One must endure pain to gain everlasting beauty

One must endure pain to gain everlasting beauty By Bob Karolevitz Even before Ponce de Leon went traipsing through the Florida underbrush looking for the Fountain of Youth, people were doing what they could to prolong life and overcome the marks of aging.

I imagine that even Oog, the caveman, gave it a thought or two as he avoided the gnashing teeth of a rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex. And I don't know what kind of vitamins Methusalah took but the Bible tells me he lived to be over 900 years old.

Instant health in a dollar bottle was a craze in the patent medicine era, and there was even a guy in New England who advocated chewing each morsel of food (including soup) at least 32 times in order to live longer and to avoid "pimpled skin."

It's been a continuing quest, but I think it's gotten worse in recent years.

Take men's hair � or the lack thereof � for instance.

Overcoming baldness is a fetish which won't go away. You'd think from all the advertisements for hair-growing salves and follicle implants that a guy with a shiny pate is somehow short-changing himself healthwise and funwise.

The same goes for coloring.

Nobody wants to be gray anymore. Men and women spend millions to cover up signs of whitening. I guess we should all wear powdered wigs like George Washington did and just forget about it.

The worst is what they're doing for wrinkles these days. Acid peels, abrasions and laser resurfacing not only cost big bucks, but they hurt a lot, too. Yet both guys and gals are willing to put up with the suffering to remove age spots and the lines that come with the years.

I suppose it's natural to want to turn back the calendar, but methinks the price of beautification is pretty steep. Besides that, it doesn't always work.

It's probably a good thing that Ponce de Leon didn't find that magic pool. He would have put out of business all the manufacturers of anti-aging stuff, and the effects on television advertising would have been disastrous. Ponce, incidentally, was mortally wounded in a battle with the Indians, so the fountain wouldn't have done him much good anyhow.

What's wrong with growing old gracefully? The camouflage is only temporary, and sooner or later the real you shows through.

I believe in removing a wart or two, but tummy tucks, nose jobs, collagen injections and hair plugs don't make much sense to me. However, there are literally millions of Americans of all ages who don't agree with me. They want to look younger and better no matter how much it hurts.

Needless to say, I've got my troubles, but worrying about the blemishes which come even before Social Security isn't one of them.

Oh, by the way, I wonder if the arthritic twinges I've got would have been eased by the Fountain of Youth if Ponce had found it? Now that would really have been a monumental discovery!

© 2001 Robert F. Karolevitz

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