Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A Little Interlude

I promised that I would upload the original, so here it is:

Have you heard? Natural beauty came back in fashion. At first everyone refused to believe it. I mean can you imagine the economic fallout from everyone being satisfied with who they are? A consumer operates on dissatisfaction with just about everything. No dissatisfaction, no consumers. Oh the unhumanity!

Plastic surgeons would go out of business. And let’s not even get started on the all those brands touting creams and potions to make you look younger, healthier, pinker, slinkier. And then there were slimming chains who took a huge chunk of change off you (don’t worry, we have a 12-year payment plan for our one-year programme) to knock off a few inches here and there. (They’re not called slimming chains by the way, they’re called rightsizers, or at least they were; now that everyone agrees there is no right size, they had to, exit pursued by a bear)

But it was insidious. Suddenly those with standardised (surgically enhanced) faces were no longer getting jobs; to say nothing of dates. Suddenly it was hip to be you, no matter what form that took. The more non-standardised, the more in demand you were.

“We don’t understand what’s happening. How can you design standardised products for a non-standardised market?” asked The Beautiful and The Damned’s (last season’s ‘it’ brand of beauty products) spokesperson, shaking her head.

Suddenly, the streets were lined with a new brand of vagrant: former supermodels, holding up chic signs: “A salad, no dressing and a vintage copy of Vogue. Will sit in a chair and stare at you for an hour, and pretend to like, really, really like you in exchange.” They continued to look hungry. There at least, nothing had changed.

K-Pop singers had it bad. To be cool you now had to go back to how you were. Problem is that they had started messing with their faces at 16, while they were still malleable. They really had no idea. And a geriatric Psy continued to clean up and toss a few coins their way.

As with all trends, this one gave birth to its fair share of reality TV shows, the most popular being “The Real Me.” Those who had been standardised back in the day, were trotted out and seated in a row before the cameras. Then everyone would draw furiously to see what they could have looked like before surgical unfiguration. The sketch with the most votes won. Surprisingly, this was popular not only among the artists, but also the former models, being one of the few ways left for them to earn an honest buck. And sometimes the producer would throw in a salad. And maybe, an old copy of Cosmo.

Everyone (everyone being the entire beauty industry, not to mention Big Pharmas) agreed that things were as bad as bad could be - worse than Armageddon or the December 21, 2012 event that never happened.

Confidence levels were on the rise, eating disorders on the fall and people were becoming healthier just for the heck of it. No longer judged based on their conformity to the standard, they could become whoever they wanted.

Former feminists came out to campaign for those who who had been standardised before it was hip to be you. “Give them jobs. Don’t turn away in disgust. LOOK at them! They’re people too.”

And everyone came together at Times Square in a great big show of Siblinghood to sing that old standard: “What the world needs now, is love sweet love, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”

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