As it turned out, Photoshop was definitely not the worst thing that happened to me that month. It never rains, but pours. Another challenge awaited me – this time at work.
The good thing about research that we do is their total diversity. One day we study perfumes, another day we study construction materials. Or we work on erotic lingerie and then move on smoothly to digestion problems. The bad thing about my work is my age – I’m the oldest person in the company. Or maybe its problem not mine but my reaserachers age. When we design interviews with someone from the segment of super-important-VIPs or plastic surgeons in relation to figure improvements, it’s up to me to do it since my 25-year-old researcher is not going to be credible in that role.
I prepared myself mentally and focused on the whole thing being necessary for the purposes of research. After having a glass of wine for courage, I marched into a plastic surgeon’s office. The doctor prepared my patient card and I started chatting him up…
“So, doctor… Are women really so demanding towards themselves?”
“Well, they create their uniqueness but want to have a look that meets the standards which is usually media standards”
“Do they want a lot of changes?”
“It starts with one change and then it becomes a never ending story. Most of them come back, because improvements are addictive. I’ll demonstrate that on you. Please stand upright.”
“What would you change in me?”
… silence. The longer he was silent, the lower my self-esteem was. I almost felt like gravity was working – any second more silence and it would be crushed on a floor.
“Me? I would change NOTHING.”
“Uh, but you said yourself that women have to be slim nowadays.”
“No. I told you that it is the women who say they have to be slim. The problem with them is that they want less and less of this and that. Sometimes I meet a few that could indeed have a little less here and there. However, the majority is like you, and in such cases it’s me who has a problem, because the only thing I can tell them is that I can’t be of any help.”
“Ok, doctor, what you’re saying is very nice, but let’s face it: I’m not exactly stick-thin – you could remove something over here, reduce something over there…” At that moment I was touching various parts of my body that were earlier reduced in Photoshop. “So, what do you think? Wouldn’t I look great once we got rid of it?”
“Have you ever been to Brazil?”
“I bet everyone found you attractive.”
“They did, but just being female is enough for Latino men to find you attractive. So it is not a big deal”
“Not really. They have a model of a woman, and what we have here is a model of an idea. And I’m not going to do any surgery for idea’s sake. If anyone tells you different, they simply want to trick you into spending money. You don’t qualify for any surgery. You mustn’t and don’t need to be improved…“
„I just think happiness is what makes people pretty. Happy people are beautiful”.
There have been two men in my life who made me feel like a queen of the world. One of them was this particular plastic surgeon and the other one is my beloved man.
The proof of the other one not lying is the fact that he could’ve chosen any other woman in the world: slimmer, taller, prettier, smarter, younger or older, but he chose me consciously. Choosing me testifies on its own to his perception of me being exactly the way he says it is. The way he talks about me leaves no doubt – I’m a queen. Just the way I am. I also believed the first one, since if someone makes a living out of improving people’s looks and in spite of that saw nothing to be improved, then perhaps it really is high time to stop scrutinizing every part of my body.
Photoshop and scalpel.
A photographer and a surgeon.
Both of them know what beauty is about. Both of them have good intentions. Our intentions are good quite often, because, according to what I believe, we are good beings by nature. Yet, the same intentions may result in various effects. After one of these conversations I felt that the world was lying at my feet and after the other I felt as if it was me who lied at the feet of this world…