We’d be pretty if we would just fix ourselves

There’s nothing wrong with us that surgery, hunger, or expensive new clothes can’t fix

From Helen Ellis’ “Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been told – by a man who is looking at your almost naked except for your underwear body – that you would be cute if you would just lose a little weight.

Raise your hand if you’ve happened to see a note scribbled next to your name: “smiles, plump.”

Raise your hand if you mom put you on a diet when you were five.

Raise your hand if you find a silver lining in covid masks because they hide your teeth, which you hate because they are yellow from the tetracycline you had when you were four.


When are we right? When are we done? When are we OK as we are?


A few years ago, my mom had to have that eyelid surgery because her droopy eyelids were affecting her vision.

Because I am pretty much my mom’s clone, both physically and psychologically (a former boyfriend who met my mom, her sister, and my sister said, “It’s not that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s that the tree placed the apple exactly where it wanted it to be.”), I thought Well, in 20 years, I will also need that surgery.

Then I thought maybe I should investigate it now, as the body heals faster when it’s younger.

I went to the doc for a consult. He spent some time looking at my eyes and my eyelids and yeah, sure, he could do it and now I needed to wait in the waiting room to talk to the money people about next steps.

While I was waiting, he ran out to me.

“I CAN FIX YOUR EYEBROW, TOO!” he said.

I raised them. My eyebrows. What was he talking about?

“Your left eyebrow is lower than your right. I can fix that.”

I had never noticed. Not once in my entire life.

I had never noticed this flaw so huge that a plastic surgeon runs out of seeing one patient to inform me that he can fix it.


A few weeks after my consult, I saw my aunt P, who is a nurse. I asked her about the procedure, wanting reassurance that it was as simple as it sounded. When I told her about the eyebrow, she gasped.

“You can’t change your eyebrow!” she said. “That’s your Grandma Sylvia eyebrow! She had it, your dad had it, your sister has it, your cousins have it. That’s your grandma eyebrow! It’s part of you!”

When I got home, I looked at photos of my grandmother.

Aunt P was right. I have her eyebrow.

Why would I want to change that?

So I didn’t.

And my eyelids droop.

And I am still plump.

And I still have yellow teeth.

And I. Don’t. Care.

I’m done with making sure my body is acceptable to others. I’m done.

3 thoughts on “We’d be pretty if we would just fix ourselves

  1. A couple of years ago I had to have a small growth removed from my eyelid (Mother and Grandmother also had the growth, but it pushed lashes into my eye, so had to go). The surgeon told me to come back in a couple of years … that one eye drooped too much and needed that surgery, but that insurance won’t pay for it until both need it! She wouldn’t fix only one, since it would make me look funny. Apparently they don’t even call it an eye lift anymore – it’s so common. Guess I’ll do it … someday. Keep your eyebrown, tho. It’s part of YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After twenty years of wearing long pants since I stopped shaving in college, I am wearing shorts this year and showing off my thick, dark leg hair. TOO OLD TO GIVE A FUCK. And you know what? Nobody has said anything and I haven’t even seen any sideways glances.

    Next step: Armpit hair? That hurdle is so much harder.

    Like

    1. OMG, I had a Grandmother Sylvia. She was an amazing woman. And I have her eyebrows. In our case it’s the right one that’s lower. I am learning (at 75) to give too many fucks. 🙂

      Like

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