I love people watchin'.
The new outdoor "waterpark" at our family fitness center has proved to be a very good people watchin' place. There are some interesting personalities that hang out there, and a few have even garnered nicknames in our house. "Porn Star Mommy" and "Anorexia Girl", for example.
The first time I saw "Porn Star Mommy" she arrived at the pool looking ready for her closeup, if you know what I mean. She wore her long white-blond hair in braided pigtails topped with a straw cowboy hat. She was sporting a pair of those huge sunglasses Katie Holmes is so fond of, and she showed off her flawless tan (nary a tan line in sight) in an itsy bitsy bikini that accented a Playboy body. They didn't appear to be real, but that doesn't mean they weren't spectacular. Every male over the age of 14 stopped what they were doing to watch her apply sunblock and then chase her toddler son into the water, where she could have used her chest as a life-saving floatation device.
I may be making a snap judgement about Anorexia Girl, but she is one of the thinnest women I've ever seen. And she has 2 daughters! Maybe in southern California or New York City she would be the average woman, but here in the Germanic-rooted, processed meat-lovin' tri-state area, she's scary skinny. The kind of gal you just want to feed a sandwich. I am pretty sure that her shoulder blades could be used as a weapon. I know, I'm being judgemental. Maybe she's an athlete. Maybe she's just naturally a thin person. But in her black bikini she looks kinda like a Tootsie Roll Pop. Her face and head, which look huge in proportion to her tiny frame, and even bony. I have to fight this desire to give her Comp Care's number every time I see her. And yes, I might just be jealous.
It's not just the people that are intriguing at the waterpark; since so many people talk on their cells instead of keep track of their kids while they're there, you occasionally pick up on a good phone conversation (I say if you are willing to talk on your cell about it in a public place, I'm not invading your privacy if I overhear. You wanna talk privately? Go home.)
Yesterday I heard a woman on the chair behind me and Ains say,
"It's not so much about how I think I look. I worry when people look at me. They're going to think, 'Wow, she's really over done it.' "
I am tactful enough that I didn't pick that precise moment to turn around and gawk. I figured it was something relatively benign like too much sun. Trust me, I am very sympathetic to those who have fried themselves. I've been walking around all summer with a Ronald McDonald nose.
Not too long after that she followed her kid into the pool. From the back, I didn't see anything unusual. She was about my age, and looked pretty good in her bikini (bikinis are big at the pool, even among those unlike Porn Star Mommy and Anorexia Girl who cannot quite pull it off.)
When she got into the water, she turned around.
Biggest, most obvious implants I have ever seen in my life. On a real-live person, anyway.
I am trying to think of words to describe it/them. And I can't. Suffice to say I was worried about her hitting a sharp corner lest they bust.
I felt sorry for her at first. Judging by her phone conversation, she knows they look far from natural. And she was an attractive woman, obviously someone who works out and tans and worries about her appearance. And all anyone will see are the balloons in her bra.
On the other hand...why? Why do that to yourself? And if you don't think they look good...don't wear one of those triangle-cut bikini tops! Not helping.
But can I really judge?
I myself have said the only plastic surgery I would ever consider would be a boob job. I even applied to be on Extreme Makeover before it went off the air in a flutter of controversy.
One of my friends, about a year after my cancer treatment, told me she'd heard that the EM people had put out a notice on their website saying they were seeking librarians and cancer survivors for the next season. Since she's a librarian, too, she thought it was hilarious. She also jokingly told me to apply since I had the double whammy of cancer survivor AND librarian. Since the EM people were assuming either group was fertile ground for heinous people needing makeovers, they would LOVE to get their hands on me.
So in a fit of partial anger at the typical librarian stereotype and partial "You know, I could use a good makeover," I went online and applied. And was appalled at the huge list of surgeries I was asked to check if I was willing to have them. There were the more common things like breast augmentation and lipo, but then there were incomprehendible things like cheek and jaw implants and hairline restructuring. The only things I checked were the augmentation, Lasik, and laser hair removal. I could do without ever again waxing my unibrow. I figured I would never hear from them.
Until a few days later when a production assistant contacted me through email saying her stadd was interested in my story and asked me to submit two pictures to move through to the next stage of the selection process. My own mother actually encouraged me to submit the pictures (she has no recollection of this when I brought it up recently, but I promise you, she did) so I had Jason get a head shot and a full body shot of me in a swimsuit. I never did submit the pictures, but I was startled enough by the second shot that I started exercising soon thereafter.
I don't think I will ever follow the lead of some of these people-watchin' victims and modify my body to the extreme, either to make myself skeleton-skinny or to add curves. But everyone is so body-conscious, and looks matter so much, it's easy to think you have to. Never say never; there may be a day when Cranky gets a little nip or tuck.
As soon as some genius surgeon invents a way to make it painless and under $100.
Have you ever thought about going under the knife for beauty? If someone walked up to you and offered you any cosmetic procedure for free, what would it be?