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On Beauty

May 9, 2012

Sometimes on Thursdays, when I want to switch off my mind, I watch a show: Extrem Schön. It’s the equivalent of ‘Extreme Makeover’ in the English speaking world. If you’re not familiar with it, let me explain the format: Woman is unhappy with her body, woman gets plastic surgery, dental/orthodontic treatment, a hair-do and makeup and parades her new look to her family and friends. Everybody’s happy. Or are they?

Because I don’t see what happens afterwards. There are lots of tears and sob stories, reasons why the lady in question needs to have surgery but we don’t see what happens a month later, a year later. Did the surgery bring the expected results? What about counselling? Did a professional work with them to deal with any problems that are more than skin-deep?

The message that these (and many other) TV shows, magazines and other forms of media are perpetrating worries me. What are we teaching our kids by showing them that if you’re not happy with how you look, you can simply get it ‘corrected’?

And come to think of it, what is ‘correct’ anyway? The media tells us what is correct, what’s beautiful. Society tells us. If only we could take a bunch of kids to a desert island and raise them without all that crap. I wonder what beauty would be for them?

Now to find that desert island…

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