with my hair and continually battle with the weight. I eat nutritiously but constantly have to fight against adding the "goodies" at the end of the day. Not good. But now that it's summer and I'm out there doing my gardening act, I don't have to worry about the weight. It keeps itself in check. Once winter settles in, then the problems begin. Hmmm, shall I lie down on ze couch to be analyzed.....?

As for hemp, it's a damn shame that we don't go for the gusto. Hemp is the most versatile vegetation. What a travesty that we don't utilize the crop to its fullest potential. Yeah, right? Like that's going to happen any time soon. It's such a political thing with serious economic repurcussions for the establishment.

I confess, I used to love my romps in the malls. No more. In fact, I shudder that there ever was a time when I practised shameful consumerism. Still, better to have finally found the light than never.

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what percentage of products sold have any redeeming features. I mean there are entire novelty stores that could be wiped out tomorrow and none of their merchandise would be missed. We want and consume far too much while billions around the world would say a prayer for a meagre meal.

The question is, are we any happier for our consuming patterns. Well, I can answer for myself. I am far happier today living more frugally and wiser. Everyone should give it a whirl.
Haggis are you trying to hit on me. Sorry I could not resist that one. Do you know why? because I'm a lumberjack, and I'm ok, I sleep all night and and I work all day yada yada. It the fresh air, it makes me goofy and one with the universe. I will soon be back in the in the world of the drones and the collective.

Haggis I am going to send a message to all my fellow sister goddesses that you haggis should be invited to our next annual goddess party. There before her royal sageness you will be renamed trickster sister taken from that sly transformer the raven of the haida legend.

Like I said haggis I am a fan of Henry Thoreau, and I have my little forays into walden pond, but I always have to return to the land of the drones. Reminds of a poem written by the little cockroach Archy the roach with the soul of a poet. At night, alone, he dives furiously on the keys of a typewriter to describe a cockroach's view of the world, It's difficult enough to operate the typewriter's return bar to get a fresh line of paper; all of Archy's dispatches are written lowercase, and without punctuation, because he is unable to hit both shift and letter keys to produce a capital letter. Here is one of archy's little gems.

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

Haggis McBagpipe

Archy the cockroach... and his sidekick Mehitabel the alley cat!

A long-lost friend of mine was a huge fan, thanks for the memory.
Haggis you just keep getting better, not to often you come across anyone familar with archy and methitabel...aren't they just the best. Here is one of my favorites.
well boss
mehitabel the cat
has reappeared in her old
haunts with a
flock of kittens
three of them this time

archy she says to me
the life of a female
artist is continually
hampered what in hell
have i done to deserve
all these kittens
i look back on my life
and it seems to me to be
just one damned kitten
after another
i am a dancer archy
and my only prayer
is to be allowed
to give my best to my art
but just as i feel
that i am succeeding
in my life work
along comes another batch
of these damned kittens
it is not archy
that i am shy on mother love
god knows i care for
the sweet little things
curse them
but am i never to be allowed
to live my own life
i have purposely avoided
matrimony in the interests
of the higher life
but i might just
as well have been a domestic
slave for all the freedom
i have gained
i hope none of them
gets run over by
an automobile
my heart would bleed
if anything happened
to them and i found it out
but it isn t fair archy
it isn t fair
these damned tom cats have all
the fun and freedom
if i was like some of these
green eyed feline vamps i know
i would simply walk out on the
bunch of them and
let them shift for themselves
but i am not that kind
archy i am full of mother love
my kindness has always
been my curse
a tender heart is the cross i bear
self sacrifice always and forever
is my motto damn them
i will make a home
for the sweet innocent
little things
unless of course providence
in his wisdom should remove
them they are living
just now in an abandoned
garbage can just behind
a made over stable in greenwich
village and if it rained
into the can before i could
get back and rescue them
i am afraid the little
dears might drown
it makes me shudder just
to think of it
of course if i were a family cat
they would probably
be drowned anyhow
sometimes i think
the kinder thing would be
for me to carry the
sweet little things
over to the river
and drop them in myself
but a mother s love archy
is so unreasonable
something always prevents me
these terrible
conflicts are always
presenting themselves
to the artist
the eternal struggle
between art and life archy
is something fierce
my what a dramatic life i have lived
one moment up the next
moment down again
but always gay archy always gay
and always the lady too
in spite of hell
well boss it will
be interesting to note
just how mehitabel
works out her present problem
a dark mystery still broods
over the manner
in which the former
family of three kittens
one day she was taking to me
of the kittens
and the next day when i asked
her about them
she said innocently
what kittens
interrogation point
and that was all
i could ever get out
of her on the subject
we had a heavy rain
right after she spoke to me
but probably that garbage can
leaks so the kittens
have not yet
been drowned


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