How Does Anyone Afford Superficial Purchases?

I went to the mall today. I know, I know, I should never do that. But sometimes I like to shop. I went for an hour on my lunch break. I tried on a bunch of clothing. Outfits that would cost me two month’s of my food budget. Looking in the mirror, I realized that even these garments, these $200 pairs of jeans and $99 shirts layered over another $99 shirt weren’t able to make me look halfway decent.

I stared at my thighs. Those chicken legs. Short, with lots of fat up on my inner thigh. I thought of a time when I was thinner and how that fat was still there, albeit slightly less prominent. I thought about how growing up my mother constantly reminded me of my fat stomach, that protruding bump that must be hidden at all times, but how she never mentioned my giant hips, butt or thighs – and how I wonder if my legs will ever look remotely attractive.

Then, I thought about liposuction. The surgery that, with a little vacuum cleaner, sucks out all your fat (while cleaning out your bank account.)

I came home, obsessed with the idea of lipo. After all, my happiness depends on not having fat thighs. That’s worth the price, isn’t it?

Of course, I’ll probably never get liposuction. The costs are far too great. It would probably cost me $3000-$4000 just to get rid of the lard on my inner thigh. And there are plenty of other areas I want to tackle to. I imagine lipo for all of my problem areas would add up to over $20k. Lower abdomen, arms, inner thigh, hips, outer thigh…

And then, I really want to get my teeth fixed. They’re yellowish and crooked, with an unsightly gap in the middle.

Throw in the laser hair removal, which would probably not be permanent due to my having PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), add some hair extensions for kicks, a breast lift, some laser eye surgery, maybe foot surgery because that weird bone sticks out making my toes really wide and impossible to fit into any shoes, plus, why not also get a laser facial to make my skin look fresh and radiant, some new highlights and hair dye, and… then, only then, will I even start to feel good about how I might look in that pair of $200 jeans, and that $99 shirt layered over another $99 shirt.

But… at what point in one’s career does she feel entitled to spending that much money on making herself beautiful? Obviously people do it, there wouldn’t be that many plastic surgeons in the world if the only people getting such surgery were in accidents.

I’m 24 now, and in my 20s, I just want to be beautiful. In my 30s, I want to be beautiful. I want to enjoy the last remnants of my youth by – being able to wear a bikini and feel beautiful.

Sure, I could exercise, I could eat right. That would help a lot. But I don’t think all of the fat would go away. It would stick around some places. That’s just what happens. That’s why people get surgery.

I want to save up for liposuction.

But I also want to, one day, buy a house.

Lipo versus a house… I think the house wins.

And once I buy a house, well, I’ll have to pay for that house for many years to come.

And then I’ll have children and they’ll cost a fortune. And if I actually have them (and not adopt) my stomach will get even worse. And I’ll want plastic surgery even more. But by then it will be impossible to be that selfish. The money will have to go to bills and health insurance for the family and my kids and their summer camps and college and…

And I’ll never be able to enjoy being beautiful.

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10 thoughts on “How Does Anyone Afford Superficial Purchases?”

  1. You're hurting my feelings by how down you are on yourself! Holy cow!If there are some things you want to do for yourself and you can afford them, it's understandable. But what about healthy living? If a person gets lipo but doesn't exercise, the fat will come back. Store-bought whiteners for your teeth are really good now. There are so many other things to worry about in this world than that bone sticking out on your foot or your laser hair removal! The mall mentality has ways to make you feel like this. On your lunch break, go volunteer at an underpriviledged school or battered womens' shelter. You will feel much better and those people will know you're beautiful.

  2. Don't focus on the negative! I'm sure there are a lot of great things about your body and smile. Plus, liposuction can make you look lumpy 😉

  3. I've had those days, but nowadays I'm pretty happy with me as is. I will admit, though, that there have been some changes.I did have a breast reduction (lift included). The trick there is that my insurance covered most of it because I have chronic back pain.I also was able to get rid of my cystic acne, once I found a good dermatologist. Now the meds I take are like $10 a month for the generic, so it's totally worth it.I'm also not a big fan of my thighs — but I've discovered a wonderful solution that's cheap and stylish.Drumroll….. I wear skirts and dresses instead of pants. Pants are evil if you don't like your thighs.I know that sometimes chafing can be a problem, so I recommend wearing some undershorts or slip shorts if that is a problem.But yeah, I hope you feel better about things regardless because looks aren't everything (and people tend to underestimate themselves there, anyhow).

  4. Girl I know this is serious stuff for you but I just had to laugh while reading your laundry list. Each time you mentioned wanting one thing then you had to add another and another and another.While you have been sensible enough not to drive yourself into debt with getting all these 'upgrades' other people do not think like this..and before they know it they have dazzling white teeth and creditors breathing down their necks!!!

  5. I used to think I had fat legs and a fat belly when I was skinny. Now I realize it was just my musculature. But it makes me angry to look back at photos of myself from when I was seventeen through twenty (I began gaining weight at twenty-one after I went on the Pill), see for myself how thin I was, and remember people telling me I had a big ass or that I needed to do more situps because I didn't have washboard abs. People just need to shut the hell up about one another's bodies because there are whole lots more important things to worry about.Not that I don't also wish for cosmetic surgery, especially if I ever lose all this weight. And my boobs are shot. Sigh.

  6. I agree with Brooke.. you're hurting my feelings too.Honestly, I have a belly, a crooked leg, awful skin and small breasts.. but all that matters if that in the end I'm happy with who I am and I find someone who can look past all those flaws and find and love the real me.I totally know what you mean though – I felt like that 2 years ago when I was in braces, glasses, with bad skin, awful hair, feeling fat, and boobless….*hugs* Don't be so hard on yourself. You really are beautiful because it comes from within.. some of the most beautiful people out there are quite ugly because of their attitudes and people see that.Besides, the things you're focusing on, are so minor and superficial — and stuff like cellulite, even the thinnest of models have. No one is perfect, just airbrushed.

  7. Hey sugar, don’t get so down on yourself! You didn’t mention any of the things that make you beautiful without enhancement!

    You need to focus on those first. Then you can tackle your problem areas.

    I have to stick up for some of the “enhancements” that you can get out there. I’ve had laser eye surgery, had my teeth straightened, I get my eyebrows and lashes dyed regularly, I go to the spa for facials and massages to keep me healthy, take meds for my acne and am also on Jenny Craig and practice kung fu & sparring for the fat problem I have.

    I feel good doing these things because it is important to me. Others don’t care how I look, but I do. It’s a way to express my self-love, not self-hate. I feel good doing these things and improving myself, but I don’t sweat it if I’m not perfect. If I were perfect I wouldn’t be nearly as cool as I am now. *wink*

    I consider them an investment in myself, and also limit them enough that they don’t clear out my bank account. I too am saving for that house, and want to have children. Those things will come, but for now I will focus on myself because I can. You’re right–once you have the kids and mortgage you’re sort of stuck for a while.

    I suggest prioritizing all the things you would like to do to “improve” yourself, and have at it.

    But always remember to acknowledge all the beautiful things you’ve got, otherwise you will always be unhappy.


  8. I don't know you, but I'm pretty sure you are beautiful just as you are. All the things you mention as imperfect are things I bet nobody but you even notices–or if they do, they are superficial douchehounds who need to learn some respect. Please don't be so down on yourself!

  9. A beautiful body depends more on the PROPORTION of fat in each place, rather than the absolute amount. For example, if you're a size zero, but you store all your fat in your belly, you will still look unattractive. Also lots of people lipo all their abdominal fat not knowing that the fat that was supposed to go in their belly is just going to end up in their bodies second favorite deposit. For most people, that is the thighs or upper arms. So unless your proportions are really skewed, be conservative with lipo.-Sidra A

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