When I think of what the word alterations numerous meanings come to mind. One is of fixing a garment whether it be too big or pants that are too long. Making alterations makes the garment seem better. Looks better on the body if it fits.
Alteration of someone’s attitude, especially when it is positive, also makes life seem to go smoother. It makes life seem much easier whether it be at work or in your private life.
And then there is the alteration of age that seems to be a normal thing nowadays. Seems getting old doesn’t fit the bill much anymore. Our culture, especially in this country, doesn’t seem to allow women to age gracefully. Much of the advertising and media shows how happiness is only granted to the young and beautiful. And so plastic surgery has become a very big business. It’s not enough to live looking unique. One must alter their appearance in order to be given special privileges. Some may not agree but I have spent many years looking into mirrors trying to make sure the person I am working with feels secure and happy.
Recently one of the most prominent plastic surgeons in the world took his own life. He had worked with very famous “stars” and they admired him and relied on him to make their “alterations” flawless and perfect. Problem was he was depressed that at 65 he was not looking what he thought was his best and hadn’t been in a relationship since his 30’s. On the outside he was joyful and always fun according to his many clients but inside, where his alterations didn’t seem to be as successful, he was suffering. There were times he would see his clients in a restaurant but they pretended they didn’t know him as they didn’t want anyone to know he knew them. He became the butt of jokes in the media about his appearance because to many he seemed to have gone overboard.
I have to say I have felt invisible in the sea of people either at work or at a social gathering. I feel uncomfortable and out of place. It’s a different kind of insecurity. It’s one that just happens with time and can’t be fix with either going under the knife or telling myself that you are beautiful at any age. I see my neck and face are showing wrinkles that weren’t there even a few weeks ago. I see myself when I look in the mirror but I recognize more of my mother than I do my younger self. I most certainly am not in the same state as this famous doctor was but I do find it takes more effort to feel good about myself than it did when I was younger. Call it vanity or maybe just seeing that time is passing by so quickly and I still have so much to do.
One of the doctor’s friends sent him a text right before it became known he had taken his life. In the text, as an attempt to cheer him up his friend said, “I wish I could help you not be so hard on yourself. All I can tell you is that I think you’re amazing and one of the most kind, generous, special, gifted artists I’ve have ever known. I love you. Sleep good because the world is a better place with you in it. xxxx”
The doctor never replied. Sometimes the alterations are not for the better.