Tag Archives: broken

Cheating Rant

1463770079_9512d2f392Glamour recently published a blog post with the question, “Would you ever cheat on a guy?” They continued by giving an example of four women who did cheat, and asked the readers for their thoughts.

They also gave the four women’s reasons for why they did what they did.

This post received 37 comments, generating a lot of buzz.

The blogger only revealed later that she was on the same page with many of the commenters. She, too, believed that adultery was wrong. However, in the post herself, she tried to be impartial and asked everyone what they really felt. Would they have ever dared to do something like this?

The first woman, 42-year-old Rhonda from Colorado, has been cheating for seven years. She got married when she was 24. However, she felt neglected as their business became more and more successful. After a while, she felt unattractive and old. Then her first affair was with a young man 12 years younger than her. After online dating, she met many more men to have sex with. “They just ‘get me’ on a level that my husband never had,” she says.

Martina, a 38-year-old from Florida, has done it for five years. “I just don’t see anything wrong with it. I am pretty certain my husband does the same thing; we just don’t talk about it.” She goes on to tell the interviewer that the spark and chemistry has long since faded and she finds guys online to make up for that. She finishes with the statement, “I just want to have fun and then go about my life.”

3523581062_92e2557085Loretta Lynne, our third woman, is 49. She has been cheating for 15 years. Her first marriage was a disaster. She actually started out by having an affair for several years. The marriage fell apart because of it… and then she married the man she was having the affair with. “We were enjoying our second chance at happiness, but that too does fizzle out soon enough.” She doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice, so she keeps the sex casual and friendly. After all, she can have her pick of younger men who would like to experiment with her. Loretta Lynne is still married.

The last woman, Giannia, age 33, has done it for less than one year! “I’m married on paper. ‘Nuff said.”

That is all.

The commenters were outraged. There were many women from different walks of life. Some had been involved in nasty affairs and regretted it. Some had never been involved in an affair. Some had been the ones cheating. Some had been cheated on. There was, however, one consensus that prevailed. Most of the women agreed that such adultery was wrong. Period. Many said that even getting a divorce would be better than cheating on each other behind each other’s backs. Most of the commenters felt that these women should talk to their husbands and try to bring communication back into the relationship.

Many of the comments were about the women. Many comments were about cheating, period.

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Who knows what happened? Maybe at first it nagged at their conscience, but after a while they got “used” to it in a way. To them, it was either something that “happened” after time, something that couldn’t be avoided, and the solution to their unhappiness was to have an affair. For the last woman, though, she has been married for less than a year. To her, her marriage vows are nothing. She merely describes her marriage as being “on paper” and nothing else.

However, I also believe that these women are hurt and broken. Maybe it’s because of life, maybe it’s because of how their husbands treated them, like the first wife who felt so very alone.

Perhaps that doesn’t excuse what they did. There are two sides and maybe both sides were at fault for what happened. But adultery really is a horrible thing.

There’s many things that it can do.

It hurts people.

A married woman, says,

Wow… that’s just terrible… I don’t agree with this at all. Cheating is the worst thing ever. My husband and I have always had the understand that we would talk about things and if we felt like we had to go someone else that we’d re-evaluate… you get married for life – people are getting married SO young and for the wrong reasons – people don’t realize that forever is a LONG time… take your time and find the person who is REALLY right for you. I would never dream of cheating on my husband ever… i’ve been cheated on before and it’s the worst feeling in the world, I couldn’t imagine doing that to someone else.

Even in this modern day and age where so many things are excusable, to many, marriage still stands as an important commitment.

3636271012_5e96d53490One poster, horrified, writes:

Thats so horrible! Whats the point of getting married if your not ready to commit to it? Why would you bother if you enjoy having CASUAL sex that much?

She believes that marriage is a commitment made to that person. If you’re not ready to commit, please don’t get married. If you just want to have casual sex that much, don’t get married.

It also involves living  a lie. One of the commenters had been in that situation. She had been an army wife, and was only 18. They “couldn’t bear to be separated.” Soon, within a year, both of them were cheating. Then they sought counseling and stopped. Though they tried their hardest, they never seemed to be able to let go of past betrayals. However, she said something that really struck a chord in me.

Cheating may never be right but just because you’ve done it doesn’t make you an awful person or mean you’ll always do it again…these women need to get divorced or seek help to put their marriages back together. Why live in a lie forever? If you don’t want to be married to him, don’t be.

Cheating is wrong, she says. That doesn’t mean that you’re an awful person. However, you need to seek a way out. Don’t live a lie.

Cheating makes things worse.

This is so horrible, I wonder if they realize why cheating they are lying and actually making their marriages worse by not putting they engery they spend screwinga round into fixing what is wrong with their spouse. So self centered

429965328_79d25fa587Cheating really hurts. Cheating is seen by many as a breach of commitment in a marriage. Even some women wouldn’t have dared cheat on their boyfriend, though the depth of commitment may not have been as deep as in a marriage, as this poster says.

if these women are so unhappy in their marriage why dont they just get divorced? i think is a sick violation of the trust and promises between two people that at one point loved eachother enough to pronounce it to the world. i would NEVER cheat on my boyfriend. i was cheated on soo many times with the last loser i dated and always took him back, i never retaliated because i didnt want to be “that woman” thats just aweful. i feel bad for their husbands

Finally, cheating, in some cases, is basically living out a lie, for whatever reasons. You need to find a way out of living a lie, because it will eventually destroy you. I don’t believe that these women are happy doing what they’re doing. There’s no indication as to such. However, it’s become acceptable because just maybe they don’t know what else they can do. They want to be happy, and they’d cheat if it meant happiness, even though it would be a lie. It really ends up making things worse.

But isn’t such happiness fleeting? No wonder some of them have to find a new guy every so often.

In any case, the comments made me realize some faith in humanity yet.

This is terrible. These women must be so self-conscious and unhappy with themselves. Marriage is a commitment, and if you’re not ready for it, don’t do it. If you want to live the single life, stay single. Some of them almost sound proud of themselves in their blurbs, which makes it even worse. This is shameful behaviour and should not be glorified.

I agree.

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All Stressed Out

Part 2 of Chapter 1 of Runaway Eating: Not for Teenagers Only

The writers state that between the ages of 35 and 60 are the most stressful periods of life. The authors go on to list major midlife stress-inducers.

20968721_d966709438Raising children. This involves a lot of responsibility. Many women of this age may have small children, or college-aged kids. The little kids need to be watched all the time. (Oh! Oh! Stop eating that crayon!) The older kids have to be driven around to soccer practice, karate practice, ballet practice, band practice… and then there’s cleaning, baths, homework, meals, and the irregular poop in the bathtub instead of the toilet. Teenagers may be rebellious and push all your buttons. (Was that grunt disrespectful?) Teenagers are complex.

pacifierRaising children is very rewarding, but extremely stressful at the same time.

Career challenges. Getting a job is tougher, especially in this recession. I know a 40 something woman who is just now getting into the job  market. Turns out that she has to go back to school because firms are not interested in the Bachelor’s she got 20 years ago. It’s also increasingly hard for everyone to find jobs, not only older people. A young friend from Hong Kong had to move back there after graduate school. A year passed in the States and she still could not find a job. When she went back, she quickly found a job in Shanghai.

Companies would rather increase the workloads of existing employees rather than hire new people. Older people have to compete with younger workers. Plus issues the typical midlife woman faces consist of ageism, long hours, lookism, etc.

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She may also have to meet both her job and family needs.

Empty Nest Syndrome. The kids will someday move to college, get married, or get a career. This is stressful, because the parents have to adjust. They don’t have to pick up their kids or driving them around or clean up after them. The kids aren’t going to run to their mother every time they need help, anymore. That takes a lot of adjustment, though it is nice. Some mothers feel depressed because they don’t know what to do with themselves after this responsibility is gone.

Extended parenthood. One of my friend’s grandmother raised her after her parents ran off. She raised my friend for a long time. Sometimes this happens. Sometimes the kids with their kids move back in wit you because of circumstances. Or some kids just don’t want to leave. A good friend of mine lived with his mother for a while. Even though he’s almost 30, he still sleeps over at her house a lot. He has his own condo, but he says that if he moved out completely, his mom would have a hard time adjusting. How does she handle him sleeping over? I wonder.

Caring for aging parents or other relatives. Adult daughters are more likely than their boy siblings to take on the responsibility of caring for an aged parent. This takes a toll, for not only do they have to take care of their children, and their job, but also the extra burden of a parent. She might have to pay their bills as well as her family’s, arrange hospitalization, or nursing homes. She may have to shop for them, clean them, and so on. When they pass away, she may not be sure of how to feel. Relief that a burden is lifted? Or sad that a loved one passed away?

222845367_66fd14bc04Financial burdens. Paying bills is, well, expensive. Taxes, insurance, groceries, cars, lessons, furniture, clothes, college, and weddings. The cost of living is higher in these modern times. Take weddings. The guy buys the girl a ring. It probably costs upwards of a thousand bucks. Then there’s hundreds for the cake, thousands for the dresses, and the limo that needs to be rented. All of this stuff isn’t paid by the bride herself, but by her family. Don’t even talk about the wedding reception, which is probably one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. My own parents had an in expensive reception at their church. Their friends pitched in to buy food and prepare for the event. My parents didn’t even rent a limo. Nowadays, couples go for the whole deal. They get a limo, a huge cake like the one on the right, expensive food, and a reception in a fancy hall with lovely decorations.

2599940825_19f5e4e84bRelationship troubles. They don’t call it a midlife crisis for nothing. You hear in the news of adult males suddenly running off with the young secretary. Because of all the demands on time, couples tend to leave their relationship at the bottom of the list of priorities. Both spouses are busy and overworked. Some people get divorced during this time because the marriage can no longer stand the strain. Marriage isn’t as fun as when they both started on their honeymoon. They might feel trapped, and the absence of butterflies is noticed. Maybe they’ll stay together just for the kids, but when the kids go to college, the parents feel that they don’t have to stay together anymore.

Divorce and singlehood. After the marriage ends, a divorce follows. There’s two high risk periods for divorce. They are the first 7 years of marriage, or midlife when the kids are teenagers. In the last 30 years, divorce has soared.

divorcecake_t220Divorce can be described as a sort of death — the death of a way of life. It inevitably brings stress. She has to deal with the loss of a loved one, emotionally wounded children, custody battles, loss of money, and many other adjustments. Often times, the woman ends up raising her children alone or sharing custody with the father.

I remember a young mother who struggled so hard to keep it all together. Her young children were emotionally wounded, and she had to go to court multiple times for custody battles. Her money was slipping away steadily because she took pills for depression, was unemployed, had to hire a lawyer, and had to visit a counselor several times a week. She stayed at our home when she sold hers. Plus, she was preparing to move to California. Divorce is a stressful time.

Then there’s singlehood, and getting back into the dating scene. It’s frightening to compete against younger, more beautiful women for men that are the same age as you. Some women fall into disordered eating in an attempt to regain their figure back.

Menopause. This is a tough period for most women. Hormone levels fluctuate, causing insomnia, fatigue, hot flashes, and so on. Many women worry about losing their sexuality and sexual attractiveness. Doctors can help with many of these issues. Just don’t go to Oprah for your health information.

Madonna: a woman in the show business. She has received multiple plastic surgeries to keep her looks young and fresh. They don't seem to be working.

Madonna: a woman in the show business. She has received multiple plastic surgeries to keep her looks young and fresh. They don't seem to be working.

Aging. Your strength will decline, your muscles will weaken, and it’s easier to gain weight. Add to that sagging skin, wrinkles, thin hair, and age spots. This is tough, especially in our society that worships  beauty and youth. The change are unsettling at least. But for those who place great store by their appearance, these changes are devastating.

Maybe it’s understandable if actresses and models, whose lifeblood depends on their looks, are thrown into a panic. But even the lady next door who isn’t in the show business may mourn.

Next up: What stress is really doing to us.

Playing with Wordle 1

Made at wordle.net, the words are taken from a blog post of mine. I adjusted all the colors and fonts to get the feeling I wanted.

The funny things were that the biggest words were Oprah, bodies, life, and world. Interesting.

By clicking the image, you can get full size.

Enjoy!

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Waiting to be Filled

I started a book, but never finished it because I felt that it was too heavy. And it made me depressed for a while because it didn’t talk at length about the solution to the problem but rather focused on the problem itself. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it just didn’t suit me. I recommend this book to anyone struggling with an eating disorder. I really think it’s a good book. Just heavy and packed with information.

400000000000000052548_s4Also, I’m not feminist. That’s another thing.

Here’s what I wrote. This is just from reading the introduction.

The book is titled Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: the frightening new normalcy of hating your body by Courtney E. Martin. You can check out the writer’s website at www.courtneyemartin.com. This book was published fairly recently, in 2007.

Martin writes in the introduction that eating disorders affect more than 7 million American girls and women, 70 million people worldwide. Over half of the females between ages 18-25 surveyed would rather be mean or stupid. Anything but fat. A survey of parents found that 1/10th of them would abort their child if they found that he or she had the genetic tendency to be fat. (Thanks, Mom and Dad. They were your genes to start with.)

She states that we live in a time when getting an eating disorder, or at least being obsessed over weight, is thought of as a rite of passage. The writer talks about her many friends who bought into this kind of thinking. They sound like my friends. Many women use what they put into their bodies or/and the amount of exercising they do to define their worth.

It is not our kindness, or courage that we count at the end of the day, it is our calorie intake.

310967011_2dcab45a8bI, too, know people with really screwed up ideas about health and fitness. There are the girls who believe that any food is bad and that they have to exercise to get the Tic Tac or chip out of their system. There are my friends who daily post stats on how much they eat per day. Their limit is 210 calories. Not per snack. Not per meal. For the whole freaking day, they restrict themselves to 210 calories. What goes in those 210 calories? An apple.  A 60-calorie lollipop. That’s it. It’s not about eating healthy, it’s about eating less. Then there’s the miserable girl who eats food – lots – when she’s depressed, and then purges it later.

I know girls in my church who struggle with this as well. There’s one who exercises often. She’s 13, goes to the gym, and does weights. In front of people, she talks about how fat she is, and picks at her food when eating in front of others. She always worries that she is too fat, even though everyone else could tell her that she isn’t.

364637840_761d56792dIn fact, I recently talked to one who was stressed out about her homework. She’s 12. She said she was eating like a pig and was fat. I told her she wasn’t fat. “Ask your big sister,” I said.

She replied, “She says that I’m fat.”

I think this kind of thinking is so ingrained in our culture that we cease to notice it.

Martin puts it well when she writes that we’re not apathetic, we’re distracted. What about the starving children in Africa? I’m thinking about whether to have a granola or skip lunch altogether. She continues that we can’t see the the needs of others because we’re too busy looking at ourselves in the mirror. We don’t want to go to the beach because we don’t want others to see us in bathing suits. It’s all about us and how we feel.

What can we do about it?

This is a social problem as well as psychological. Some people believe that this is normal. I say that our culture must be pretty messed up, then. I knew a bulimic girl who wrote on her public food diary, “I don’t want to be normal. I don’t even know what normal is.” It seems that “normal” nowadays means women and girls stressed out about what goes into their mouths.

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Something you should eat and not compare your body to

Martin says that womanhood “was about something solid and beautiful right in the core — a vulnerable yet unbreakable center of strength and openness.”

I can identify with that. That sounds like the definition of a woman from the Christian book Captivating. Except that God is our core.

Martin continues,

At the center of most of the young women I know today are black holes.

On the outside, we’re busy and active. On the inside, we’re crumbling. We have these holes that we try to fill with anything and everything. But they’re still there. We’re starving, because the distractions are never enough. We’re just not enough. Not good enough. We have no control.

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Black holes at the center of us

Our ultimate goal is “effortless perfection.” We’re to be everything we’re supposed to be, without showing any apparent effort. Of course, this is impossible. I know another girl who said, “I want to be able to fast for days at a time without struggling. I want to be able to have no desire for food. I want to be able to stay skinny without such hard work.” Effortless. Perfection.

The perfect part really does get us into trouble, either with an eating disorder or with an unhealthy obsession with food and exercise. It really turns out to be such hard work.

The truth is, we waste a lot of time on our bodies. How much time do we spend thinking about what to eat when we could be organizing a fund-raising event devoted to some cause?

Martin puts forth the mission of this book: a call to action. She wants this book to move us to admit that we are sick, but also tired of  being sick and ready to do something about it.

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The price she paid was her dancing.

Note that this isn’t a purely American problem anymore. I remember the ballerina from Denmark. She had been struggling with anorexia for some time. The disorder came to a point where her bones were too weak for her to stand on her toes. I’m a ballerina too, and to stand on your toes, you need to have very strong bones. Because of the disorder, the calcium was steeped out of her bones, leading to brittleness. She loved dancing. Really loved dancing. But what could she do? This was the price she paid, and she felt that she couldn’t do anything about it.

There was the girl form Brazil and the girl from Taiwan. There was the girl in Spain and the girl from Wales who messaged me on facebook begging for help. There was also the girl from Qatar, a country so tiny that people don’t even know it exists.

The Independent, a London paper, reported that 1 million in Britain have eating disorders.

Martin closes the introduction by saying that she believes “in the possibility of a world where a girl doesn’t learn to count calories at the same age she learns algebra.”

That’s the world I’m fighting for, now.

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Look at the Shiny!

Part I of Chapter 11 of the book Looks

Chapter 11 is about the profitableness of the beauty industry — not to us but to them. It’s an extremely profitable venue, especially if you have the ability to devise new products and services AND the skills to market them. How many people can think of cool new made up names to describe imaginary vitamins and minerals? Or non-existent secret ingredients? Or vitamins that do nothing to your hair because your hair can’t absorb vitamins?

Dr. David Matlock’s speciality is the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute (LVRI). This procedure is extremely popular, and yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. He decided to profit not only from himself using his techniques, but from anyone else using his techniques. The procedures are patented.

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A typical plastic surgery clinic

Next, Dr. Matlock started an “Associate operation.” This wasn’t unlike a franchise, and put 3 million dollars into his pockets.

He made the people who used his methods pay a license fee. Dr. Matlock stated that he was merely defending his intellectual property. Of course, he says his job is “to empower women with knowledge, choice, and alternatives.”

Now let’s go into a little history: until the middle of the 1900s, cosmetic surgery was actually reconstructive surgery for the horribly deformed. Take the deformities caused by World War II, in Japan. Many were burned by the atomic bombs and fire bombing. Some were brought to the United States to be brought to some semblance of normality. There were also the thousands of American soldiers disfigured in the wars. After this died down, these skills and techniques were used in the pursuit of beauty.

051215_laser_100x90Doctors during the US occupation of Japan injected young women’s breasts with transformer coolant to enlarge them. By the 1960s, topless showgirls in Las Vegas had liquid silicone pumped into their breasts. The American Society of Plastic Surgery described small breasts as a deformity and a disease.

In every US state, any physician with a license can perform any medical procedure whether they’re board certified or not. Even if they haven’t had special training in that procedure. A psychiatrist has a medical degree, therefore he/she can do liposuction and facelifts. Dermatologists and obstetricians are starting to expand their options, earning money from doing facelifts and Botox injections.

This is, however, not limited to physicians. Some dentists want to do rhinoplasty. I have an oral surgeon friend who does Botox on the side for extra money. He also does procedures to take away moles.

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An example of an ad for a clinic

These doctors find their patients using slick ad campaigns. Filmed commercials really do help. A brochure targeting surgeons said, “More and more, consumers are choosing the better marketer — and not the better surgeon.” According to Economist, in 2003, the beauty business spent between 32-40 billion in advertising, but took in 160 billion in sales. This is a huge business, and it helps that people are attracted to products and procedures that are marketed to look really really good. Ooh, look at the shinee!

Nowadays, a typical plastic surgery center is more like a restaurant. They focus on moving endless lines of patients through their operating suites ASAP, and then marketing things like skin care and counseling to get more bucks.

This also helps the companies that make the equipment the doctors use. A good example is the laser systems for removing tattooes and wrinkles.

A Lust for Beauty

Part 2 of Chapter 10 of the book Looks

There is little stigma attached to improving one’s looks with a doctor’s help. Small, specialized clinics have sprung up, and most of the people who go to these clinics are pleased with what they get.

A waiting room at the Florida Center

A waiting room at the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat

However, many who have spent the big bucks to make themselves prettier do regret this. Melanie, 41 years old, was desperate for bigger breasts. She scrimped and saved, finally putting her car as security for a loan. As Boca Raton News reported, she doesn’t love what she got. One breast is over a full cup size larger than the other. Melanie also suffers from sharp, chronic pains in her left breasts. Allegedly a nurse stabbed her with scissors during stitch removal. This caused unbearable pain. Along with 22 others, she sued the clinic she went to: the Florida Center for Cosmetic Surgery. 

Another of those that have pending cases with the center is Mona Alley. She lost both legs to infection when her intestine was punctured during a tummy tuck. After the procedure, she felt really sick. After 2 weeks of the doctor saying that Alley would be fine, he found pockets of air in her abdomen, water in her lungs, and blood clots in her legs. According to Alley’s lawyer, the doctor had cut her intestines accidentally. Her intestines then leaked feces into her abdomen.

operating_room2That’s not all. Between 1997-2004, at least 36 individuals died in Florida as a result of complications from cosmetic surgery.

Maybe it was bad luck, or not. These unfortunate people and others should have done their operations in a real hospital, not a clinic of doctor’s office. Between 1994-1998, 20 out of 100,000 died after lipo at a clinic. That’s a higher death rate than for people in motor vehicle accidents.

Olivia Goldsmith

Olivia Goldsmith

Still, there’s the disturbing case of Olivia Goldsmith. A best-selling novelist, she checked into the expensive and well known Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat. She wanted a chin tuck to remove some loose skin under her chin.

Goldsmith had gone on several surgeries before to improve her appearance, so this was nothing new. Even the characters in her novels had plastic surgery and popped Botox often. “If there was anyone who should have understood the risks–and perhaps the futility–of burnishing one’s outside when one feels ugly inside, it was Olivia Goldsmith.”

For some reason, Goldsmith chose general anesthesia instead of the less risky local anesthesia. However, problems started even before the surgeon picked up his knife. Goldsmith had convulsive spasms, then slipped into a coma. She never regained consciousness and died 8 days later.

She was 55 years old.

The medical examiner concluded that Goldsmith’s death was due to anesthesia issues. The staff had failed to monitor her respiration and carbon dioxide levels.

The day after her death, another patient at the same hospital died of complications from anesthesia. The hospital was fined.

Even bad things can happen at big hospitals.

StellaObasanjo

Stella Obasanjo

Americans who can’t afford places like Manhattan may go to Spain, which has the largest number of plastic surgeons per capita in Europe. They have performed over 350,000 procedures, trailing only Brazil and the States. Their clinics attract Arab potentates and world dignitaries. An example is Stella Obasanjo, the wife of Nigeria’s president. She died during her tummy tuck. 

Gregorio Nosovsky’s business cards identify him as an MD. However, he never finished medical school or got his degree. Nosovsky has appeared on TV talk shows as a medical expert. He and his brother Isaac, who does have a medical license, performed lots of procedures and made a lot of money.

Nosovsky was arrested after a woman told authorities that she had suffered complications after breast surgery done by Gregorio. Isaac tried to fix the problems, but he only made things worse. After this was reported, 35 more came out with similar stories.

What about the people who spend and spend on surgery and look like monsters? They’re still somehow under the delusion that more surgery will fix things.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson: It just gets worse and worse

The most famous example is Michael Jackson. Rumor has it that he has had surgery more than a dozen times. (Probably true, too.) The results were grotesque. (WHY? WHY??) Dermatologists think that he might have had Botox in his forehead and cosmetic surgery on his nose, eyes, and chin. He might have been injected with some unlawful compound to lighten his skin, and has tattooed eyebrows and eyeliner.

My grandma has tattooed eyebrows and eyeliner because she wanted to save time on her lengthy beauty regimen every morning. She wears heavy makeup, and she wanted the make up look without having to spend any more time on it. The poor guy kept asking her if she was sure she wanted to, and he was scared, but she was set on being beautiful and saving time, so she had it done.

Cindy Jackson: the living Barbie

Cindy Jackson: the living Barbie

There’s also Cindy Jackson, no relation to Michael. She wrote an autobiography called Living Doll. Jackson felt that her appearance was lacking. After inheriting some money, she had the procedures. After nine, Jackson looked like the Barbie doll she’d always wanted to look like. By now she’s had 28 operations, and her transformation, she says, is nearly complete.

*feels nauseous* 

28 operations is too much. What do you think?

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Stay Beautiful

Part 1 of Chapter 10 of the book Looks

Chapter 10 is about the high price of good looks. The obsession with beauty has transformed the cosmetic surgery industry. No wonder some plastic surgeons describe this time as the golden age of cosmetic surgery. Before, this type of surgery was restricted to the horribly disfigured or the extremely wealthy. Now it’s targeted to the masses. To tens of thousands of ordinary people living ordinary lives. People like you, in short.

The most popular procedure is Botox. This involves an injection of a tiny amount of botulism toxin. It paralyzes the muscles, thus smoothing wrinkles. Side effects include unwanted paralysis near the area and nausea, headache, or fatigue.

In 2004, 2.8 million Americans had injections of Botox, according to statistics. This is the fastest growing cosmetic procedure as well as the most popular.

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Irena Medavoy

However, some people regret their Botox shots. Irena Medavoy used it to treat her migraines. She normally paid up to 1000 dollars per treatment for her flawless face. She didn’t know anyone who wasn’t using Botox. Even though using Botox to treat migraines was off-label treatment, she jumped at the chance. This time, things went wrong. Medavoy ended up with an incapacitating headache and wound up in the emergency room.

This leads rise to the suspicion that the physician may have acquired a Botox substitute from a dubious source. Botox is expensive. Toxin Research International, reported in USA Today, promoted its own version. Although they said that it was not for human use, reports have shown that patients in some states have received injections. No injuries have been reported among those. However, a doctor was not so lucky. He was affected with muscle paralysis that was potentially fatal. He survived.

Based on the latest data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the numbers of procedures skyrocket. 11.5 million non-surgical and surgical procedures were performed in 2006. People spent over 12 billion for a beauty fix. The top 5 surgical procedures were liposuction (403,684), breast augmentation (383,886), eyelid surgery (209,999), abdimnoplasty (172,457), and breast reduction (145,822). Men received 1 million in the same year.

This data, however, was not collected from surgeons not board-certified. The data was not collected from physicians not certified in cosmetic surgery, or any off-label procedures that may have been done.

A woman being injected with restylane

A woman being injected with restylane

Dr. Steven Victor of New York is a good example. He offers the latest technology to patients, even if it’s not FDA approved. Restylane was used as a wrinkle filler or lip enhancer. It was not approved for cosmetic use until 2003. He provided it long before that. Victor is not the only doctor. 

Some doctors believe that once the treatment has been practiced for a while without danger, then it’s perfectly all right to do that treatment. They earn a lot of money from this practice.

Some people go to Canada or Europe for treatment. However, there have been problems with semi-permanent fillers in both countries. Some of the people have developed persistent nodules under the skin from some of the particular techniques.

Others believe that even FDA approval doesn’t mean a procedure or product is safe to use. Many FDA approved drugs, like vioxx, were yanked from pharmacies after nasty side effects were reported. 

Angelina Jolie: An actress who uses Botox

Angelina Jolie: An actress who uses Botox

Then there’s Radiance, which thickens bladder walls. It’s made from microcalcium particles suspended in a gel. Some doctors used it to fill wrinkles. However, their patients developed bonelike deposits in or near the injection location. 

No one ever said that Radiance was for filling wrinkles! This stuff goes into your bladder, not your face. It looks like a gel, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll work like Restylane. 

The price of beauty can be a dangerous one. I’d be wary if the pursuit becomes so desperate as to try something that hasn’t been adequately tested yet in the hopes that it would make the person more beautiful. As you can see, the consequences are pretty horrible, and you will be the one to pay if things go wrong.