For those of you unfortunate enough to have never visited a World Market, it is a store that sells stuff from all over the world. And by “stuff,” that’s exactly what I mean. They sell furniture. They sell handbags. They sell dishes. They sell bath soap. They sell towels. They sell rugs. They sell toys. They sell wine. They even sell food! British food, Indian food, Asian food, Italian food, German food. My favorite thing to buy there was this enormous jar of capers for $4. I swear the jar is like 12oz, where a 2oz jar of capers runs me $3 at the commissary.
I miss that store. It’s one of those places where you go just to wander around. And there are really some good deals too.
So now on to other matters.
My new and good blogging buddy Claire was asking me why I had such good taste in music. See, Claire’s Irish, as in actually living in Ireland. She was surprised that I had heard of all these Europeans bands and singers, until I explained that I usually listen to satellite radio, to the channel that broadcasts pop music from all over the world. My favorite song? “Ruby” by the Kaiser Chiefs, which coincidentally was also Claire’s daughter’s favorite song.
Claire got me thinking, though. Why don’t I like more American music? For one thing, most of the people who are out there and performing are doing so simply because they’re the most marketable. You’re not chosen for your songwriting skills or even your voice; you’re chosen simply because you give good video on MTV.
Listening to the radio nowadays makes me cringe. I don’t have perfect pitch or anything, but I can certainly hear the difference between a good singer and a not-so-good singer. There are very few good singers on the radio anymore. Most of them are okay, but take a listen sometime. How many singers are actually making the most of their voices and stretching their ranges, and how many are staying inside a very limited range of notes? If you’re not musically inclined and have no idea what I’m talking about, think about Mariah Carey. You know how she can sing like a normal human being, and then she hits those crystal-shattering notes way up at the edge of human hearing? Mariah Carey is an example of a singer who stretches their range and hits a variety of notes. Most singers on the radio now don’t even have a quarter of the range of Mariah Carey.
You don’t have to be able to sing to be a famous singer here in the States. You don’t even have to write your own songs. You just have to be pretty and smile a lot when you’re on tv.
Think about it. Think about some less-than-attractive singers from back in the day. Tom Petty. Would he become famous nowadays, what with as funny-looking as he is? I don’t think so, though I do think the rules are relaxed for men.
The pressure to be beautiful as a singer is immense. But the problem is, it percolates down to the common man (and woman). When’s the last time you heard someone not complain about how they look? “My nose is too big, my thighs are too fat, my belly is too flabby, my butt is too flat, my chin is too prominent…” It goes on and on and on.
So people turn to surgery. This is something I can’t understand. Why have a doctor cut you open and reshape you, to go through the pain and the scarring, just to fit into society’s ideals of “beauty”? There are always those who have just a little work done, to where it’s barely noticeable, and then there are those that go to the extreme. Think Michael Jackson. Think Joan Rivers. They barely even look human anymore.
My friend J back in Washington had a nose job when she was younger. However, her rhinoplasty was medically necessary. She had maybe 10% breathing capacity in her nose, and she was an athlete. How could she play at her best when she couldn’t even breathe? Of course, while she was under the knife, she had the doctors file down a bump and make her nose a bit smaller for cosmetic reasons. But her nose is still larger than the average woman’s, though it fits perfectly on her face. You’d never know she once had a nose job, and that’s the cosmetic surgery I could sort of see having done, especially when it’s covered by insurance.
Then I open my Sunday edition of The Providence Journal. Front and center on the first page of the Lifebeat section was an enormous headline reading, “Who needs a ‘mommy job’?” Me, being the nerd I am, though, “A job for moms? That sounds cool.”
No, folks, a “mommy job” is plastic surgery. Typically it includes a breast lift (with or without implants), a tummy tuck, and some liposuction to get rid of excess fat. It all is designed to get rid of the “ravages” that pregnancy and childbirth visit on the female form.
Are you kidding me?? Are you effing kidding me???
I’ve had one child (obviously), and I tell you what, her pregnancy tore me up. I have stretch marks all over my stomach, and they got very huge and wide down in my pelvis, since she was head-down and engaged for the last six to eight weeks of pregnancy. Then you have my aunt, who’s had three pregnancies. She came away with three stretch marks, one per pregnancy. That’s it! That’s all she has. Sure, I’m envious that she escaped without a bunch of ugly scars all over her stomach, but I’m just genetically predisposed to stretch marks. There isn’t much I can do about it.
There is no way I would go under the knife to erase the marks of pregnancy just so I can look better in a bikini. I earned those scars and stretch marks. Each time I see them, I remember how fun it was to be pregnant and to see my belly growing, day by day.
Surgeons market these procedures to women by promising them that they can “get their body back!” Instead of embracing the changes our bodies have gone through to produce another little life, we should have surgery so we can look 18 again.
What’s going to happen when these women begin to age? Are they going to save their pennies so they can roll back the hands of time and look like their daughters’ age?
You know, if I had an extra $10,000 sitting around, I certainly wouldn’t spend it on making myself look thinner or tighter or to have my boobs perkier. Rather narcissistic, don’t you think? I think there are far worthier causes deserving of my money.
And if society is going to judge me because I’m not a size 2 and my breasts sag down to my stomach and my thighs are covered with cellulite (all of which are true, in case you were wondering), I don’t care. I’d rather worry about the state of the world and how the hell we’re going to get our troops out of Iraq and why Iran is being so antagonistic and how we’re going to save the earth for our grandkids. I won’t have this body for much more than maybe 60 more years anyhow.