Paulina Porizkova: telling a woman what to do to be attractive is shaming her

This is probably a dumb question but are more people picking on Paulina Porizkova than others or is she just calling more out? Because I am flummoxed where these people get off telling Paulina she has flaws. Nobody should offer an unsolicited opinion on anyone’s appearance, but the nerve it must have taken to suggest to one of the world’s premiere supermodels that her face needs “fixing.” And yet, that is exactly what one cosmetic surgeon did. In a since deleted post, a plastic surgeon reposted the shot of Paulina above but in his caption, according to Paulina, he listed all the work she needed to have done. In response, Paulina posted the same photo with the following caption:

I found this photo, which I have posted here before, (and thought I looked great in) reposted here on IG by a cosmetic surgeon, and discussing in detail what I needed done.
Those pesky hollows under my cheeks could be gotten rid of with fillers, Botox for my forehead, those wrinkles on the side of my mouth, and the chords in my neck, and a whole bunch of lasers to tighten and smooth and tighten everything.
(It has since been deleted- I was looking for it this morning to post the repost.)

This is what an older woman in the public eye gets to deal with. I’m told my face needs “fixing”. It has somehow gone “wrong” by aging.
Is it any wonder that most of us who have the means will resort to some forms of fixing what we’re told is broken?

For the record, I have had laser treatments. And the plasma pen. I’d like to strike a balance between being proud to look my age and still get to feel pretty at times. In my job, I’m faced with my own face in almost unnatural detail – and although I have come to accept most of it, I still have a rough time accepting it all.

But telling a woman what she “needs” to do herself in order to be seen as attractive, whether it’s hair color, makeup, ski creams or clothing – or the more invasive options – is shaming her. Every time you catch yourself thinking or saying “you know, you should…” to a friend, stop for a moment. If she doesn’t ask for help, are you really helping?

Find what you think is beautiful in your friends and point it out.
The best way to support one another is to celebrate what is already there.

#betweenjloandbettywhite#graypride #beauty #acceptance#sisterhood#yourebeautifuljustthewayyouare

[From Instagram via People]

Paulina’s post hit me right at my core today. I could just put an exclamation point after each of her statements. I’ve been seeing the effects of some hard work with my diet and at the gym that’s had me feeling myself. Then I got some vacation shots back and it was like, “Oh HELL no! Who is that middle-aged mom with the frizzy mullet and missing eyes?!” Like Paulina, I want to find a balance of feeling good but looking my age. And unlike Paulina, I don’t have anyone other than myself pointing out my flaws. But she’s right, to have a professional plastic surgeon select her photo and broadcast all the reasons this perfectly attractive face should be altered is a form of shame. And it’s unhealthy. It encourages all of us to look in a mirror and seek out the flaws rather than the traits that make us shine.

In her next post, Paulina thanked everyone for their compliments but reiterated she hadn’t been fishing. The point she was trying to make was, “even a great photo of an older woman in which she looks ‘younger,’ society has decided her face or body are somehow wrong- not good ENOUGH.” She posted her caption next to the sharp focus photo of her face below and said she was “simultaneously insecure and proud. I have lost the smooth glow and prettiness of youth, but I have gained character.” I appreciate Paulina’s honesty with the photos and mentioning her treatments and insecurities. I have no problem with procedures or beauty tricks that make people feel better. It’s all up to the individual. All I’d like to see is a variety, a tapestry of different forms of beauty that include different shades and terrains. My favorite Designing Women episode was The Women of Atlanta when the ladies were being photographed for a magazine spread. The male photographer dressed and posed them in the male gaze until Julia got fed up and kicked him out. But the best part was she listed all the women he should have shot to show off the city and then they put up these lovely black and white photos of women from all walks of life. And they all looked beautiful. That’s what I want, Julia Sugarbaker’s montage of beauty.

Photo credit: Instagram and Cover Images

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