Phi, Fie, Foe, Phat?

Yesterday we took the girls to get their hairs cut. The eldest and the youngest just needed their bangs to be trimmed, but my middle daughter wanted a more radical change. Yes, my darling Stitch decided that she wanted her hair cut to look like the style “Roxanne Ritchi” had going on in Megamind. She wanted it short and sassy, baby!

Apparently she doesn’t want to look like a kindergartener with a little girl tresses anymore. She is officially a first grader now and thus needs a cut that will reflect her older, more mature status. Plus, she figured that since her short bangs don’t tangle up into snarls that hurt to brush out, short hair all over her head was the way to go.

Therefore her locks were shorn and lo, she is now even more hella cute.

Seriously, she is a-freaking-dorable. Fellow customers in the salon admired her newly cropped mop and it was discovered that she looks startlingly like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Sweet Babou and I find this remarkable, since neither of us has EVER been mistaken for either Angelina Jolie OR Brad Pitt.

Part of the reason the short cut looks so charming on her wee head is that it accentuates the fact she had big eyes, cupid’s bow mouth, and tiny chin --- which are the features that are exaggerated in Disney princesses. Babies have big eyes (relative to their head size) and humans are hard-wired to find “baby” features to be appealing. Moreover, right now Stitch’s is all kinds of symmetrical. In the opinion of many viewers, the greater the symmetry of the features of the face they are looking at, the “prettier” they think that face is.

That’s great for Stitch and long may her phi-ratio be golden, but it’s bad news for me. I was in a bad car accident as kid, before people habitually wore seatbelts and before cars got safety glass. A drunk driver hit the car I was riding in, my face hit the windshield, and it was bye-bye phi-ratio plus hello scars. When my skin was still young and had firm elasticity, it didn’t torque with my (already meager) symmetry much. However, now that I am in my forties and my skin is starting to fit me like old pantyhose the scaring is causing some more serious issues with my visage.

The scar tissue on my left cheek is “anchoring” part of my face because it cannot stretch like non-scar tissue. As a result, it is holding “up” a corner of my mouth and holding “down” the corner of my left eye. This used to be such a microscopic problem that the simple act of smiling made me look more attractive because it disguised any differences. Now, my smile is noticeably skewed. So much so that my bottom molars show a little on my right side when I smile and the bottom molars of my left side are completely hidden by my lower lip. My eyes are now also undeniably unmatched.

I’m not vain. As someone who had her fair share of physical anthropology classes I am well aware that on a scale of one to ten I was rocking a five without makeup and a seven at best when I was decked out for a wedding. Considering that I was engaged three times prior to dating my Sweet Babou, I assume that 1) men are not as shallow as pop culture would have them be and 2) my personality is freaking awesome. Nevertheless, appearance DOES matter. Humans subconsciously prefer beauty and the prettier you are (based on cultural as well as biological prejudices) the more people will like you and then the better things on average will go for you. I’ll never be “beautiful” but I don’t want to become so asymmetrical people are subconsciously biased against me. They already discriminate against me because I am fat, and I don’t need any extra hassle.

Which leads me to the conclusion that I’ll probably need to get some “work done” on my face to even it up. Technically it wouldn’t be “cosmetic”; it would be “reconstructive” plastic surgery … but since the end goal is to modify your appearance there is really not much of a difference. Plus, it’s going to hurt because surgery always hurts. No to mention I feel conflicted because as a feminist I fight against culture telling me my most valuable attribute is my level of attractiveness. If I am only aiming to keep my face in the “average” range, am I still selling out?

If I am selling out, should I go ahead and get my boobs hoisted off my lap and put back up where they were when I was eighteen? Because I admit that would be fantastic.


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