Chai Talk: How much is too much?

Monday, August 08, 2016 The Desi Wonder Woman 14 Comments

The other day, I was talking with a friend about how some celebrities have altered their faces and while most of them look so good with the consistent edits/maintenance and practically do not age, we still ended our conversation with how all of that just feels like way too much for us to actually ever consider doing in our own lives.

Enhancing your face surgically or via other artificial methods like botox/fillers (I don't even know what else is out there now) just seems like a bit much.

But then it got me thinking about everything I do in my regular life with my own face and it got me wondering if I really do have the right to actually call anyone out on what they do with theirs when I myself try to enhance it everyday. Doing things like concealing pigmentation, making the eyes look bigger with eyeliner for example, plumping the eyelashes, hiding dark circles - there's so much nearly all of us do anyway to modify what we already have.

How does that make me different from someone who's resorting to a method that gives the same result but one that I may not be comfortable with? Aren't we all in the same boat, just with different ways of getting there?

Does that mean I appreciate artificial, surgical enhancement of one's looks? No. But after having questioned myself why, I don't really know the answer.

How is someone contouring their face everyday different from someone who actually gets the shape of their face surgically altered? How is someone who uses face creams everyday to 'fill in' their wrinkles different from someone who zaps them away entirely? How is someone using mascaras to add volume to their lashes on a daily basis different from someone who just gets eyelash extensions? Lip plumping glosses versus lip fillers? Color correcting concealers versus lasers to zap away your dark circles?

Aren't all kinds of enhancements/modifications whether temporary or permanent the same?

When I try to imagine the evils of all such doctor-supervised treatments, invasive or otherwise (like laser, fillers, etc) - they do appear more drastic especially if you're going under and they may definitely be life-threatening. Also, I know people say that with so much emphasis on the outside we create unrealistic expectations for women about how they should look, though that honestly has never been a challenge for me; I've never looked at a 40 year old celebrity who looks like she's 16 and thought that I wanted that. I only want to look my best however old I am and I do want my experience in life to show on my face. But I can understand that it may be an issue for other women.  

My question is how can I claim to have the higher ground by going on an anti-ageing skincare plan, for example, to reverse wrinkes (shamefully I still don't have one but I do want it), versus someone who gets rid of their lines through a specialist?

My personal motivation everyday is to use makeup to enhance some features a tiny bit and not alter them in a way that they appear unrecognizable once the makeup's off. I want my skin to look healthy and alive, while not necessarily caring if I end up with fine lines (I'm 32 so it's already happening and honestly that's okay). I'd love to look the best at all my ages but I don't want it to cannibalise into other parts of my life where I'm only googling how to freeze my face versus what movies to watch with my husband or what books to read in my off time.  I understand my regime and I'm comfortable with it and so it feels okay to me. 

However, someone who doesn't do all that, could easily find all of it artificial too, and conveniently give reasons to why everything I do currently is still not justified.

So how do you decide what's right and what's not? And how do you decide how much is too much?

14 comments :

  1. Now you've made me confused too :P I personally would also never touch my face and change anything. It's just a no go for me. I do feel doing the more invasive procedures enhances your face way more than any cream or any cosmetic can do so it actually does freeze your face and create unrealistic expectations like nothing else. Plus it feels like a bigger waste of money, money that you can spend on other good things like experiences or charities.

    p.s. I like how you question even yourself and never sound preachy.

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  2. We are no one to decide what's right and wrong or too much. Look, everyone wants to look beautiful, younger than thwir actual age or may be just want to stop the time where it is and it's their, yours, mine, and everyone's right. I think loving yourself is something that one should own freely. Justification shouldn't b the part of it, its your life, its your way of living so if someone is going for botox or any other treatment or like us we do makeup to enhance or alter our beauty is all acceptable.

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  3. Ufff. Such a mind killer chai discussion! Just recently my husband was talking about a Lebanese male friend mentioning that practically half of the female population there looks absolutely the same! Now that is so not cool! Would not one want to be different?!
    I definitely feel that when u start opting for invasive procedures to modify urself to reach a perception of "beauty" is prolly where it's too much. But u definitely have raised the valid point of everyone's definition of too much being different.

    From my point of view, anything u can restore back to its original shape is prolly OK. make up etc for me is just like u gain weight and then u work to reduce it. One does it for the esthetic appeal as well as health reasons. What ever makes u happy should be done! In the end, u should sleep at night with a content heart and feeling you.

    Btw, check Lisa Eldridge If you haven't yet. I love her approach to make up and the world of beauty!

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  4. I have been thinking for a while that maybe women are not the fairer sex after all. If we were, we wouldn't need makeup. Maybe men are the fairer sex, they go about without any makeup/enhancement (in most cases) and look presentable. Me on the other hand, if I leave the house without concealer, most people won't recognise me. Don't have the answer to how much is enough yet, but for myself, I try to take care of my skin and hair so that it would look borderline presentable. Most men in my life are of the opinion that women who wear too much make up are deceptive. I am with you on the fact that one should wear only so much make up which enhances and doesn't change the features. But what about people with scars or acne? so still an open debate I guess.

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  5. my position on this is Love Yourself. see you use makeup but at the end of the day when you take it off you are not horrified by what you see in the mirror you still think you are lovely. those who alter their faces surgically, they are unhappy with what they see everyday and even if they are not, they are not satisfied with how they are made.

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  6. I'd say permanent changes are too much. Although I agree makeup is artificial too,but won't you remove it by the end of the day or an event and eventually accept your own true self as it's created? it's all about accepting and appreciating that you have been created beautifully different than others. And then you can always flatter yourself with a little makeup ;)

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  7. Well I think every person has the right to do what makes them feel good...whether it be applying makeup or undergoing a surgical treatment. The extent where a person feel confident n can carry that look is what's right for them. I only use bb cream,a mascara,light blush on and a lip color n that's what I feel is enough for me (I could never learn how to apply proper makeup so I don't experiment on myself also don't have time n my husband is not a fan of too much makeup either) BUT I appreciate good makeup on others.

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  8. I'd say we're all in the same boat. Think WHY you do whatever little you do to enhance your looks, it's because we all want to look pretty. For ourselves, for others, for the world. Who cares? Some just feel the pressure more than others.
    I'd also add that beauty is different to everyone. I love grey hair and crows feet. May be you do too. But I know we both hate frizzy dry hair. So, we keep what we like, we take measures to correct what we don't like. And that's all there is to it.

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  9. I Would agree with a point that we all sail in the same boat.
    Striving hard to look glamorous , on screen celebs but they get paid for all this.
    For a normal middle class moving around individual its a waste to spend money on botox as it is not good for your skin , you have to get it done after a while , if i know make up is going to ruin my face in some years obviously I will stop using such MAKEUP products.
    Its great to look good and love yourself , And be not judgemental

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  10. I Would agree with a point that we all sail in the same boat.
    Striving hard to look glamorous , on screen celebs but they get paid for all this.
    For a normal middle class moving around individual its a waste to spend money on botox as it is not good for your skin , you have to get it done after a while , if i know make up is going to ruin my face in some years obviously I will stop using such MAKEUP products.
    Its great to look good and love yourself , And be not judgemental

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  11. In many ways we ARE all on the same boat, how is a girl who gets a breast augmentation different from one who is an A cup but wears Ultra padded bras to appear as a C cup? We all have insecurities and different ways to cover them up. The only difference is our masks comes off at night (with one thousand swipes of a makeup wipe) and someone who's resorted to permanent or semi permanent means of enhancing, gets to sleep with theirs on.

    And yes there are those who stay all natural and aspire to be comfortable in their own skin "flaws" and all (good for you bud) but even they use products (albeit all natural) to maintain their freshness and zap those zits.

    Wanting to look good (healthy) is human nature. People just have different ways and ideals of trying to do it.

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  12. To be honest, we are nobody to judge for whatever they do unless they harm us personally (in that case, we can just stop them or cut them off). If someone is enhancing his/her face through surgeries/makeup, that's non of our business and the way we don't like being judged for whatever we do, we don't want to do the same to others. Whatever people do with their face and body is totally their personal stuff and we shouldn't judge them. The whole point is, we all like ENHANCED stuff, let it be a random cup of chai being served in a beautiful mug or our face being dragged to an unwanted/desired meeting! If celebrities are enhancing through pigmentation and all, they can afford an expensive and less time consuming stuff. Let's take an example of wax and laser. It's both hair removal process but laser is done once in ages while wax is once a month. So it all depends on which way one follows. So the whole point is, we SHOULD NOT judge what others do just because their ways are different. If they like themselves that way, we should appreciate that instead of pointing our fingers :) Life is short, let's not waste time in judging what to judge and what not to judge :P ;)
    Good post though!

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  13. this is a very slippery slop lol but for me if I can take it off at the end of the day and still see the face God gave me, I'm okay.

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  14. Although this question is a total mind fuck due to which it has metaken me so much time to get back on, this is where I think I stand. What is important is the WHY rather than the WHAT ( concealer/contouring/botox/full-blown face lift etc ). If the purpose in your deepest of hearts is because you are truly unhappy and dysfunctional without covering up /enhancing your true self in one way or the other it is essentially unhealthy. To what extreme you take it is then a slippery slope and highly relative. If you are happy self-satisfied and confident individual who can face the world with your glasses/puffy hair/acne scars/wrinkles but ENJOY enhancing your looks then I feel like everything is game, here personal limits come into play but the end goal is healthy. I personally would not go under the knife/injections as I'm comfortable that my face shows the life I've lived but I immensely enjoy dressing up and putting on a full face of flawless makeup as it is a form of creativity and indulgence for me. Some people tell me I look better without makeup, some people say with but the wonderful thing is I do it because I enjoy it. Will keep evaluating self on same and come back if there are any radical thought changes :) <3

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