I recently finished The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and was so enraptured by it, that I also caught the movie starring Ben Barnes (Why was.HE cast??). I am still under the spell of the book – enchanted for life I think. For the uninitiated (and please change this status immediately!), the story deals with this young, beautiful man who wishes eternal youth while his magnificent painting (or rather, his soul) takes the brunt of time and age. The movie was a downer as it dealt more with the sexual debauchery that Gray descends into rather than the dwellings of mind that are so typical of Wilde.
Well… It raised a question. A very interesting question and I am hoping for varied answers.
How important is looking good and young to you personally? How much of your confidence or self-esteem is derived from your external attributes? I know, we wax poetic about our inner selves and what we feel, think and do blah blah is what counts. And I agree – in the end that is what deserves the spotlight. But isn’t there some tiny corner of our mind that really LIKES being beautiful and perfect on the outside? I know that corner very well!
I will be candid and say that I LIKE being relatively good-looking and feel lucky to have inherited the slim genes. All said and done, that bit of charm and flirting has really made life easy. Recent health issues played havoc with my face and I panicked! For the first time, I was self-conscious and lost my confidence, even though the world didn’t notice the imperfections. But I noticed! I saw every eruption and scar. And it disturbed me. Thankfully, I didn’t end up with a bunch of useless cosmetics (yay for common sense!) but I did start observing my face a lot closely and realized that this youth is temporary. Eventually, I may reach out for some magical youth serum and try to contain time. Maybe I won’t have the same paranoia about weight gain as fitness is what matters to me – diet and exercise. Again, maybe! I don’t know for sure.
Some of you may think of “how shallow!” Even I cursed myself for being affected by something external and so temporary. But it made a dent on me. I admit it. Hey! Even Beauty fell for the Prince – she was just friendly with the Beast he used to be. And then, I look around and I see inspiration. People who haven’t let their weight, their face or their bodies affect them! But I also understood that they had their moments of doubts and it was a long fight to accept themselves. Maybe one day I too will shake this self-doubt off successfully. But again, I don’t see anything WRONG in taking care of myself!
Although, I definitely won’t present my soul on the devil’s altar in exchange for eternal youth.
So tell me, world. How important is/was your youthful perfection to you? Given a choice, would you – like Dorian – opt for eternal youth and beauty? Turn back the time for every wrinkle without affecting your experiences or is that wrinkle a souvenir of a life well lived?
My fastest ever post (eight minutes) was brought to you by Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is very/vary.