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The eyes have it. September 14, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. I just read on Yahoo! News that scientists have discovered five genes that shape our faces. Oh, boy! Maybe in the near future we’ll be able to manipulate our children’s features into anime extremes, transform our kids into the giant-eyed Dora the Explorer, give their faces Barbie proportions.

My own genes didn’t get the e-mail. My face is long and thin, and my eyes, though a beautiful blue-green, are so deep-set that I don’t ever have to wear sunglasses. I have super-long eyelashes and never need mascara. I’m fortunate in my coloring, with my dark hair contrasting with my fair pink-and-white skin. In other words, I look okay, but nobody’s going to audition me for “America’s Next Top Model.”

So let’s move on to Amanda Seyfried, whom our local paper never tires of reminding us is from nearby Allentown, PA. Unlike mine, Amanda’s parents got the e-mail. She has a tiny face with huge, prominent eyes, a super-small nose, and enormous lips. Every time our friend Ben sees a photo of Amanda Seyfried in the paper, he says “That woman looks like a freak.”

Well, no. She looks like a dolled-up Dora, an anime heroine, something out of “Avatar.” I actually think she’s attractive and always challenge OFB on this, but that’s because I’ve been indoctrinated by our culture’s values of what’s beautiful: giant protruberant eyes in a tiny face. A praying mantis.

This is in such stark contrast to what was considered beautiful in the past that it’s worth talking about. Think of Elizabeth Taylor, with her perfectly proportioned features and amazing coloring. Think of Vivien Leigh, or Ingrid Bergman, or Olivia de Havilland. Think of today’s Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Halle Barry, Liv Tyler, Kim Kardashian, even Angelina Jolie with her gigantic lips.   

I’m not trying to pick on Amanda Seyfried here, it’s just that she’s the most perfect example of a real-life person resembling cartoonish feature exaggeration that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know that anyone else will ever meet that standard of anime perfection. But now that scientists have discovered those five essential genes, I’m sure they’ll try.

            ‘Til next time,




1. narf77 - September 14, 2012

I have to admit that when they were handing out genes, my Germanic heritage kicked in BIGTIME and I ended up with a square face, mousy hair, forget-me-not blue eyes (but you know what a pain in the derierre forget-me-nots are!) that make me sneeze whenever I get into bright light and a “sturdy bone structure” that I am SURE weighs more than the average (cheers to all of you billions of Asians for skewing the curve!)…I used to care about how gorgeous I wasn’t, but now I am eternally grateful because I haven’t ever had to worry about my looks, I don’t care that aging is going to decorate my face and change me because I never relied on my looks to take me anywhere. I developed my mind, my thoughts, my emotions, my ability to problem solve and humour and I would rather be plain old me than any one of those poor women idolised for their beauty. How difficult it is going to be when they start to age. Poor Joan Rivers, look at what she has had to do to herself to try to keep pace. I love me, I love my life and I love that I am able to simply be “Me” without the tarnish of beauty taking the reigns.

I’m with you, Fran! When I saw how my beautiful mother disintegrated when her looks began to go, I finally realized that not being uber-gorgeous wasn’t the worst fate in the world. I was finally able to accept my own appearance, and aging, with equanimity. Thanks be to God!

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