Dear 100 Hour Board,
If you could change one thing that would dramatically improve your appearance would you do it? Would certain factors like cost, invasiveness, or social stigma affect your answer?
Honestly, I wouldn't mind being about four inches taller, but I probably wouldn't do it through any currently available medical procedures, because it's not that big of a deal to me.
My armpits sweat really easily, and I would totally get Botox shots in my armpits to make me sweat less if I could afford it. It works reasonably well, nobody would even need to know if I didn't feel comfortable bringing it up, and it would actually decrease the social stigma around having visible sweat tacos under your arms.
Other than that, I'd like to have perfectly clear skin 100% of the time, but science hasn't really perfected that yet. And honestly, I'm terrible at maintaining a daily routine and I doubt science will ever come up with a one-and-done thing for clear skin.
I'd like to be about 30 pounds lighter, but most weight loss surgeries are questionable as far as their long-term effectiveness goes and the cost and time to recover from surgery probably isn't worth it when I consider that I've only made a halfhearted effort to eat healthily or exercise regularly.
I'd also like my facial structure to be different - I feel like I have a weak chin. That's pretty dramatic plastic surgery though, and I don't think that's for me.
I'd like to reduce my breast size by several cup sizes. Once I'm done having kids, I might do that, but for now it's not worth the possible side effects on breastfeeding.
I'd like the areas under my eyes to look less dark and puffy less quickly, but I don't know if there's a procedure for that and frankly I don't even care enough to look up or try any of the over-the-counter remedies for it. Heck, I don't even care enough to learn how to apply undereye concealer properly. So obviously that's not important enough for a permanent fix to be worth it to me.
I dyed my hair recently. It was a dramatic change and it was very expensive, but I absolutely love it and it was totally worth it to me. That might not be the kind of thing you had in mind, but I love it despite all its inconvenience, cost, and complications.
I also wouldn't mind getting laser hair removal on my upper lip, armpits, and bikini area once I can afford it. Then I'd only have to shave my legs. Laser hair removal is way too expensive to do my legs.
My nose is kind of big, but I don't think I'd ever get a nose job. While there are the same factors there as my resistance to most of these procedures - ie, cost, recovery, and risk of complications - for some reason the social stigma of getting a nose job resonates with me way more than any of these other things. I don't really know why.
Out of all those, if I had to choose one thing, I'd just keep doing the hair. I love my hair, and while sometimes I find these other things less than ideal, they don't really bother me.
Well, besides the one obvious change, height would be nice. Five foot ten was always my goal as a child. When I was growing up I was always like, "Yes, laugh now, but someday I'm going to tower over all of you!"
By the eighth grade, I was done growing at a hulking five foot two (...when rounded up a quarter). My younger sister just surpassed me in height, and she's thirteen.
On the other hand, though, I did have an epiphany while re-reading Lord of the Rings the other day that being Hobbit-sized isn't too terrible, in the grand scheme of things. But I wouldn't say no to a few extra inches.
If you had asked me this a couple of years ago, I would have immediately said "my nose." I despised my nose with a passion for a lot of years, was constantly self-conscious of its size. However, I've been able accept my appearance--nose and all--for what it is, and have come to realize the fact that just because I don't fit into one specific mold for beauty doesn't mean I'm not beautiful.
That said, perfectly clear skin would still be nice.
Honestly, no, I don't think I would. I'm not arrogant enough to assume I have no flaws, because I know I'm not likely to be winning second prize in a beauty contest anytime soon. Based on the standards of modern beauty, I have many ways in which I could improve.
In recent years, as I've grown as a person, I've become really passionate about self-esteem. I want my sense of self-love to be based on something worthwhile and lasting, and basing it on my appearance is only bound to bring disappointment. I don't want to feel beautiful only when my face is caked in makeup or when other people tell me I look pretty. I want to be confident because I love myself the way I am. Getting any kind of surgery to make myself better conform to contemporary standards of beauty would eventually undermine my self-esteem, because it would teach me to base my emotional satisfaction on an attractiveness that is unsustainable.
So I actually don't want to "improve" my appearance, because there's nothing about my appearance that could be improved. Each and every "flaw" I possess is mine, and I love them. I love my big hips and chubby thighs, even if the world tells me I should lose 20 pounds. I love my stretch marks, because they remind me of where I've been. I love my nose, because even though it's big, it looks just like my dad's. I love the random cowlick that I get in my hair. I love my forehead wrinkles, because they're physical marks of my emotional past. I'm learning to love the bags under my eyes, because they're symbols that I work hard.
And if no one else appreciates those things, then it's okay, because I do.
One thing that would improve my appearance (maybe not dramatically, but at least marginally) would be having thicker hair. This cool new thing called the interwebs tells me that there are like a million cheap ways to promote thicker hair from home, and most of them seem super easy, cheap, and not even that time-intensive. Also, there is no social stigma to doing home remedies for thicker hair. But have I done any of them? No. So I guess my answer is I would not, because apparently I am a lazy bum.