Tuesday, October 16, 2012
All turn to ash
As a kid, I wasn’t much to look at. Scrawny as a stick insect, short-cropped hair and pimples that somehow decided that my face was a really sweet place to hang out on. And due to the fact that being in all-boys boarding school meant that there were no girls that needed impressing, I certainly didn’t dress to impress.
In university, of course there were girls (and surprise, surprise, I had a girlfriend too), so I did dress and look after myself better, but I still wasn’t one of the guys people considered good looking. Just less shabby. The thing is, me being me, I could never quite comprehend this fascination and single-minded obsession with looking good.
The way I see it, you try your damndest hard to look good, spending your money on straightening your hair, getting new clothes every month, hunting through the town for bundle stores for that particular pair of shoes, only for your good looks to wither away from that inescapable disease that is called middle-age. All for nothing. Also, this attention to what’s outside sounds a bit too much like we are trying to hide the terrible aspects of ourselves that is contained within by our mortal body. A misrepresentation of the personal, if you will. But I’m not saying that I’m right and they should wake up, sheeple. No, it could be that I’m just a misanthrope and bitter towards the better-looking population.
And that’s not to say that I dont put any effort into how I look, either. I do. Now that I’m a responsible, working, adult member of the society (supposedly), I can afford to and do spend my money on better attire. But whatever I buy, they are still relatively conservative articles of clothing. You won’t catch me wearing a fedora hat or a fur coat, no sir. I can’t pull fabulous. And my hair, it used to symbolise me really well, in the sense that it was really stubborn and refused to be styled according to the way I wanted. Now that it (and me) is approaching 30s, it seems that it has mellowed out somewhat (also like me?) and is now more acquiescing towards me.
And you know what? I am now quite good-looking.
it’s just not me. Sometimes I catch the womenfolk just sneaking glances at me when I am in town, and some rather, err, effeminate men doing double-takes at me. Well to be fair I won’t get to tell the ladies to please form an orderly line and contain their excitement anytime soon, but what little visual attention of the feminine variety that I’m starting to receive now is comparatively more than how it used to be.
Even if they are just my imagination, it’s still fine. Why? Because even I myself think that I look good now. I am my worst critique, and my looks is one of the most frequent topics of criticism. But now, I would see the reflection of myself in the car windows of the car that I pass by, just to inspect the angle that my hair is standing at, at that particular moment. And the guy in the window who is looking back at me would be such a handsome SOAB that I could kiss him. No homo.
So how did this transformation came to be? I haven’t had any cosmetic surgeries performed on me, and I most certainly have not read anyone of those ‘love yourself’ self-help books, if you think that the change is just a matter of my perception. If you’ve watched the movie Benjamin Button, there is a scene whereby the title character stands in front of a mirror with his wife, discussing about how that moment is when they are at their physical peak; that’s it’s downhill from there. I think that’s what’s happening to me. I am nearing 30, and all the changes in my physique have converged and congregated at this moment to make me into how I look today; better than how I looked a few years ago. And it’s not just me. This also happens to everyone that has ever lived and walked on this fine earth. We get a small time-window during which, even the ugliest of us look our best. But as hinted by the movie, this also means that it’s downhill from now on for us. For me. And this scares me.
Now that I have this gift of being better looking after spending most of my life not looking much, the idea of having the gift taken away from me in a few years’ time is a bitter pill to swallow. I don’t want to end up looking like the many middle-aged men in their dowdy, ill-fitting work clothes and rotund figure. And it’s not like you can fix it just by wearing young people’s clothes. When you’re old but are dressed up like young, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. You’ll just look weird. And guess what? After all these years of me thinking of the effort to be physically attractive as hypocritical, it seems that I now like what little attention I get due to my looks. Funny, huh? Well, I’m not laughing.
The only consolation I have to temper my worries with is the fact that I have more of my mother’s genes and the men on their side, my uncles and cousins, when they grow older, don’t grow fat or pot-bellied. They stay lanky and they don’t lose their hair. Whereas men on my father’s side, although they are fair-skinned and quite well-built in their youth, when they hit 40, they’ll start losing hair and gaining weight. Chills!
So think about that, friends. Use this time-window well. To philander, become a model, actor, whatever you want to. You are not good-looking for long and it’s all shit from then on. Bye friends, until the next entry. Sleep tight tonight.