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Not a passing face

Most of us get up each morning looking like the wrath of God, unable to face the world without the aid of potions and lotions.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2007 23:51 IST

Most of us get up each morning looking like the wrath of God, unable to face the world without the aid of potions and lotions. Yes, even men. So the prospect of looking forever perfectly made-up is tempting. So along came permanent make-up where beauty was literally skin-deep. This meant dyes were injected beneath your skin to make it seem like you were always wearing eye-shadow or that fetching shade of lipstick or rouge. But, as always, looking good does not always mean feeling good. It now turns out that nine out of 10 women, American of course, have had problems of swelling, itching and bumps in odd places after permanent make-up. The latest New England Journal of Medicine says that doctors have long known that such treatments have allergic side-effects.

But who do you blame when the quest for a perfect face and body has become an obsession not just in the West but across the world. Very few people are comfortable in their own skins, which explains the runaway growth of plastic surgery services. Celebrity talk shows like Oprah Winfrey’s have featured several men and women addicted to cosmetic surgery. A whole industry has sprung up to provide psychiatric counselling to those who go in for that perfect face and then fall to pieces because they can no longer recognise who they are. Now we have all heard the adage ‘you are as old as you feel’ and that ‘beauty comes from within’, but you’ll find that very few buy into all that. The craze for permanent make-up was meant, according to experts, to “correct nature’s mistakes”. It has become increasingly difficult in today’s world to let anyone see you as you are. Dear old Paris Hilton groused that her skin was flaky while in jail because she could not get her hands on the right moisturiser. And as soon as they let her loose, off she went to a spa so that she could face the world again in all her Barbie-doll beauty.

So, we will risk disfiguring our faces through permanent make-up and suffer scarring. The world may be turning to nature as in organic food and eco-friendly homes and offices. But none of that when it comes to putting our best face forward. In search of the Holy Grail of perfection, many go into clinics with requests that they would like to look like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt. What finally emerges may seem like a less than appealing hybrid but that stops very few. The only trouble is that Jolie and her ilk may be the flavour of the season, which means that you need to go in for a make-over when a new breed of beautiful people emerges. But what the heck, your face is your fortune many reckon, so why not spend a fortune on it?