Overheard on the radio this morning:
"Live at the Crazy Horse saloon, it's Miss Nude Blonde Universe!"
First I laughed. Then I started feeling a little sick.
The questions raised by this one brief commerical whirled madly forth:
What if she were my daughter? What would I say to her about the choices she was making? How would I come to grips with the notion that a child of mine was Miss Nude Blonde Universe?
Who are these young women? What led them to the point at which they thought being Miss Nude Blonde Universe was a great idea?
For that matter, who are any of the women who want to be in skin shows, or porn flicks, or magazines, or nude photos that end up plastered all over the intenet? Where do they think it's going to get them?
What happens to the vast majority of them 10 years down the road? Not all of them can reach noteriety, hook up with a rock star or celebrity, make enough money off their perfect bodies to live on. Then what?
Where will Miss Nude Blonde Universe be in 5 years? What happens when the perfection starts to sag? How will she fix gravity and time? Who will she be when the crown of Blonde Nudeness is torn from her head and placed on the shimmering brow of a taut young honey with dreams of success in her plasticized breast?
Why does this make me sad?
As background, I have a confession to make to all y'all here, and I hope you don't think less of me for saying it:
At one point in my life, many years ago, I was a body dysmorphic exerciseaholic whose only real concern was how good I looked and how many calories I'd injested that day.
I wouldn't eat for days, hoping to shave off that last few ounces of fat from my hips. I worked out for HOURS a day, hoping to get my shoulder muscles to ripple with a little more definition, to get the crease of muscle in my calves to flex more deeply, to keep my thighs from touching when I stood with my ankles together, to make my hipbones jut out a little further from my concave stomach. I cared more about how I looked than how I felt, or who I was.
I was fucked up, for sure.
At that time I could have easily been on the road to Miss Nude Blonde Universe-dom, except one day I looked in the mirror and said "enough already," and started to work on ME instead of my body.
I'd like to think that effort has paid off.
But what if these girls never get to that point? What if their whole life is the pursuit of corporeal perfection and they never DO work on themselves, find out who they really are, dig under the makeup and hair dye to look at what lies beneath?
Where will they be, 5, 10, 20 years down the road?
Why does this make me sad?
Maybe they're happy. Maybe this is the pinnacle of achievement for them. Maybe this is what they've always wanted, ever since they were a little girl and idolized Barbie, or wanted to be just like the ladies in the magazines their Daddies read so that he'd like THEM too, or needed the boys to like them because they were hungry for love. Maybe that's OK. Maybe there's a place in this world for those girls to grow up to be Miss Nude Blonde Universe.
And that also makes me a little sad.
It's not as though I don't enjoy beautiful things, those freaks of nature that are so harmonious in their affect that regular mortals stop in their tracks to admire them are meant to be appreciated.
Nature loves pretty things, and creates them all the time.
But Miss Nude Blonde Universe isn't natural. Nature isn't airbrushed or spray tanned or botoxed or augmented. Miss Nude Blonde Universe defies nature and is sculpted, buffed, bleached, pumped full of silicone and collagen, cartooned into some technicolor version of a pretty thing.
She can't last.
She'll fade, as all pretty things of nature do.
And then what? What then?
That's why I'm sad. What then, indeed.