If it takes bigger breasts to feel better…

August 14, 2013

Petit four means small oven.

These beautiful petit fours are a small work of art, aren’t they? Just gorgeous.  Fondant helps make any confection a work of art.

But, it doesn’t taste so good.

In fact, as much as I like the way petit fours look, I think they taste awful.

And I wonder how many people think these things are delicious just because they’re lovely.

There’s a greater meaning here, and you can see it in what’s happening to the world around us, a world in which cosmetic enhancement is so valued.

How many times have we heard this justification for cosmetic surgery:

“If it makes you feel better about yourself, I think it’s fine.”

What makes me crazy is the idea that our view of ourselves–our self-esteem– is dependent upon how we look and not who we are.

If it takes bigger breasts to make a woman feel better about herself,  I despair for the future.

 How often do we hear of women enhancing their self-esteem by taking a history course? Learning a language? Or taking woodworking?

Not often.  These days, it’s all about how we look and not who we are.

It’s about what’s on the surface, not what’s inside. Kind of like a petit four.

Now, I like a great-looking man with a killer body as much as any woman. But it’s been my experience that men who are overly-attached to how they look sacrifice substance. There’s nothing else there. Not always. But many times.

So it’s not just women.

The irony hasn’t escaped me, either. While the Boomer generation spent its youth fighting for equal rights of all kinds, at this stage in our life we’re consumed with superficialities. We went from having lofty ideals to…

face lifts and breast surgery.

We were going to remake the world. So: how the hell did we come to this?

I bemoan the loss of our ideals: that search for a greater purpose. The devotion to higher principles and a common cause. Activism and involvement in the world around us.

Nothing wrong with liking how things look. But when we focus on form over substance — if that gives us our sense of self-worth — then something’s gone wrong.

So, I may look at a petit four and admire it, but I won’t be taking a bite any time soon.

Here’s a 2012 post on self esteem.

And here’s a bunch of them on cosmetic surgery.

9 comments on “If it takes bigger breasts to feel better…
  1. A good question. We women get bombarded with the message that we can be all things to all people, but we have limited resources of time, money, energy, social support, etc. It’s hard to set and maintain prioritize when there is so much chatter all around us. Thanks. Now where can I buy some petit fours between here and the gym where I am soon headed. Breasts and pastries got me to click. Why did I have to bring up the concept of priorities? Gah!

  2. mindy says:

    You are right, Carol, there is nothing wrong with liking how things look. And, if it means that you’ll like things (yourself) better if you look better, then what’s wrong with that? The caveat is, how much better are you going to feel, and will you feel exactly the opposite if you don’t look “as good?” I am all for nipping and tucking, etc., etc. as long as you keep things in perspective. What’s INSIDE is really what counts!! I do believe that, and I don’t believe that plastic surgery will change my life. BUT, if it will make me feel better (and I don’t think it makes me any less of a humane person to admit that I believe that for some people it CAN make you feel better), and I can afford it (without robbing a bank), no one has a right to berate me, or anyone else for going down that road. You can just as easily heal the world after being nipped and tucked, as you can without having it done. Not everyone who’s had work done is a selfish simpleton. And no, I don’t like petit fours either–all fluff and no substance.

  3. IMO the world has not changed that much. Self worth does come through looks as well as ideals. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a person getting a facelift or bigger breasts, if in fact, it does make them feel better about themselves(on a lesser scale..getting your teeth fixed or dying your hair or weight loss). But the point is, you have to have self-esteem to gain self-esteem. Looking better or being smarter or improving your purpose does not lead to self-esteem in my book. Self-esteem/confidence, to me comes from within (and for me from my parents loving upbringing and my God’s loving guidance). Then if I want to lose weight, or make my breast bigger, or dye my hair or learn a new language…that only serves to round out my self esteem.

  4. ohhh and I hate petit fours too!

  5. Susan Cooper says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say. I feel that I have what I have and instead of “creating” a better body through plastic surgery I try to play up the attributes I have been blessed with. I do not begrudge anyone who takes that step but it is not for me. 🙂

  6. Ginger Kay says:

    I could not agree more. Well said. I wish more women felt this way.

    (If petit fours were dipped in chocolate instead of wrapped in fondant, though. That would be excellent.)

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