What Would You Change About Your Physical Appearance If Money Were No Object?
If you asked me right here and right now if I would I elect to get surgery to increase my bottom, the answer would be “HELL NO!”
However, if we were somehow transported to an alternate universe and you were asking the ballin’ (as in wealthy) and shot-callin’ version of Charing that same question, there would be a 50 percent chance that my response would involve me throwing some Ds on it–as in, on my backside. Hell, it might even increase to a 60 percent chance that I would be in favor of the procedure. Okay, about a 73 percent chance that I would slap a fatty on it, but that’s at the most.
And it’s not just a matter of money.
Truth is, I’m not at all confident that the high-profile and wealthier version of myself would be strong enough to deal with the daily scrutiny of my flaws – or perceived flaws. I’m talking about the paparazzi and gossip bloggers, who like to zoom in and draw big red circles around physical imperfections while making snide comments. The entertainment websites, which monitor your weight and how well or badly you’re aging, while also making snide comments. And let’s not forget the readers, who pile it on with their own ruthless commentary.
They all say and write horrible things: like how flat your a** is; Or how fat you are; Or how you’re too black; Or too tall; Or your hair is too nappy; Or that you’re too high yellow; Or worse, that you’re a waste of some good light skin; Or that you look like Miss Piggy…
Basically, every day, tons of anonymous people openly express such harsh sentiments about the value of other people’s appearance. Every single day. That kind of constant ribbing has to be a detriment to one’s psyche. I know for sure it would be for me. And yet, we expect people to sit back and deal with having their minds and emotional well-beings tested all the time based solely on the idea that it’s part of their job (After all, nobody told them to be talented and try to be something in life. That’s what they get!). And we all know that once you get a job, you stop being a human being with feelings and sh*t and turn into the Tin Man. Make that the Tin Man before his visit to Oz.
Truthfully, I don’t even have to be alternate universe Charing to understand the pressure to uphold some arbitrary beauty standard. Yes, even broke and unimportant current universe Charing still has anxiety over my backside. So much so that I hit those squats extra hard in the gym just to obtain a little curve. And I also make sure to wear certain clothing that accentuates the positive while masking over my “flaws.” Always.
Although it is my burden, my obsession over my backside wasn’t my own creation. I wasn’t born feeling insecure. That was put on me – forced even. It came from the mean girls who giggled and chanted about me having Noa**itall as I walked past them down my middle school hallway. Or from my longtime crush in high school turning me down for the girl with the behind so big, she had to enroll it in school as another pupil. Or the one helpful girlfriend in college, who suggested hip hugger pants or longer shirts, “you know, to cover up your problem area.” Or that equally hating-a** boyfriend in my 20s, who for whatever reason, decided to mess with my self-esteem (Perhaps I was besting him in a discussion or something. I don’t know…) by pointing out how my body would be “perfect” if I had a rounder a**.
Then there are the words and thoughts of people who I haven’t met and who haven’t met me, but somehow they know. And like Roberta Flack’s guitar- wielding nemesis, they too sang my life with their words by way of booty anthems. A never-ending barrage of them. And when they are not singing about them, they are dancing around them in music videos and gawking at them in films and on television. Even the more soulful, incense-burning, cowry-shell wearing two-strand twisting righteous black man likes to write poems and drop mathematics about the true essence of a black woman: her butt.
It’s all objectification, at least, that’s what I tell myself. I really shouldn’t care about any of it. I am a feminist. Or a black feminist. Or a womanist. The point is, hear me roar! But I can’t help but flinch whenever a flirtatious guy checks me out as he walks by. Who knows what he may be thinking? And while I could say I don’t care, I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that such a seed has already been planted. Every time I undress, I look in the mirror and can only focus on my backside, or lack thereof.
So yeah, who knows how I would look if I had some expendable dollars burning holes in my pockets. And it’s a wonder that women with the means don’t go running off to the body butcher to get a nip here and a tuck there every time they get the urge. More specifically, the way folks have been going in for years on Tiny about her looks, I’m surprised she hasn’t tried to get more surgery. And that, of course, is if she is at all bothered by what folks say about her. For all we know, she could just really like ice-gray eyes…
The point is, we can talk all day about the strength of a person’s mind, but people will do what they have to do to feel good and happy about themselves. I’m not mad at that, especially since we as a society don’t always makes it easy.
So in all honesty, if money was no option, what might you be willing – or even persuaded – to physically change about yourself?