I’m probably about to get myself in real hot water here, but I’m going to do it anyway. I like to think that my blindness gives me insight into this topic, but maybe it just makes me look foolish. I guess I’ll find out.
I’ve never been able to understand why most women and many men are so obsessed with the way they look. Oh I understand that most men are visually stimulated and women want to look good for them. I also understand that men generally appreciate this, but when is it enough? I may be unable to see the details of someone’s appearance, but I am not blind to the reality that appearance does say something about us. I think that what it says may be open to interpretation. There’s also a difference between looking presentable and trying to change one’s God given characteristics. Why are so many people unhappy with the way God made them? It is as if they are saying, “God, You messed up and I’m going to fix it.” If they have enough money, they actually alter their bodies. The rest must be content to change their apparent hair or eye color.
I find myself wondering if people who do this are not expressing in physical ways an inner dissatisfaction with who they are. In a culture that places so much emphasis on looks, it becomes a temptation to use appearance to project the image of the person they want to be. I find it saddening. One only needs to turn on the TV to see evil dressed up to look very pretty. If we spent as much time working on what’s inside as we do on the shell, I believe we would be far less concerned with a few marks on it or what color it is.
Why are we so concerned with the appearance of age? That older women seem to be on a constant quest to hide their age makes little sense to me, but as a man it probably never will. I see all the hair loss commercials for men and think how nice it would be not to have to deal with hair anymore. I find the latest trend amusing. I am now seeing commercials aimed at men who think they look too young! Now we need a touch of gray so we can look like we’re experienced. The best thing I can say about that is I’m glad for the passing nod to the wisdom and experience that should come with age. Maybe that’s a side effect of our aging population. It’s still meaningless. The fact that someone has experience doesn’t necessarily mean he learned from it. Only time and exposure can reveal the true character of a person.
Changing how we look is just another way we try to fool the world. We have other ways. It comes out in what we choose to say and do. It comes out in who we are willing to associate with. I’m no different. I see little value in changing my appearance, but I recognize other aspects of my life that are tailored to one degree or another to present the image I want the world to see. I’m probably not conscious of my worst offenses, as is often the case for all of us. What I’m doing here is just to provoke a little thought.