Different cosmetic and plastic surgeries are available and many people opt for them to feel more attractive. When will it be enough for us to feel good about ourselves? Join Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen in this interesting conversation about why people change the way they look to feel accepted by society and how it affects their lives. In a world where people buy new cars, obtain fancy material things, and perfect body shapes, it has become easy to feel insecure and take drastic measures to live up to the pressure. Jason and Whitney discuss what the temptation of plastic surgery implies to our society—from ageism to the beauty standards that we create.

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Examining Physical Insecurity And The Temptation Of Plastic Surgery

I have seriously considered plastic surgery 2 or 3 times in my life. I want to qualify our topic on this episode by describing my thought process and emotional compass toward the consideration of plastic surgery throughout my life, which hasn’t been a thought in quite some time. When I was younger, I was relentlessly teased about my nose. I feel like my whole life has had a pretty unusual-looking nose. My nostrils are pretty big, all things considered. I have had my nose broken badly one time. That was another time that I thought about getting plastic surgery. In addition to being relentlessly teased about my nose to the point where one ex-girlfriend I had in high school had an ongoing joke referring to me as Pumbaa, the warthog from the Lion King, which was cute at first until she wouldn’t let it go and then it started to get annoying.

No amount of plastic surgeries are ever going to get you what you really deeply want in life. Click To Tweet

It was also one of those things that were my entire childhood between probably the ages of 7 and 17 that 10-year period. I don’t want to make a sweep in general. Many kids are cruel. I was relentlessly teased over having unusual. They certainly had much less kind things to say. When I was playing basketball in high school, I broke it pretty badly and still have a bump on the bridge from that breakage. That was another time I was like, “I have been teased for years and now my nose is badly broken. This might be the time to finally get a nose job AKA rhinoplasty.” Long story short, I have never had plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery in my life even though I strongly considered it as a child and a teenager.

This leads me to an interesting article that Whitney and I have been perusing. It’s called a Zoom Boom. This is the thing I had never heard about. At a time of a global pandemic, apparently, people looking at their faces on Zoom calls and Skype calls. I suppose looking at their perceived imperfections for a longer time than they ever have has led to a pretty startling spike in cosmetic surgery procedures. There’s an interesting article on Refinery 29.

MGU 245 | Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery: The thing that’s going to make you feel your best is to work on yourself on the inside, because nothing on the outside is going to solve what you’re feeling upset about.

 

It talks a lot about how people have become more self-conscious or it has made their self-consciousness more acute as a result of staring at their faces. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this article and talking about it, I want to just share a little bit about my experience and why I didn’t choose to have plastic surgery. The reason that I didn’t choose to ultimately get a nose job is social media comments aside, I found that as I grew up, people were less cruel, less pointing out my nose and its purported unusualness.

After college, no one seemed to comment, give a crap or at least not say anything verbally. That was one part of it. The other part of it was like, “I was born with this. My nose is kind of unusual in terms of length and proportion but it makes me unique and part of who I am. Why do I want to change it and look like everyone else with a cute button nose?” We get into beauty standards which we have talked about many times in many previous episodes. We have talked about the cruel and oppressive beauty standards in Western culture that start to make everyone want to look the same. I even remember doing pictures where I would manipulate my nose to how I wanted it to look and like, “Maybe I can show this to the surgeon.”

I realized that if I went through with it, it would take away one or more distinct and unique features of my body. In doing so, what is the point? Do I want to fit in? Do I want to look like everyone else? Is this a trauma response to the cruelty I experienced as a child? What is the reason I’m going to go and pay for this surgery? For me, I realized it was a combination of like, “If I start to look like everyone else, then no one is ever going to tease me ever again.” It’s almost like a protective mechanism against receiving cruelty from people and their comments.

The second thing was, “Maybe I’m not lovable with this nose. Maybe this nose makes me ugly. Maybe if I’m ugly, no one is going to love me and want to be with me.” It took me a long time to overcome those feelings. I ultimately landed in a spot where it was like, “This is my nose. I was born with this nose. I’m going to die with this nose. If people don’t like it, screw them.” That’s where I’ve got to. I feel good. If I reflect on my attitude as a teenager and early twenties something around it, I’m grateful that I arrived at a point where I have accepted it. I love it. People don’t point it out anymore. We have talked about that tactic sometimes of pointing things out like perceived flaws in our body so other people won’t comment. I employed that strategy for years too of when I was doing standup comedy and joking that I was the love child of Gonzo the Muppet and Gérard Depardieu, which got people to laugh.

I’m going to self-immolate and point out my “weird nose” before anyone else does so they can’t be cruel to me. I stopped doing that too. The whole point is this article is interesting because I think it begs the question of, “How do we handle insecurities in our life?” How do we handle physical insecurities specifically with this article? These millions of people getting plastic surgery, it talks about how through Zoom and social media beyond notoriously awkward angles and bad lighting, it says, “We witnessed our faces taking shapes we have never seen before. Our expressions on digital media exposing unfamiliar lines, folds and asymmetry.” What is wrong with unfamiliar lines, folds and asymmetries.

I want to be kind because I don’t want to say plastic surgery is wrong. I also don’t want to judge anyone who’s chosen that in their life but the underlying thing is what is wrong with asymmetry or imperfection? I remember shaving my beard off at one point in the pandemic and I noticed that I have more fat under my chin. I have more of a double chin than I have ever had. I have also talked in previous episodes and this might be like me calling myself out but my desire to regrow my hair and insecurities around my hair loss in my mid-40s. I’m the one to judge because if I ended up going and getting a hair transplant, I’m getting cosmetic surgery too.

I’m not here to judge anyone. That is not the purpose of what we do on this show but it does offer a critical examination of why people are feeling so insecure after spending several months on Zoom and social media. What is it about us collectively in Western culture that we simply struggle to accept ourselves for the way that we are? A) I’m curious how you felt reading this article, B) I don’t think I have ever asked you this in our entire friendship. Have you ever thought about having plastic or cosmetic surgery for yourself?

Real liberation is to stop ourselves from being overly concerned with what other people think of us. Click To Tweet

I don’t recall off the top of my head. I thought about it more from my waistline. I was curious what would it be like to do liposuction. Do people still do that?

They do lipo but now, there’s apparently a new technique where they freeze the fat, which is also referenced in this article. Liposuction is where they stick the tube in. If you have ever seen a video of liposuction, it looks brutal. It gives me the heebie-jeebies watching it. Now there’s a cool sculpt fat freezing technique that I believe is an alternative to liposuction. I know nothing about it.

I remember hearing about that and think. For my body, there have been areas that I have wanted to change and have not changed through diet and exercise. There are two elements. One of these is there’s the quick fix of, “I don’t want to diet and exercise so I’m going to do these things.” Some people are trying a lot, nothing seems to be working and they feel frustrated so they resort to that. For me, it has been a combination of both. I don’t usually mind changing the way that I eat but it can be challenging. I would certainly found that hard in 2020. Coming off of the strict keto diet and being more relaxed. I have had moments of wanting to eat low carb or lower carb, found it challenging and frustrating that it was challenging.

My desire to eat certain foods, the “weaknesses” of, “I’m going to ‘give in’ and eat these other foods.” That has been tough for me mostly because we are so in diet culture and I have had a disordered eating experience for most of my life. A lot of that has floated around in my head and I have found exercise does not make a very noticeable difference in my body aside from some toning. It hasn’t helped me majorly in shaping my body in the way that I want, which is interesting because for so many years I kept hearing like, “If you just do these exercises you will get these results.” I would do those exercises, be very consistent and not get those results. I would feel shame. The temptation to do something more extreme like surgery, injections or all of these different options out there. BBLs are popular. They are called Brazilian butt lifts.

It’s a fat transfer operation where they take fat from certain parts of your body and inject it into your butt. They will take it from like your stomach. I could be completely wrong. I will all have to look this up behind the scenes. It’s supposed to add volume to the butts and give it a tighter, more lifted look, which a lot of women want. We have talked about the Kardashian’s impact on beauty culture and I think they made that very popular. I have been examining how there are some cultural appropriations from people like Kim Kardashian. She seems to get her inspiration from black women.

It’s possible based on a lot of black women’s body shapes and styles that have been appropriated. Now white women and non-black women want to look like black women, which is fascinating. I saw another piece about BBLs, lipo contouring. Women are going to all sorts of facilities around the world to get plastic surgery and operations done. I saw a post on TikTok about how it’s so prevalent in Miami. They are running out of Percocet and pain medication because so many people are going to Miami to get those surgeries done.

Not only are they running low on medications but they can’t keep up with the demand. They are trying to so it’s becoming riskier because they are just churning through all these people. They are not fully getting the recovery that they need because it’s so painful. They can’t sit. I have also seen videos of people traveling to different countries to get these surgeries done and not being able to sit on the flight back. They have to hover over the seat on the flight home because it’s too much pain for them to sit down or lean backward over the chair.

When I see things like that, I do have some judgment around it because I feel sad. My sadness feels like a judgment in the sense that people are going to such lengths to change their bodies. There’s this element of believing like, “It’s a person’s right to decide what they do to their bodies.” Some people take it to great length. Some people just do small changes and we all have our different opinions about what that looks like. In fact, the more I think about this, I have noticed on social media, a lot of talk around this in the series finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Khloé Kardashian talked about her nose job publicly for the first time from my understanding.

MGU 245 | Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery: Some people experience bullying and try to reduce the emotional suffering in their lives by changing something that they’re being targeted for.

 

I saw a clip of this reality star Heidi Montag from The Hills and Laguna Beach. There was a clip of when she got the surgery done and her mom’s reaction to it. I have seen a lot of different people in the age range of the late mid-20s to 30s and beyond, how sometimes they get this work done and the public doesn’t receive it well. It’s one thing if you are personally very satisfied with it but I guess that you are not doing it for yourself. This is my personal question. I’m trying not for it to be judgy but I don’t understand why you would get work done on your body for yourself only genuinely? Perhaps you might have another reflection on this because of what you went through and the pain of it. That to me is part of this conversation too.

It’s not just like, “I want to look like someone else. I want to alter myself a little bit because I see other people doing it.” That’s certainly a big element but you pointed out more of the bullying side. We might have been addressed this in the episode we did about Khloé Kardashian. She’s experienced a lot of bullying. I could see why someone is trying to reduce the emotional suffering in their life by changing something that they are being targeted for. I think that’s an important element to address here because it’s not always superficial as, “I want to look different.” There might be some deep trauma involved and maybe that’s at the core of everybody’s decision. It’s very nuanced in that sense where there are a lot of different motivations going on but coming back to my question of, whether or not you are truly doing it for yourself and what does that mean?

“Are you doing that because you have experienced trauma and are trying to escape it?” My next question is, “Do you escape trauma by changing the way that you look?” There’s the element of, “Are you trying to adhere to beauty standards?” That feels never-ending. I personally see someone like Khloé Kardashian and it feels to me like she’s constantly trying to change because she’s never satisfied partially because of the trauma or maybe mainly because of the trauma. Also, because she’s creating these beauty standards as much as she’s experiencing them. It’s never going to end. There are always going to shift in our beauty standards. I think that’s one of the big benefits of getting older. In my stage of life, I can look back and see how much standards have shifted throughout my lifetime.

I can also historically look at how much they have shifted in our society and understand that changing myself right now doesn’t mean that I will be satisfied in the future and this is true of anything. You can change yourself to try to please the current standards but by the time you change, the standards could have changed, and then you have to change again. You are constantly trying to catch up with something when at the root, I believe that the thing that’s going to make you feel your best is to work on yourself on the inside. Nothing on the outside is going to solve what you are feeling upset about on the inside. It’s easier said than done. That’s why we are bringing this up on the show because mental health could be at the root of a lot of people wanting to change themselves.

When we are talking with our guest, Kelly, her episode will come out soon, this came up on the show about our personal responsibility or lack thereof to be a role model. I see both sides to it. I see that there is some empowerment side to showing off your body. Kim Kardashian says that sometimes she just wants to wear a bikini and she doesn’t care how other people perceive it because she feels good wearing the bikini and taking those photos that way.

I’m all for people expressing themselves but I also doubt my head whenever I hear things like that because I don’t know if it’s as easy as saying, “I’m doing it for myself.” When there’s so much psychologically going on in society that’s pressuring us to look and show up in a certain way, I don’t fully believe that most people have the mental awareness to know their reasons. I believe from my current perspectives on social media that if you are posting something publicly, it’s not like an empowerment thing. At some level to me, it’s a need for validation. You want somebody to reflect on the empowerment that you feel and confirm that you are as sexy as you feel in that moment. I can only speak for myself, personal experiences and research. I’m willing to be wrong on that. I have doubts. I don’t believe at this current time that people change their appearance just for themselves.

You said you had an idea. I don’t know if you were seriously considering it but what has made you not choose to pursue the idea of liposuction or the cool sculpt to the fat freezing stuff? Much like I, at some point was like, “I’m not getting a nose job. I’m over it.” I realized that I didn’t want to do that, to your point, once I understood why I wanted to do it. For me, if I go into the trauma of not being good enough, being ashamed of, “Jason’s different and therefore, he’s bad so let’s tease him,” unpacking that mentally helped me to get over the desire to go and get surgery. You haven’t gone in to do any of these procedures you mentioned. Since we are talking about mentally unpacking this, awareness and the motivation of what drives us to consider these things with our own self-awareness, what have you found and why have you not done it?

The cons outweigh the pros for me, meaning this is a complicated decision to make. First of all, surgery is dangerous. I have been under anesthesia and “knife” for health-related reasons. It’s an unpleasant experience for anyone that’s experienced anesthesia. I personally do not like any of it. Being in a hospital has been unpleasant for me. There are a lot of recoveries. If you dig into what the process is like, it seems very unpleasant. It seems to me from my surface-level awareness because what I know about things like that are from a few articles, posts on social media, TV shows I have watched of all of this, I’m sure there’s so much more to it. It reminds me of what I have heard about childbirth where a lot of women say, “I had no idea what pregnancy and childbirth were going to be like until it happened. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”

That is what I would guess a lot of these procedures would be. You hear a lot of the highlights of it. People showing you their after-photos but not enough people talk about what the procedures and recovery period are like. That doesn’t sound appealing to me. I also think that deep down and this also ties into my decisions around wearing less makeup and not dying my hair as it slowly goes gray, I recognize that I don’t need to do those things because I’m not doing those things for myself. To be clear, ultimately most things we do, are for ourselves in the sense that when we do something for other people, it’s ultimately about us getting validation, which makes us feel better.

I want to clarify that sure, in a way it is for yourself but I have an issue with the fact that it impacts other people along the way. In that, if I dye my hair, instead of letting it naturally go gray, not only am I doing that to feel prettier and younger. I’m fitting into the beauty standards but I’m also in a way telling other women that I’m ashamed of my gray hair by subtly saying that, then maybe that woman thinks that she should feel ashamed of her gray hair. I take that very seriously because I notice how I react to women who are confident about their gray hair. I feel permission. I get excited to see women who don’t wear makeup, who have a similar body shape as mine and they feel confident about it. That lights me up.

I want to play a role in that. I feel excited to see women that don’t get work done on their face. When I see an actress, who looks like she’s aging, I feel relief versus an actress who is losing a ton of weight suddenly. Celebrities, when they highlight, “It’s so and so lost so much weight.” That ultimately gives me a bad feeling because then I think, “Maybe I should lose weight.” When I see a woman getting work done or wearing a ton of makeup and spending so much time on how she looks, I want to back away from that person. I don’t feel drawn into them but a woman that’s proud about her herself, I lean into it. I get excited about it. It evokes this comforting, secure feeling within me.

You are constantly trying to change because you’re never satisfied. You’re creating these beauty standards that’s never going to end. Click To Tweet

That is also a reminder to me that deep down inside I don’t care about how I look. I have felt like I needed to care because of the societal structure that I have been living in. Most of the time, I don’t even think about my appearance. I think about my appearance that I’m going to be around other people. That’s part of this article from Refinery 29 is how being on Zoom people are presented with themselves so much. Here’s the other thing. With my awareness, I started to pay attention to how I felt looking at other people. For example, I had a Zoom with some clients and we are talking about video content. I was advising them on a strategy.

One of their reactions was, “If we are going to be on camera, maybe we should get some Botox. I’ve got to put on some lipstick.” It wasn’t until they said that I even looked at them from that lens. The whole time I was looking at these women, I was thinking about how lovely their personalities were truly. I took a numb a little bit. They looked pretty, a certain age but I wasn’t sitting there thinking about exactly how old they are or their weight in a detailed way. I took it in but I didn’t sit there and go, “She’s this thin or this large.” I wasn’t thinking about her makeup and her clothes, all of these things that I think about myself.

I imagine that most human beings think about all these little details. We know the wrinkles on our face, our laugh lines and, whether or not we are wearing lipstick and this makeup. We know all those details because we are putting them on. We are looking in the mirror and we know ourselves more than anyone else but I am willing to bet that most people have similar experiences I do when they go on Zoom. When they see each other at events, they take in somebody briefly physically. Most of the time they are thinking about how that person makes them feel emotional.

The more I have become aware of that, the more ease in which I can go through my life, recognizing that what’s most important to me in my entire life, no matter how old I am in the way people feel about around me and about me, which I don’t fully have control over. That makes so much more of an impact than how I look. Lastly, it’s sad how much time I have observed other women and men spend focusing on being attractive. It’s disturbing if you step back and examine it because we only have so much control over how attractive we are. There’s only so much that we can do. It’s ultimately nowhere near as powerful to us as human beings as our personalities. All that said, anytime I start feeling bad about my appearance and wanting to change it if I can ground myself in that awareness, it centers me in the fact that I don’t want to spend as much time worrying about that as I do about wanting to take good care of myself and the people around me on an emotional level.

I flashed on a few experiences that I have had over the years with women that I have dated who have had some experiences with surgery and also with feeling the need to present in a certain way at all times. You talk about the emotional, psychological dynamics of all this, which to me is absolutely the most interesting part to unpack around all of this, the pressures, standards and why people choose to do these surgeries? Why do we do anything we do? Buy the shoes, clothes, wear your hair a certain way. I have tattoos and I have had many piercings over the years that I have put in and taken out. There are a lot I want to unpack here quickly.

I remember the first time I wanted to get a tattoo before I get into some of the experiences with previous partners. Some of the reviews we have had on the podcast have referred to me being as judgmental. I’m a human being. I get judgmental sometimes. For me, it’s an awareness of, “Maybe I am being judgmental.” I say that to the preface of some people might be like, “You guys are dissecting people who choose to have cosmetic surgery but Jason you have had eight piercings and covered in tattoos. Isn’t that cosmetic enhancement?” One could potentially look at it that way. Wasn’t your skin in your body good enough? Why would you get all these tattoos?

With a tattoo conversation, part of it is that I remember growing up, being a teenager, looking at bands, rock stars and different people who had tattoos and saying, “That looks cool. I want to be like them.” Could that have been out of my not-enoughness? Maybe I’m looking at people like Dennis Rodman and Axl Rose. They have cool tattoos. I want those too. Part of it was I’m a young man. I thought tattoos looked badass and the whole ethos around them. It wasn’t that I looked at my body necessarily when you look bad without tattoos. It was more of an aspirational thing where I saw other people with tattoos and thought, “That looks cool. I want that.”

That was my whole motivation for getting tattoos. To go back to this idea of what I have experienced with girlfriends that have had plastic surgery, I have dated two women that had breast augmentation or breast implants. With one in particular, I was there with her pre and post-surgery, which was an interesting thing to not only be there for her recovery and witness that whole process but how it changed her demeanor after the surgery, what it did to her personality, which was interesting.

What I witnessed in a change in her demeanor and how she presented to the world after her surgery was, I don’t know if I want to call it confidence or cockiness but there was a certain element around her that was like, “My breasts are different now.” The attention she got was different. I saw how men and women reacted to her differently and how it changed the arc of her modeling career. It was interesting to see psychologically what it did to her but then how people reacted to her differently after she had the breast augmentation.

I bring this up because there has been a fascinating movement of ex-plant stories on social media. I have seen a lot of women who have had breast implants for decades choosing to get them removed and having ex-plant surgery. Talking about how once they healed their relationship to their perception of themselves, they realize they didn’t want these pieces of plastic in their body anymore. You talk about the cons outweighing the pros. They realize that when they received this surgery, opted for it, they were very much in an insecure place as a younger woman, wanting attention, money, career opportunities. The size, shape and volume of their breasts gave them these different opportunities and attention, whether that was modeling, acting.

One of my acquaintances I have was an adult film star at one point and they are like, “I don’t want these in my body. My sense of self hasn’t tied to these things anymore.” They feel like they are poisoning them. If you look up ex-plant surgery, the stories these women are sharing of the emotional psychological process of getting their breast implants removed is moving in a lot of cases. To talk about the level of healing they have gone through psychologically and how they perceive their sense of self-worth to the point they are like, “I don’t want these in my body anymore.” It’s beautiful to witness their stories and their willingness to share that. I’m noticing a ton of women on Instagram and TikTok, maybe it’s just my feed and a lot of the women that I have been acquaintances with are choosing to do this but I think it’s wonderful that they’ve gotten to the point of the psychological healing of themselves where they are like, “I don’t need this to feel good about myself anymore.” That seems to be one of the themes I have noticed in these processes.

MGU 245 | Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery: You can change yourself to try to please the current standards. But by the time you change, the standards could have changed, and you’re constantly trying to catch up with something.

 

I have also noticed one video, in particular, there was this girl on TikTok coming at it from a little bit of a different lens around pretty privilege and how she used to be on the larger side physically. When she lost weight, she noticed how different people treated her. It was fascinating to watch. I imagine that on some level she’s benefiting from pretty privilege but first of all why is she any prettier at a different weight? That to me is sad because she’s the same person. Hasn’t she always been pretty? Are you only pretty when you are smaller in size? That’s a huge issue that we have.

In fact, I have heard numerous people talking about how women have been encouraged to be small in a lot of different ways, small in age, body size, height. There are a lot of fixation on women being shorter than men and the pressure that puts on men and women, and all these different factors about being small, playing small, which often equates to being weak and how much emphasis we put on just being a small as you possibly can be. Don’t take up a lot of room. This girl is talking about how different people have treated her and how she used to just be ignored. Now she gets attention. A lot of people are aware of that. I think about it as I age too. I haven’t had a chance to majorly notice but in 2020 my awareness around age has shifted a lot.

Maybe that’s because I have spent more time on social media and TikTok, especially there are a lot of fears around age, as I get older if I will start getting less attention. I think about that sometimes when I’m around men at grocery stores, for example, or wherever else I would interact with strangers. There will be moments where I’m like, “Will I feel sad if men stop paying less attention to me? Why does it matter? Why do I even need that?” I don’t need some random guy catcalling me. I have never liked guys asking me for my number. It’s one of the most uncomfortable things ever. In a way, I think it’s something to look forward to. I would kind of prefer not to have that attention but it’s the fear and losing power.

I’m also reading a book about ageism. There were a couple of points from that book I wanted to share. It’s called This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. At the beginning of the book, the author asks, “Was I driven by fear of losing my looks of growing frail of my own mortality? Wouldn’t I be better off making my peace over time than waging a battle no one could ever win?” That specifically is about ageism but that point about waging a battle no one could ever win goes back to what I said where no number of surgeries are ever going to get you what you deeply want, in my opinion. The Refinery 29 article says that, “People may feel more confident and it might be life-changing not to think about certain features anymore,” but then you have to pause on the word life-changing. I don’t think that is appropriate because it’s not going to change your whole life. It will be there on some level of consciousness in your mind and anyone’s mind that knew previously or sees old photos of you but your body is going to continue to change. It truly is a battle that you are never going to “win” from the outside but I do think that you can “win” from the inside if you do that inner work to accept yourself.

There was a quote at the beginning of the book that I love. It brought me peace. It said, “We contain all of the ages we have ever been.” That was said by Anne Lamott. I loved that because it allowed me to reflect on the privilege that we have to age, all the experiences that we have and all the internal sweetness, memories, knowledge that we contain that no one can possibly see from the outside. If we spend all that time focused on the outside what do we miss out on, the time that you spend at the gym beyond what is good for maintaining your health? If you are obsessed with being at the gym and you are there for hours, what else is going on outside the gym that you perhaps could be experiment experiencing? Is it the time that you spend worrying about food versus savory and the food on your plate, the times that you spend saying no to certain things because you are afraid of the calories, fat or carbs?

I still am very drawn to low-carb eating. I have done a lot of research on the brain and mental health benefits of higher fats. I think for me as Whitney Lauritsen, there’s a benefit to it. That’s why I choose to continue eating high fat, low-carb foods but I don’t deny myself higher carb foods if I want them. I let my intuition guide me. Will I find joy in that food? My point is I have learned to go where the joy is not go where the obsession is. I would like to contain many ages in my life and be able to look back on all of the amazing things I have experienced. I don’t want to be whatever age I am at the end of my life wishing that I did more versus focused so much on my appearance because it’s going to continue to change and the world is going to continue to change no matter what I do. It feels like a race that I will never cross the finish line on so I would rather just enjoy the walk.

Years ago someone said to me, “No one is winning any awards for being the prettiest corpse.” We have a collective obsession with youth, longevity and some people are obsessed with mortality. We have also covered that topic in previous episodes of the technology that’s emerging of downloading our consciousness into alternate bodies like Avatar. The question is, “Why?” You talked about power and to generalize, women in our culture are given power based on their level of attractiveness. Men are typically given power based on their ability to dominate and make money. A lot of businesses and industries exist to give people a sense of safety, power, status. In many ways, it’s sort of coalescing, don’t you think? If we go back to our origins of living in small agrarian tribal societies with only a few dozen or maybe at the most, a couple of hundred people that we ever know in our lifetime, we have talked about this.

Changing the way you look will not erase your trauma. Click To Tweet

I often wonder what the dynamics sociologically were with hierarchy and comparison in those kinds of human civilization setups versus now that we have access to comparing ourselves to billions of people on our devices, which is cerebrally speaking very unnatural to do. How can we shed the idea that to be powerful and worthy of the life we have to be attractive, earn a ton of money, be surrounded by a ton of fancy material things?

At the end of the day, to your point, this is all a very slippery slope because how many things, how much power, status, money, many followers, surgeries does it take for a person to finally feel good about themselves? In many cases, maybe it’s never enough. That’s why probably we have a lot of the very toxic consumerist behavior that we have where it’s just, “Consume.” The question is, if we focus on the inner healing I wonder, “How much of the desire to do have and change these things in our lives would diminish?” As we begin to love, accept and know ourselves, the desire to have these things, change our bodies and have these surgeries if that proportionately goes down, maybe it does.

I find that for me and I can only speak for myself that the more I do the work to accept myself the difficult parts, the parts I have hated for a long time and been resisting loving, the less that I feel the need to have externalized things define who I am. Be that changing my nose completely, going to the gym and gaining all these muscles so I can feel powerful as a man because that’s the image of masculinity in our society this big ripping muscular figure or having an expensive house and car because you have made it now. Good job human man in America. You have done well. There’s a real liberation in healing ourselves and truly stopping ourselves in the process of being overly concerned with what other people think of us. This is not easy work. This is very difficult work.

I’m grateful to be feeling a deeper sense of liberation, not completely liberated by any stretch at all from those things as I go on in age. I feel freer and not as shackled to those things as I did when I was younger. With that being said, we are curious about your feedback and perspective on all this, dear reader. Have you had plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery? How do you feel about it now? How has that changed your life emotionally, spiritually, physically?

How do you see people responding to you? We are curious because this is always an exploration. We also have a great Patreon account. We have some amazing people supporting us there. For our new patrons, thank you for your financial and energetic support, which has allowed us to birth a new show called This Hits The Spot, where we are bringing you our favorite new products, services, books, research, TV shows the things that Whitney and I are excited about. When you sign up for our Patreon account or subscribe to our newsletter, you get access to our private show, This Hits The Spot. With that being said, we appreciate your readership, reviews on Apple podcasts, DMs, emails, feedback, all of the interaction and messages you have sent us. Thank you so much for your support, your readership and great communication. We will be back with another episode of this show soon. Stay tuned!

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