Whenever I'm home with my family, we like to spend our nights watching our favorite TV shows together. Our go-to is "Criminal Minds" (I know, not exactly what you picture for a family night). While all of us are enjoying our time, making predictions of who the murderer is or about people's love lives, I notice my mom, distant, as she watches a woman on the TV screen.
She says, "Wow, that woman is so beautiful. How old do you think she is?"
I look at the screen, and I see an aged woman with plump lips and porcelain skin, and I say, "Probably 60."
"Really?" she says with a raised brow. "But she must have had work done, right?" She rubs her forehead and the side of her cheek.
I explained to my mom that yes, the majority of women on TV shows have had work done to look the way that they do. Of course, the surgeon just worked with what the woman already had, but enhanced her cheekbones, lips, and forehead to craft an unrealistic woman who would not exist in nature.
My mom shakes her head, as if in disapproval, but I could see in her eyes longing for that look of faux youthfulness.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. All the power to women doing what they want with their own bodies. But my mom's comments still troubled me. Why was it that every time a woman over 30 appeared on the screen, she had work done? And how could I convince my beautiful mother that she did not need to have work done to fulfill her elegance?
My approach was to remind her of the great things she, and her body, has accomplished. She is a mother of three, one of which is in college. She is an immigrant from a small village overseas. She is a female engineer. She left her home country by herself. She (somehow) has time to cook incredible meals. Despite all that she does, she manages to display her love for our family at every possible opportunity, whether my brothers like it or not.
She is beautiful, and I try to remind her of this every possible opportunity that I get. It's just difficult that every time she sees a woman noticeably older than her but with ageless features, she feels inferior.
We need to have a more open dialogue about actresses having work done because it affects the minds of many hard-working women.
My mom is a powerful woman, with grit, brains, and bold style, and just because she doesn't have botox, does not make her any less beautiful.