Of complexion

What happens when your mother and one of your best girl-friend shares the same dermatologist? And you aren’t the one who makes the recommendation? Am I missing out on some beauty-band-wagon?

It all started innocently enough. My mother peered at my skin the other day and remarked that I look “like a ghost”. Not of the fair-skinned long-haired variety, but more of the gruesome scary version. It was all open pores and blackheads, she said.  She then went on to subject my sparse eyebrows to some tweezing, proclaiming the skill of having learnt the art of eye-brow plucking when she was younger. In the end she handed me the name card of Dr.J, the dermatologist. 

Now I was under the (possibly now mistaken) impression that my skin was fabulous, after a year of non-humid cool weather of Sydney. Facials, hair treatments, manicures, pedicures and massages were luxury for a student budget and for someone who spent truckloads of her salary on them (before Sydney – “BS”), Sydney was what I called my phase of “beauty-backwater” but I was happy. No intense pressure to look too groomed or too manicured, as the trimmed hedges of Wisteria Lane. 

So now, less than a week after I’m back, the intense pressure to look young, groomed, manicured has kicked in again. If Max Weber is still alive, he can perhaps have created a complementary thesis to the Protestant Ethic – something along the lines of The Beauty Ethics of Asian Girls and how they keep the beauty and cosmetic industry going in spite of recession. 

Whatever happened to aging gracefully? It now comes with the price tag of some deep-sea seaweed and some chemical laser applied to the face. Call it the application of Curious Case of Benjamin Button, if you will. The only regression that’s good today is one where you look younger even while getting older. 

I wonder when I should make an appointment with the derm.

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