Tuesday, August 09, 2005


In honour of Women’s Day happening in South Africa here’s a story that was widely reported in a variety of media so it has to be true, right? A survey by a women’s magazine found that two thirds of women would have plastic surgery to achieve the “perfect look”, 90% of them said their bodies made them feel “down” and more than half thought their careers would progress at a faster pace if they had a better body and were more attractive. I think I qualify as an expert on the dynamics of office life and there is nothing to be gained by being good looking, in fact, the very opposite. If you’re blonde, you will be patted on the head, if you’re pretty you’ll be sent to the filing room more often than necessary and if you have enormous surgically enhanced boobs, nobody will ever look you in the eye.

Top Sante magazine specializes in this sort of story, did you know that flirting at the office is good for you? Chirpy health advice is Top Sante’s stock in trade, and pop psychology quizzes their lure. Here’s another choice piece of doom and gloom

“Only a quarter of women feel they are living the life they thought they would be when growing up, while 84 percent say they are not fulfilling their potential. Two thirds of those questioned have full-time jobs, but 60 percent of them want to give up work.

More than half of the 2 000 women questioned are also unfulfilled in their sexual and social lives. Unsurprisingly, given this level of dissatisfaction, the emotion that women feel most on a daily basis is frustration.”

Apparently we’re all within an inch of blowing our brains out. Where are all these sad sacks? Most of the women I know go about their lives with a cheery laugh and have no desire for Melanie Griffith lips. Are they suggesting that beneath the serene exterior modern women are a roiling, uncontrollable mass of fear and loathing that can only be assuaged by liposuction? The women who buy the magazine and take the trouble to fill in the questionnaire and return it and are probably already prime cosmetic surgery fodder, so I can’t see how this can possibly apply to women in general. Do women really feel so bad about themselves?

But that’s not all, bang goes the myth of the female sisterhood, 58% of women are jealous of women their own age who look younger, four out of ten jealous of their friends and 36% envied all younger women in general. The good news is that half the women felt good about their hair and 73% are happy with their height.

Where will it end, what sort of super plastic beautiful person is going to emerge from this mayhem? Will looking unattractive become the new crime? Will plastic surgery one day become compulsory? Look at that nose, get into the doctor’s office instantly! Will the Beauty Police come around to your house to make sure you’re tight enough behind the ears before you go out in public?

Quote of the Day - “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” Robert A. Heinlein

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