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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Natural Beauty or the Botox Beast (1)

Do Christians have any business using beauty treatments or doing anything to make themselves physically more attractive?

People go to the gym to work out. Men bulk themselves out using weights. Women are concerned about losing weight and gaining weight. It seems that dietary modifications and exercise are not enough. We resort to pills with or without a prescription and surguries of all kinds. Obesity is called an “epidemic.”

Women get facials, manicures, pedicures, facelifts, bikini waxes, laser hair removal, breast enhancements and botox.

Men and women both are concerned about hair loss and dye their hair. I’ve heard of both men and women using laser hair removal, shaping their eyebrows and getting manicures. It’s tough to be hard on someone who wants to get rid of their unibrow. One of my dates was late because he had just gotten a massage and manicure. I thought it was disrespectful to be late and a bit weird that he not only loved them, but started insisting that he wasn’t gay. He would have benefited from botox for excessive sweating as he tried to convince me his marriage was over.

Beauty can also go to an extreme. Women travel to South America for less expensive cosmetic medical procedures. They run a high risk of infection on the plane ride home. People get skin cancer maintaining their tans. The last time eyebrow plucking was a trend, my mother was in college. She plucked her eyebrows to the point that they don’t grow back.

I always thought I had decent lips, but now that Angelina Jolie’s full pucker is in fashion, I’ve been told I have thin lips and should consider ristalyne injections. Even comic book characters have fuller lips. I’ve seen people with mis-shapen lips from collagen injections.

I worked briefly copying legal documents for a company that produced silicone breast implants and while I photocopied what was marked, I read about the horrors of the illnesses caused by them. www.siliconeholocaust.org

Botox has some uses beyond just cosmetic purposes. It is up to you to decide if excessive underarm sweating is cosmetic or not. It also helps with musicle spasms related to neurological conditions. Its most popular use is, of course, cosmetic.

Rosacea can be fixed when it is just “cosmetic”. If left untreated, it can result in disfigurement. Unbelieveable? Comedian W. C. Fields had a bulbous nose (rhinophyma) that was not caused by hard drinking as was rumored. It was actually caused by the advanced stages of acne rosacea. I have seen a case so bad that it interfered with his breathing. When he drank anything, it was inevitable that some would drip off the vast end of his nose. It shook when he walked. This can be treated simply and inexpensively in its early stages with accutane and dermabrasion. In advanced stages it can be painful both physically and emotionally. At the point in the pictures below it can only be treated surgically. This is considered to be a skin disorder. It's not just a vanity rhinoplasty to shave off a "Spanish" bump.

They told me I had slight rosacea when I went in for a facial. I knew what could happen if left untreated, though rhinophyma is usually a condition which affects men over 40. I had planned on getting an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) for the aftereffects of a years-old sunburn, good thing that same treatment works for both. I felt like I was actually saving money in the long run. I can use makeup to cover it up, but I really hate wearing liquid makeup.

I remember going out with a guy who had the beginnings of rosacea on his nose--little red bumps and blood vessels. I didn't know what it was, and men usually aren't too vain. But I was transfixed and ultimately a little turned off by it. There were other character flaws involved as well, so it wasn't just his nose. Today I met another single guy. I wanted to say he could do something about that, but how? I was, I think, unabashedly staring at his nose. I felt really bad, but the thought of kissing someone with that kind of nose is kind of gross if you aren't already in love with them. And if doesn't grow on you, it can certainly grow on them!

There is a biblical basis for taking good care of oneself. Beauty was definitely used for attracting the opposite sex. It seems to be OK to make oneself attractive. I just think that we have taken it too far.

1 Corinthians 6:19:
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

Song of Songs
3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make you earrings of gold,
studded with silver.

Esther 2
8 When the king's order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king's palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 The girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king's palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.

Ruth 3
1 One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, " 3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes…” (Excerpt of more instructions.)

One should also cultivate inner beauty.

1 Timothy 2
9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

Certainly some things are OK. But, where are we headed if we don’t stop soon? How much is too much? Personal tastes, career choices and relationship with the Lord are factors in answering whether or not Christians should participate. Greater confidence translates to making more money in our capitalist society. Lawyers have been known to get Botox injections so that they don’t look mean. Breast enhancements and some cosmetic procedures seem necessary in Hollywood. However, is it worth your quality of life and health?

The next install ment investigates some very normal looking stars and Miss America contestants. All this cosmetic stuff wasn't always necessary. Go.


Anonymous said...

I have a big list of "to do" things before I start dating! Some of them are:

1. Reduce weight
2. Make my "thing" more bigger :)

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