Celebrating Beauty

I wasn’t feeling too well the other day so I decided to stay in. 

After months and months of preparation for the July tournament, I thought of giving myself a break by not doing anything baseball related.  I rewarded myself with some tv time.  And yes, what a treat it was!  I haven’t watched tv in a while and staying glued in front of the tv for a couple of hours was a welcome break for me… Though given that I was sick, it proved quite hard to stay awake. 

Runway Legends All

I HAD to stay awake, though because I chanced upon a really interesting Oprah episode that day.  It was the episode Legends of the Runway, where the guests were former supermodels like Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs and Stephanie Seymour.  There was a segment with Paulina Porizkova, another legend in the modeling industry. 

It was an episode about beauty.  It was about staying beautiful.  Moreso, it was an episode about ageing gracefully.  I knew I had to stay awake.

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Last week I saw a picture of myself that was taken about 5 years ago.  I stared at it for sometime, as if I was looking at a picture of a total stranger.  And the more I stared at it, the more I started thinking that I don’t look like the girl on the picture anymore.  Okay, maybe I still look like her, but I feel like I have aged somewhat.  I look older now.

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Staring at myself in the mirror has always been a past time for me.  (So, I am vain… that’s a given.  We have already long established that.)  However, these past several months, whenever I look at my reflection in the mirror, I always catch myself putting my fingers on my cheekbones — and trying to stretch my facial skin higher, towards the upper ends of my ears.  It’s either that or stretching the skin under my jawbone, towards the lower ends of my ears.

It’s something that I used to watch my mom do when I was a little girl — and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why she kept doing that.  Now I’M the one doing it.  Now I’m the one who’s starting to feel paranoid about what gravity is doing to my facial muscles…

All of a sudden I feel old.  All of a sudden I am no longer confident that the facial creams and moisturizer that I religiously slather on my face actually work.  My skin is not as elastic as it used to be. 

Looking old scares me.  Not only does it scare me, it also makes me sad.  Somehow, the pull of gravity is also working on my self-esteem.

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I knew I would learn something the moment I saw the former supermodels onscreen with Oprah.  (Just an aside, maybe it’s incorrect to call them former supermodels because in my book, once a supermodel, always a supermodel.  So scratch the former out.)

They came out one by one.  All still very beautiful.  They all look fit, too.  But somehow, one thing was evident… they also aged, as well.  They are no longer the 20-something naive looking pin-up girls.  They are not stick thin.  They have womanly curves.  There’s a certain roundness in their figures… something that is most likely brought about by motherhood.  And they have lines on their faces, too! 

Perfect

I was staring at Stephanie Seymour, and can’t but think that about a decade ago, I wanted to look like her because the guy I was dating then adored her.  She practically was the reason behind the how and the why of my love affair with Victoria’s Secret. 

And now as I looked at her — still pretty, but with facial lines, body curves and all, she looked almost ordinary.  Okay, maybe not ordinary, but normal.

And then the realization… they are human beings, after all.  Supermodel or not, we are all bound to get old… or older. 

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I think the only way we can defy ageing is if we cryogenically preserve our bodies while we’re in our twenties (and then what?!).  Or yes, there’s always botox or face lifts… but then for how long?  And how many times ’til you realize that you don’t look like yourself anymore — not because you look younger, but because your skin has been stretched so hard that you can’t even show any sign of emotion.  There’s quite a thin line between looking young and looking like your face is in a serious state of catatonic stupor.

Yes, even supermodels cannot defy gravity.

*** *** ***

Dream job. Dream body.

Watching them — the supermodels that they are, candidly talking about their outlook on ageing, I couldn’t help but get awed all the more.  These beautiful women have been beautiful all their lives… but they are not as young as they used to be.  For sure they have experienced being compared to the younger models.  They belong to a cruel industry where beauty  is defined by age.  And yet they stood proud.  They are proud of their accomplishments, proud of what they have become. 

Truly admirable. 

These supermodels were unanimous in saying that true beauty emanates from within.  It’s about how you perceive yourself. It’s about finding joy and peace and acceptance.  It’s also about not just banking on your looks alone, but being able to carry a conversation with other people.

Basically, being beautiful involves loving oneself and being happy with who you are.  As one of them — I think it was Paulina Porizkova in her interview segment — reiterates, ‘if one’s self-worth is hinged on one’s looks alone, then that person has a problem…’

I learned something valuable that day.

proud to be Supermodel Me

 

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photos via weheartit.com and yahoo images

 

 

 

My Guilty Pleasure

I am not a TV person.  I rarely get the chance to sit in front of the TV for a long time, without distractions.  I used to have favorite shows… those which I really wait for every week. But then because of busy schedules, and because I’d rather do everything early so I can sleep early, there’s just no time for TV anymore.

 … Or so I say.  Okay, I’ll be honest.  For the past several weeks, during the day – sometimes even at night– I try to catch Glee. Yes, they are mostly reruns.  But whether I have watched the episode or not, I still take that one hour off just to watch. 

Watching Glee is like being transported back in time.  For one whole hour, I feel like I’m back in high school. 

Some things never really change.  There’s always the handsome jocks, the pretty and popular cheerleaders, the nerds, the misfits, the non-entities.  There’s that one teacher everybody adores, there’s that one teacher that everybody hates… okay, sometimes two, even three…  There are the performers, the drama queens, the bad boys (and girls). And then there are the normal people.  

Looking back at my high school days, I don’t really know where I would place myself.  Oh, I was a smart girl – that much I’m sure of.  I was grade conscious and I have always been a diligent student.  I know I wasn’t bad looking.  I was pretty vain, so everybody must have thought I was a stuck up.  But then I also knew that there were a LOT of more popular girls – not to mention with more developed bodies – that made me insecure when I was at that age.  There were those girls who effortlessly get the boys they liked.  There were those girls who get voted as muse year in and year out.  And did I say they effortlessly get the boys?

My friends never believe me when i say that i had a lot of insecurities in high school.  For some reason they think i was as confident as that girl with the long straight hair and the coca-cola bottle body… the one who got most of my crushes with just a snap of her fingers. I guess it’s true that your worst critic is yourself.  It is true that no one can make you feel small unless you permit them.  When i think about it, i did let a number of girls make me feel insecure… mainly because they were more popular and well, they easily got the boys. 

If there’s something I wish I learned early on in life, it is not to let the boys – or men—define you.  Back in high school, I felt bad whenever someone i liked didn’t like me back. Well, tough luck.  There were guys who liked me back then whom I never even attempted to talk to or be nice to (and they are probably multi-millionaires by now and don’t even remember my name). That’s just the way it is.

Several months back, I attended our high school reunion.  I saw people – classmates and non-classmates – whom i haven’t seen in ages.  Some, i don’t really remember.  But there were others who stood out.  Of course, there were my dearest, bestest friends… the ones i spent my whole teenage years with and who are still my friends ‘til today.  I got to talk to this guy i dated back in high school – and the whole time we were talking, i was asking myself WHY i ever dated him.  I also got to talk to this other guy – and the whole time we were talking, i was asking myself why I NEVER dated him.  And then there were people i talked to whom I know i never talked to in high school… but are really nice people, after all. 

Yes, high school was fun. The friendships i forged in high school are the ones that lasted long because we saw each other through our awkward stages.  My friends knew me and liked me then, even when i was still the ugly duckling that i felt i was.  Come to think of it, we were all ugly ducklings then, in one way or another. 

I like watching Glee because for a moment I get to remember how things were when I was growing up.  Along with the remembering comes the wondering as well… of all the what ifs and what could haves.  But then a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine, being the grinch that he is, said that at a certain point, we have to stop looking back at the past because it’s over and done with.  Somehow it made me realize that yes, I’m all grown up, and as much fun as high school was, i am at the here and now.  And i like where I am. I like what I have become. (Do i dare say that I like the goddess that I have become?)

So why is Glee my guilty pleasure?  Okay, so now I confess…. I only watch the show because i think that guy who plays Finn is such a hottie… 🙂