Who doesn’t care about (their) appearance? Perhaps the better question is, to what degree do we care about (our) appearance?
Most of us make continuous efforts to ensure our appearance is reasonably positive — that we are groomed to our own standards and generally representing ourselves well. I think most of the world is fairly true blue. Some of us though, like to cover something up some of the time — hiding a blemish perhaps.
Without belaboring a topic, (it seems that) many in public service and sports try without ends to protect an appearance. It’s silly and disappointing to see macho men deny allegations of indiscretions (over and over), which they’ve gone to great lengths to cover up, only to admit the coverup through tears and apologies.
But there are all types of appearances; physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual. Caring about appearance is only natural — to a point.
When I was in an early grade school year, I remember being in the lavatory after recess. While washing my hands, there was a gaggle of guys a couple of grades older hanging at the sink area. After drying my hands, I used my fingers to straighten my hair. Naturally I didn’t want to appear disheveled for the upcoming class. One of the older guys saw me, pointed to me and said, “look at that kid, he’s combing his hair with his fingers! ha ha ha ha”, then they all laughed. I remember thinking, “you idiots, it’s a quick and practical method of appearing neater.”
We also choose words based on how we want to appear. A couple of years ago “reaching out” became popular. It must have been department-of-human-resource driven. “Why don’t you ‘reach out’ to so and so,” or “I’ll ‘reach out’ to him.” In a relatively short span, a lot of people are ‘reaching out’ rather than simply ‘contacting’ or ‘calling.’ Reaching out has a slightly more humanistic appeal?
Or when did ‘utilizing’ something become more than simply ‘using’ something? Utilizing just sounds more important than using. Or how much more quickly is instantaneous than something happening in an instant? We ‘ize’ or ‘aneous’ things to make them appear more than they are. And certainly carrot soup infused with lemon has a better appearance (on the menu) than carrot soup with lemon.
But back to the physical, I’ve been very self conscious, almost embarrassed, at the way my neck looks. It appears deformed. The lymph fluid that drained in the past without prior awareness now seems to stay hung up, creating a gross thickness that erodes my chin line. The swelling makes the neck dissection scar more apparent than it otherwise would be. Combined with the cavity where the trachea tube was, it’s a receipt for covering up. I’m looking for dress wear to help me appear normal and turtlenecks are just not fashionable or practical in the summer. It must be deep seeded ego that’s preventing me from accepting how it looks without caring.
Without wanting to appear pedantic or didactic rambling on about appearance, perhaps I simply need to reach out to someone who knows how I might utilize something (a magic potion perhaps) that will instantaneously make my neck appear normal again. If that happens, I swear I’ll buy a comb and stop using my fingers, stick to infused foods, and never run for public office. It’s a matter of appearance.