by Chrysa Smith

Is there a mirror in the house?

We all wonder about the tanning mom accused of taking her five year old daughter into a tanning booth and causing the big media stir. Only the original story about the ethics of exposing a young child to potentially harmful rays turned into more of a joke about this woman.

Late night comedians have had their fun too—Did she fall down a chimney? Was she blown up by Wiley Coyote and the Acme Fireworks Company? (Chuckle). I say she’s just another unfortunate example of a beauty measure taken a bit too far. OK, way too far.

It’s a classic with plastic surgery. Personally, I’ve had no experience with it–at least, not yet. But from what I’ve seen, the wrong surgeon or one too many nips and tucks can make you look, as King Julian said in Madagascar—like a giant freak. Adam Sandler poked fun at this craze in the film Just Go With It, as the plastic surgeon who attempts to ‘fix’ the woman with the eyebrow now sitting in the middle of her forehead, or the woman with one normal breast and one hanging down to her navel.

Then there’s the real-life Barbie. She’s been on the talk show circuit, chalking up more procedures than a dozen vain women have had in a lifetime. If I remember correctly, I think it falls around six dozen or so. When asked about her motivation, it was simple. Perfection.

At some point in our lives, we may have had that quest too. For some reason, we fail to notice the majority of the female population surrounding us that is overweight, under-managed, left undone. We instead, focus our sights on those lofty, often unattainable goals seen on tv, in magazines, in our mental library.

I don’t know about you but I rarely stop to think about comparing apples to apples—or actually, not comparing at all. But it’s almost impossible as a woman. So here goes. The makeup and wardrobe staff, the camera lighting, the airbrushing—who wouldn’t look at least 80% better? Yet, that’s unseen, so we don’t process that. Instead, we process the visual end product—and expect that amateurs should produce the same results without the glue and duct tape. It’s never going to happen so we might as well forget about it.

Perhaps instead, we should find the best adulthood photo of ourselves that we’ve ever taken and post it on our mirrors. Then, for every ten years, deduct 10%. If, after twenty years, we are 80% of that image, we’re 100% on track. And that, my friends, is the look that is perfect for us.