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The ins and outs of Jackson and image

Most people who choose plastic surgery use a picture of a model or celebrity for guidance.

Every day of our lives images of beauty are thrown in our faces. Somehow these images have translated in our heads as the “right” way to be and look.

For some reason, being content with yourself no longer is “in.” Instead, striving for perfection by the standards of cultural development is all the rage.

Let’s start with a little pop artist who goes by the name of Michael Jackson.

In the movie “Three Kings,” one of the evil terrorists holds Mark Wahlberg’s character hostage.

In an attempt to make conversation, the captor asks him, “What’s the problem with Michael Jackson?”

“You make the black man hate himself Ö “

The captor gives an emotional speech, but this is the only part that applies.

Now, normally, I wouldn’t agree with anyone who takes Wahlberg hostage, but this guy might be onto something.

It could be that the images we see make us hate ourselves or simply dissatisfy us. These images pretty much prove to us that there is always something we could change about ourselves.

Jackson might not be the best example when it comes to rational reasoning, and I am sure that because of his skin disease there really was no other option, but what about his poor nose? How many times do you go under the knife to perfect one single feature?

What is that image Michael and the millions of other people see when they decide plastic surgery is the right option for them?

Some people who decide to go through with plastic surgery take in a picture of a model or celebrity to replicate on themselves.

As though if they have their noses fixed, cheeks plumped or even their butts enhanced somehow their lives will be perfect.

Somehow all the people in their lives will love them more, and they no longer will be held back from anything.

Most people don’t even realize how much models and celebrities are airbrushed.

When you look at a magazine and wish you looked like they do, just remember that real people don’t actually look like that.

The question in effect shouldn’t be, “What’s the problem with Michael Jackson?” It should be, “What’s the problem with American culture?”

In European culture, being topless at a beach is the norm. Europeans seem to be physically comfortable with themselves in a way Americans never will be.

I’m not saying I agree with topless beaches, but there is a difference between not agreeing because of reasons of modesty and reasons of low self-esteem.

Not being comfortable exposing your body for reasons of modesty is OK. That is a personal choice one makes.

When you’re not exposing your body because of reasons of low confidence, that’s just wrong.

It’s interesting that in some European cultures it is odd to have such body issues.

There are even issues with nonsurgical procedures like Botox.

Of course, not everyone will age like Jane Fonda; it’s just not the norm. Wrinkles are natural, though. Yes, even bags around the eyes are natural. Joan Rivers? Not so natural.

What ever happened to aging gracefully? What ever happened to appreciating life stages? Why has it become so easy to go to the doctor’s office and just get something done?

Even when it comes to teeth, porcelain veneers seem to be the in thing. Apparently even your teeth have to be perfectly straight and blindingly white.

I was at the dentist’s office last week getting a cleaning and asked the hygienist about the yellowish-colored teeth.

Believe it or not, she told me that the yellowish color was the normal color of teeth. She said you can get rid of it by using teeth whiteners, but veneers are basically covering up your natural teeth with fakes.

It’s a masking device for your teeth.

It’s come to the point where no one could be satisfied with their self-image anymore.

Even I am guilty of dissatisfaction. I didn’t go under the knife to get rid of the ball at the end of my nose or anything.

I did, however, change a big part of myself: my hair.

I went from having outrageously curly hair to completely straight hair.

I never have regretted anything more. Luckily, I do get another chance, but when going through with plastic surgery, there is no other chance.

Bottom line, the way you are the way you’re supposed to be. Your eyes are too close together. Guess what? That’s how it should be.

I would just hate to be cliché, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so stop messing around with your looks.

Maggie Habashy welcomes comments at [email protected].

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