I caught the end of the cable tv show “Ten Years Younger” last night and I can’t stop thinking about it. Similar to the “Extreme Makeover” show, they take women who want to improve their looks and, surprise!, look 10 years younger (unlike “Extreme Makeover’, no boob or nose jobs, however).
In the beginning of the show, the woman who is to be made over tells her sad story about why she hasn’t cut her hair or wore a fashionable outfit in several years and then they get down to business “improving” her. The host puts the woman (who looks like she just rolled out of bed) in a clear, sound proof booth somewhere there is a lot of foot traffic and then people gawk at her and try to guess her age. It was completely barbaric and humiliating. ANYONE would look older if their hair was hanging in their face, had unflattering glasses and wore the type of clothes that I wear to dig up dirt in my garden.
After giving the victim the tragic truth about how old others perceive her, she is then completely made over. This part included hair dye, a good haircut, laser eye surgery, Botox, dental work, supportive bras and a whole new wardrobe. She is then rolled out for all of her loved ones to see and complete strangers get to guess how old she is again. And, of course, she looks 10 YEARS YOUNGER!
Let’s face facts here… aging sucks. It takes money and time to keep up ones appearance over the years, something that many people just don’t have. The whole idea of putting someone in a booth and having people stare at them and judge them made me uncomfortable and very sad for these women (yes, I realize that they volunteered for this, just stay with me because I’m trying to make a point). Shows like this one, Extreme Makeover and The Swan just prove to me that we as a society value beauty above everything else and it makes it hard for women to feel like they fit in or are accepted with all of their flaws. I still choose to believe that it’s what’s inside that truly matters (that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to cover my grey hair, however).