Thursday, 28 May 2009

Ponderings...from a boy! Views of a Beauty Bloggers Boyfriend #2

Once again, Steph has asked me to contribute my opinion on a subject that's important to her. In this case, it's something a little less trivial than a supposed talent contest for models, it's something pretty close to home. The thing is, Steph wants to undergo a cosmetic procedure to alter something about herself and this generates a number of issues.

As I'm sure all of the blog ladies may have already noticed, Steph's beautiful. I know that as the BF, I have to say it, but the thing is, its totally true. Every time I tell her this, I mean it, its never said lightly or without conviction.

So maintaining that this is the case, what could she possibly want to change about herself? She's convinced that she has a "double chin" which makes her look massively fat around the face. I say this with no fear of reprisal as she would doubtless tell you herself. In order to correct this "flaw," her mother has offered to pay for a surgical treatment to bring in her jawline a bit and make her face look thinner (Steph: in layman's terms, its lipo under the chin).

The subject of fairly constant debate, the procedure now looks likely to go ahead in the near future and it still has us divided. On the one hand, I'm supposed to support her in whatever she chooses to do (and in fairness, i pretty much do) but upon the other, why should somebody so pretty have to change? I look at her and see a beautiful person (not some idealised version of her mind you, i see her in her jammies at 8 at night eating nasty rustler burgers and the occasional belch also makes an appearance! Steph: Cant believe you wrote that Fras!The only reason I'm not taking that out is because i told you i wouldn't censor anything you wrote. swine! ) who shouldn't for a second think she has to change. I can't fathom why she would want to change yet she has her heart set on it.

This to me is a sad indictment of the values i discussed in the last guest post i did. Everybody today seems to strive for some unattainable ideal that is constantly forced upon them by a media based around selling things to an unwitting public. We strive to look perfect but more than likely never will. Some of us are unfortunate enough to have people in our lives who reinforce negative views of ourselves either to make themselves feel better or to assert their superiority. Sadly for Steph, the person who seems to fit this role most readily is her mum. Though I'm certain she loves her daughter and that is not in question here, I frequently see her failing to show the appropriate support a parent should. Rather than the unconditional support one might expect, steph's mum frequently undermines her confidence and fails to see just how fantastic a daughter she's lucky enough to have (Steph: Id partly agree with this. Lets just say my Mum and I don't have the most straight forward relationship)

Unfortunately, many people are all too quick to buy into the opinions of others, no matter how damaging they may be and this can lead to an unhealthy desire for change or "self improvement." Glossy style magazines and media images of "perfection" are only reinforcing this and moulding the minds of malleable young women the length of the country. Why aren't people quicker to embrace diversity and learn to love things about themselves that others do? And why do we so readily fixate on our flaws, discounting the excellent qualities we doubtless possess that outweigh them?

Is that what is happening here? A media enforced desire for change? Or a deeper insecurity being nourished over time to the point where its unmanageable?

Personally, I see no reason for my girlfriend to change. I think she's just awesome the way she is, and wouldn't change her for the world. I find it difficult to reconcile this idea with how she feels about herself and can only hope that something so radical will bring her the peace of mind she seeks. So long as the television and magazines keep telling us not to have that peace of mind, it only becomes more difficult and really only a matter of time until something else is wrong...


  1. Gosh...I don't know what to say. To be honest, I can sit on the fence and see both sides here...Steph, you are undoubtedly BEAUTIFUL, and I'm NOT just saying that. You have found a gem in your boyfriend, he clearly thinks the world of you, so treasure that and appreciate he says nice things about you because they are true. Personally, I have honestly, hand on heart, never even noticed this double chin, and I'm pretty observant (I have about 20 chins in some pictures)...however, from your point of view, I totally understand disliking something about yourself so much that it ebbs away at your confidence, and it becomes all you can see and focus on when you look at yourself. I think undergoing a cosmetic procedure to correct what you perceive as a flaw could go one of two could totally remove what you see as a fat double chin and you'll be 100% confident...or you could find something else that you dislike to the same degree, and a vicious cycle could begin. I don't necessarily think that looking in magazines at pictures of models etc is going to make the blindest bit of difference to how YOU feel about your 'flaw', but I do understand how your boyfriend is trying to rationalise your thoughts/actions. All I can say is, whatever you decide, make sure it is a VERY well informed decision, don't make it lightly, and Steph, you really are naturally beautiful :) x x x

  2. Hmm it's a difficult one this, because like you Steph my mum has always been very critical especially when it comes to looks. And its hard to be fully confident and happy with yourself when your own mum sees the negative rather than reinforcing the positive, i think it stays with you at least it does with me. You ARE gorgeous Steph, you DEFINITELY dont need surgery (and wow dont you have the lovliest boyfriend!!) But it will make no difference with others telling you that you need to believe it when i figure out a way to do that i'll let you know ha! xxx

  3. Wow - First of all, this is such an amazing post - Your boyfriend is clearly very articulate and you clearly mean the world to him. I can also understand both points of view here... But I have to say, I have definitely never ever noticed this "double chin" - Steph, you are a naturally beautiful woman, and you really shouldn't make this decision lightly. I think you rock just the way you are!

  4. Steph, your boyfriend sounds like an amazingly supportive person. Don't let that go! First of all, I can understand why you feel the way you do. I had people in my family that constantly commented on my weight. I remember being in the 5th grade with my aunt pinching my arms telling me that they were too big! 5th grade?! It got so bad one time where I was at a party where i had a baby doll shirt on and my own mother told me I looked pregnant! I was in tears and told her how it made me feel and it all stopped. I still think about it to this day. I'm new to your blog, and have looked at all your pictures and I really do not see a double chin. Sometimes how we perceive ourselves isn't how others see us. You are gorgeous and I'm not just saying that in an attempt to get you to not get the procedure done. I say to do what is going to make you truly happy. Just ask yourself these questions: Is this the only thing I want to get done? Am I truly doing it for myself? What influenced me to make this decision?

    Like the previous comment, I'd hate for this to be something that you turn to again later on. You are a beautiful person but if this procedure is the missing link to your peak of happiness and confidence, then go for it. Just make sure you're doing it for YOU and not to look like what's in the media.

    Oh, and thanks for the nice words in that last post! It's really one of the nicest gestures ever!

  5. The thing is as a boyfriend of course you think your girl is beautiful, mine tells me i look amazing when i am sick with no makeup and dirty hair. I am all for cosmetic procedures within reason. A lot of my female family members have gone under the knife and they dont regret it one bit. Sometimes you just need something to make you feel fresh with a new view on life. My aunt got the bags under her eyes removed that have been hampering her self confidence for years and now she is an extremely confidant happy person. My sisters both got breast augmentations and my cousin got hers made the same size. Its all about doing it for yourself and not for anyone one else. Hope that makes sense :) but btw steph you are really pretty!! :) but if its something you think about everyday and you think it will make you feel better inside then go for it.

  6. Wow, Steph your obviously the funny one in the relationship! this is serious writing! (Kidding Fras, i'm sure your a scream!)

    Seriously though (I do, do serious) I dont think I could add much more to your followers comments. I have never noticed your double chin, just your flawless skin, your beautiful eyes and your crackin figure (when you show it off).

    I could never tell someone not to go through with a procedure as I know myself if you are unhappy with something then it needs to be done for oneself. All I can say is to dig deep down and figure out if you would be doing this for yourself (an obvious statement but I agree).

    I know that no women (or man for that matter) will never be fully content with themselves.

    Spidermonkey. (I know, it doesn't count!)