I recently read (but didn't confirm) that physical trainer Jillian Michaels is reported to have said that she would never ever have a baby because it would ruin her body. Now, don't get me wrong. I am all in favor of someone choosing not to have a baby and I totally get that everyone has different reasons for making such decisions. I respect anyone who knows themselves well enough to make life decisions like these. I also believe that famous people have always made decisions like this for their craft, but they rarely came out and said they were doing so. Ms. Michaels obviously wasn't worried about the reception such a stand would receive. We are a society that is so vain, so shallow, so concerned about appearance that we make our childbearing decisions based on looks and we have no qualms about admitting such.
How did we become a society where physical appearance became the be all and end all of our existence? How did we become a people for whom physical appearance is the measure of success and worthiness? How did caring about our appearance evolve into obsession with every little aspect of our bodies?
What does this mean for our society? What does this mean for our children? Looks are more important than children? What else are they more important than? Last year, I read and reviewed Too Sexy, Too Soon . It was as fascinating and disturbing look at the overwhelming pressure our children feel to be attractive and sexual at younger and younger ages. This book made me aware of how we are sacrificing our children on the alter of physical beauty; Jillian Michaels' comment made me aware that we're going even farther back.
Looks have replaced substance. We are how we look, not what we do. Looks fade. Even the advent of plastic surgery and various other cosmetic interventions, our youth fades. Even Jillian Michaels will eventually sag, wrinkle, and slow down. How will she cope with the inevitable? With nothing more important than looks, I have to wonder: As our looks go, do we cease to exist?