Once you acknowledge your beauty, that’s when it all turns to shit. Because: beauty implies perfection. Why do you think beautiful people have plastic surgery? Because: beauty implies perfection. That’s the last time I’m gonna tell you that.

If you have a beautiful face but misshapen, deformed toes then your not really beautiful. The same applies if you have beautiful hair but really fat, man hands. Yes. Yes, It’s me.

I’ve tried to be beautiful at different stages in my life. When I was young, I was beautiful, but, overweight. So I took speed. You could buy 50 pills in a yellow box for like $2.99. They were called ‘slimming tablets.’

Yeah, they didn’t need clever marketing back then. These, appetite suppressors had only vague side affects, just some light heart palpitations. True to their claims, you couldn’t eat, which meant you spent your weekends on a liquid diet of fermented grapes or hops or in a drugged stupor, whatever you did, which for me, was both. I lost a lot of weight.

Anyway, back to me. I was beautiful but imperfect. I remember this boy I met down the coast. I longed for a surfie boyfriend. Everyone did. I was no different. I lived about 50 kilometres from the nearest beach, so we drove or hitchhiked. This is when I found out it wasn’t enough to be beautiful. “Shit you’ve got really weird feet,” said the really nice, blonde, skinny, surfer dude. “What? What?” OK, they’re a cursed inheritance. We call them slabs. Slabs of flesh.

My daughter and her daughter have them. You can never get shoes for slab feet because they are too wide. It would cost too much to make the shoes. You just get the nice sandals and your toes hang out the sides. Winter is the preferred season, when you can hide your feet in work shoes or joggers. Which leads me to my misshapen toes. That’s how I got them. Squeezing them into tight, covered, shoes, plus really bad genes.

Then I met other boys, inland, who told me I was beautiful. Look at your eyes. You’re beautiful. Until they saw my feet or god forbid other parts, hidden parts. So one or two dates were best. Anything longer than that and their eyes started to take in more of you. It’s better to date at night too, for obvious reasons.

It’s really hard to hide your hands. I used to pray that gloves would come back. Gloves in a hot country in the 21st century were unlikely, so let the boy drive you, even in your car, because your hands, with their short, ragged, chewed nails, are up there, spread out all over the steering wheel. Even your Dad told you that any chances of becoming a pianist were useless when you had pork sausage fingers. Another cursed inheritance.

Lets move up the body to the nose. Now admittedly it’s not as big as the others’. We used to call my brother; konk. With his large, hooked, eagle nose. He got it from my Dad. Mine, luckily, is not big but it’s too straight.

My lips and teeth. Nice. I’m happy with those. They add to my beauty. Nice white teeth, full lips. But not when I was young because then they stuck out too far. They were bucked. But as you get older your teeth start to rot, even good strong teeth, crumble, eventually. But dentures, they’re a good option. They’re perfect.

I had nice hair, so the boys and the hairdresser told me. It was not fashionable though, unless it was a perm. I can still remember the smell and sound as it sizzled and burned while I ironed it into something linear and more perfect.

Beauty is a full time job. The chores are endless, as are the adjectives. Whipping, shaving, plucking, crimping, curling, smoothing, and frizzing. If you don’t have a science degree or common sense you are easily seduced by clever marketers who not only make the most of this smorgasbord of descriptors, but appeal to the olfactory, with products that are packed with cucumber, ginseng and white tea extracts.

Being beautiful is not all it’s trumped up to be, especially if you’re imperfect but now with age the pressure is off. There’s no beautiful with old, wrinkly, flubbery skin or is there?

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