The Perfect Plastic People Parade

THE RISE OF THE HUMAN BARBIE?

As advances in cosmic surgery take women ever closer to the aesthetic appeal of an inflatable sex doll, the idea is beginning to take shape that perfection may not be quite as desirable as the word implies. For one thing the standards for perfection are forever shifting and next to impossible to predict, trout lips may well be all the rage today, but tomorrow’s tastes might demand something a tad less overt, butt implants may have to be reversed as the trend moves from padded derriere towards butt-less chic, breasts will have to be raised, lowered, augmented, or deflated, according to the whims of public convention. 

The perfect woman will not be born; she will be made perfect by science. She will be a unique bio/silicon hybrid with all the imperfections of the flesh surgically removed, a new Eve for the digital age, slick, superficially flawless, with sex appeal in synthetic spades. But by becoming dependent on a mass mediated idea of beauty, we run the risk of losing our own organic sense of femininity, we stunt our emotional growth, both as women and human beings, with the result that the parts will be judged without reference to the whole, we will be female by committee, beautiful by decree, no spontaneous expression of womanhood will be tolerated unless its first been lab tested on animals and then run by special focus groups in the Mid-West. 

It’s hard to imagine that certain parts of our bodies will not decompose, that our accessories may well achieve the kind of immortality the rest of our bodies can only dream of, lying in the dust of our remains, alongside pacemakers, prosthetics, and metal nipple rings, will be giant silicon-filled bags resembling alien tumors, and perhaps tomorrow’s grave robbers will start a thriving industry recycling these parts and selling them back to the general populace. Second hand beauty will still be beauty, the same way knock-off fashion can still be considered fashion. 

But be warned, plastic women are an evolutionary dead end; they will not pass on their perfect good looks to the next generation, although they may pass on their surgeon’s phone number, but what is absolutely guaranteed is that daughters will inherit their mother’s acute lack of confidence in the hand nature has dealt them, and all to the advantage of the cosmetic’s industry which, lets face it, has never been slow to capitalize on female insecurities.  

The perfect woman will not be cheap and what you see will have to be maintained and upgraded. The following is a taste of costs to come.

  • Procedure                                                                Cost*
  • Breast Augmentation Silicone/Saline                  $4,500
  • Breast Lift with Augmentation                             $7,500 – $8,500
  • Breast Lift                                                              $6,500 – $8,500
  • Breast Reduction & Lift                                        $8,500 – $10,500
  • Blepharoplasty (with fat grafting)                       $2,500 – $6,000
  • Facelift                                                                   $10,000 – $14,000
  • Rhinoplasty                                                           $5,000 – $7,500
  • Brow Lift                                                                 $1,500 – $3,000
  • PAL (power assisted liposuction)                        $2,500 – $7,500
  • Abdominoplasty                                                     $6,500 – $10,500
  • Brachioplasty                                                         $4,000 – $6,000
  • Implants Silicone                                                    $1,600
  • Implants Saline                                                       $800
  • Anesthesia
    (depending on length of surgery) 1-5 hours       $500 – $2,200

*Costs do not include VAT.

Beauty is becoming a high-stakes, winner-takes-all business, but what is it leaving us with, a generation of unhappy women with high maintenance costs and no way to separate their own needs from the needs of the industry?

Does anyone realize that the Mona Lisa, once the perfect ideal of feminine beauty (and all natural might I add), wouldn’t even get a modelling contract in this day and age, we’re moving away from all things natural, we’re heading into a world where the future of women is no longer assured, where beauty is in the eye of the machine, and everything else is second best.

Cripes, it almost makes me want to cancel my four o’clock facial.

JUDITH CHAMBERS   

Is Marriage a Game of Thrones?

Is Marriage a Game of Thrones by Judith Chambers

Power struggles, vendettas, betrayals, money issues, I mean what’s not to like about marriage?

I’ve never been married although I’ve had the pleasure of sampling other women’s husbands from time to time, and although I will admit they are rather yummy I still prefer variety in my diet. The thought of being stuck with one meal for the rest of my life quite frankly appalls me.   

I do love weddings though. I love the overwhelming irony of them, the air of quiet desperate optimism, the weight of expectations hanging over the heads of the bride and groom like a debtor’s ledger. I say hold on to the wedding photos, girls, this is as good as it’s ever likely to get.

Here’s my take on weddings: two perfectly healthy human beings, independent and self-sustaining, legally fused together to create a lurching, ungainly, mutually dependent monstrosity of divergent desires and tastes, half male, half female, and completely insane.

From this Frankenstein construction it is hoped children will someday spring forth, mad offspring of a mad enterprise, to be used as bargaining chips in a game that began long before they were spawned, and will end long after they’ve flown the coop – in death, divorce, senility, its all downhill after the honeymoon.

Paradoxically, it is only in the event of a divorce that a man will abruptly discover he’s been dealt a losing hand.

Men are the matrimonial equivalent of “snake eyes”, whatever the circumstances of a divorce they always lose. The wife wins the kids, the house, the car, and a hefty percentage of her estranged husband’s income which will likely go towards the upkeep of whatever jobless bastard she decides to co-habit with next.

But a woman doesn’t exactly have it easy either, putting on post-baby weight seriously damages her marketability and the man she winds up with will most likely be of lower social status than the man she left. In addition her career has been placed in moth balls, if indeed it ever began; and an addiction to Oprah or Celebrity Big Brother isn’t exactly a recommendation in today’s job market; she will need every penny of that child support just to break even.

So, no winners in marriage, unless you count divorce lawyers and matrimonial courts, in which case marriage is a hugely profitable industry, second only to parking fines.

When my friend, Natalia, said; “marriage is awesome,” I could have sworn she said “marriage is a war zone,” a philosophy that gelled with mine even though I’ve never been married and she has (five times by last count).

Natalia is addicted to marriage.

She loves the idea of being married more than the reality. She finds that after the initial honeymoon period the man tends to become rather superfluous, in fact the more things settle into a domestic routine the more she feels the urge to move on.

According to Natalia it’s the whole routine thing that turns her off. She used to wake up with baited breath, longing for the moment she could be with the man she thought she loved. After the wedding all that quickly goes away, now there’s no suspense, no build-up, there he is, farting and snoring beside her in bed, somewhat devalued now that she has him on tap. 

Poor Natalia.

She’s still looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

At some point every marriage magically switches polarity, instead of finding more and more reasons to hang together spouses start looking for more and more ways to hang apart, extra hours at the office, girls’ night out, volunteer work at the local dog kennel, separate TVs, separate bedrooms, separate lives.

I believe husbands work harder and longer hours because they know what’s waiting for them at home. I believe wives spend money as fast as their husbands earn it because… well, wouldn’t you? I mean what else is marriage good for? Its either shopping or daytime TV and I know which one I’d prefer.

JUDITH CHAMBERS

Confessions Of A Homewrecker

Confessions Of A Homewrecker

Infidelity, Revenge-Sex, and “The Other Woman”

JUDITH CHAMBERS

The desire to destroy marriages first manifested itself shortly after the onset of puberty, by which time I’d lost my own father – something I’ve never been able to come to terms with.

The way my mother described it you’d think dad died of an incurable disease that she called “the other woman”, a kind of social virus that took advantage of a marriage’s weakened immune system to sneak in and steal away half its genetic material.

For a long time afterwards I saw “the other woman” everywhere I looked, there she was waiting for a bus, or reading a magazine on a tube train, or manning the till at my local Waitrose, every woman was conceivably the enemy, the younger and prettier she was the more likely she was to be carrying the fatal disease that took my father from me.

 At some point I began to resent the wholesome marriages I saw all around me, I’d watched my friends picked up by their dads after school, or cheered on during sports day, or come father’s day everyone would be chatting about where their dad was taking them that evening:

 “…and where’s your dad taking you, Judy?’

 “I don’t have a dad.”

 “Whatever happened to him, Judy?’

 I’d hang my head in shame, my reply barely audible: “The other woman took him.”

 

in-the-mood-for-love

                                                       In the Mood for Love (c) 2000 Universal Pictures (US)

We don’t usually think of women as predators, in fact most of us have been preconditioned to see women almost exclusively as victims, something I don’t particularly hold to be true. William Congreve’s famous phrase: “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, has stood the test of time not because it is catchy but because it has some basis in fact.

The loss of my father turned me into “the other woman” as surely as if she’d been a vampire who had somehow infected me with her curse, I started having affairs with married men in my late teens, they were all much older than me and perhaps at that point I was merely searching for a father figure, the fact he just happened to be married was incidental.

Later on I would deliberately go out of my way to seduce married men, gathering evidence of their infidelity along the way, and when I’d had my fun I’d rat them out to their partners. I wanted to destroy their marriages, the way my parents’ marriage had been destroyed, I figured if a man was prepared to sleep with me then his vows mustn’t have meant much to him in the first place.

But in the end I was just excusing my own rage. I had become the very monster I had once fought against in my childhood fantasies, “the other woman”, a serial philanderer of such prodigious talents you may as well have called me a virus, a beautiful virus certainly, but as indiscriminate as I was merciless.

I like to think I’m a changed person now and that the books I write offer some insight into my former condition, but deep down inside I know the monster is still there, biding its time. I suspect it is inside every one of us, whispering, tempting, persuading…perhaps some of us are more easily persuaded than others.

JUDITH CHAMBERS

 

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