I AM More Than T & A

After years of watching my dog interact with other dogs, I have come to view the animalistic nature of sexual attraction to include a desire to dominate another being (although I also believe in more evolved and love-based relationships that many humans experience and seek). Who’s the bigger dog that is going to dominate, pro-create and therefore survive?

As the yoga culture continues to increase worldwide, I am seeing more examples of these primitive human characteristics and the objectification of a female yogi seeping into this pop-culture community that was once based on an eight-limbed path to enlightenment.

I have had this blog swirling in my mind, waiting to be written for many years now, but I did not want to express it from a judgmental or personal perspective. Last week, however, I had an experience that cracked the eggshell. I practiced yoga next to another yoga instructor. I couldn’t help but stare at her overly Botoxed, frozen face when she introduced herself, and I found my heart swelling with sadness for what seemed to be a woman projecting some illusion of beauty. Then she took off her top, revealing melon-shaped implants spilling over her sports top. I smiled more from compassion than approval, as having taught in Beverly Hills for 15 years, I understand the insecurity that lies beneath most fillers and implants.

It wasn’t until I saw her practice that I knew it was time to share this blog. She told me of her neck issues, joint pain and physical limitations. I wasn’t shocked at that, knowing the side effects of breast implants and toxic fillers – what did shock me is that a yoga instructor would consciously forego her health for a desire to be a commercialized form of “sexy.” I have learned to accept this choice with the actresses and models that I teach, but a yoga instructor? I am truly not judging her, because 1) maybe she hasn’t made the connection and 2) I understand both the temptation and the consequences, but I felt it was time to open the conversation.


Being Barbie

Anyone can buy a Barbie face and body. Have you ever been to a ladyboy or drag show where men transform into stunning glamour girls? This modern day recipe for “sexy” includes the following: breast implants, butt implants, nose job, Botox, lip and facial fillers, hair extensions and weaves, false eye lashes, fake nails and pounds of cover-up and make-up. Anyone, let me repeat, anyone, can be this – man, woman or Kardashian – and much like a Louis Vuitton bag, people carry their silicone baggies as if they are better people for having them.

My question is, why would anyone want to relish in something that is inauthentic, fake and that anyone can have? There is so much more beauty and character in loving and being who you truly are (pan to Meryl Streep) while also attracting someone who loves you for just that. I will share with you my opinion: because it sends an instantaneous, non-verbal message that one is looking to be desired. As in any business exchange, when you know that someone wants something, they are easier to be negotiated and bought. Therefore those looking to “win” will be attracted to those with obvious signs of trying to appear sexier – since that translates as a higher chance to succeed. Unfortunately, far too many people falsely perceive being desired with being loved.

When I see someone with obvious and excessive elective plastic surgery, I instantly equate it with someone who is not happy with who they are (not always, but most of the time – and my comments and opinions exclude breast cancer survivors who use medical breast implants how they were originally intended). I completely appreciate artful and subtle procedures to enhance one’s natural beauty and negate the effects of aging. For those looking to hide or run from who they are however, it is a dangerous tool to use. Any professional athlete, detective, shrewd business person, or war soldier will tell you that any sign of a person lacking self-confidence creates an opportunity to dominate, control and possibly acquire them. Most plastic surgery procedures require one to literally be cut open, have needles injected into them, and spend a lot of money gambling to achieve something “better”. Well, if you’re gambling, you probably don’t think that you have much to lose. In just a few seconds, this is translated as “easy.” And being easy is more of what is attractive than any extraordinary show of beauty. In my latest book, As I Am, I outline seven personality types based on common food choices and behavior characteristics. The Predator personality type loves to win and acquire, and they (consciously or not) seek those who they can easily objectify and dominate.

Let’s start with some basic facts about plastic surgery:

1) Breast and gluteal implants are literally silicone covered baggies stuffed into either a person’s chest cavity or under their gluteus maximus muscles. Yes, baggies – that’s what they are, and muscles and vital tissue are cut to get these baggies in place.

2) Scar tissue accumulates around all implants as a means for the body to protect itself from the foreign object and the microbes that grow on them.

3) Mold and bacteria collect around and inside both silicone and saline implants (not so sexy).

4) Botox is made from botulism, which is one of, if not the most toxic substance known on earth.

5) Did you know that stem cells live in fat? Healthy fat is an asset, not a nuisance to be vacuumed away and condemned. Also, there are increasing studies showing that bigger-hipped women have higher IQs, a longer life expectancy and smarter kids. So enjoy your natural, healthy curves – real ones have benefits that fake ones lack.

Ring of Power

Similar to Froto in The Lord of the Ringswomen hold the ultimate power and control over what is defined as a sexy woman. Sadly, the majority of women have been led to believe otherwise (that they are powerless) and therefore succumb to the ignorant trends in our societies today (sexual objectification and/or sexual submission). If women truly embraced their natural beauty and respected their value as powerful, feminine human beings, men would have no choice than to follow their example (as some do).

As I mentioned, I am certainly not denying the magnificence and artistry of beauty, or subtle plastic surgery (if one is willing to gamble all of the risks), because I also know that Gravity is not always our friend. I hope to see greater advances in this field of medicine with more natural results and materials, and doctors looking to enhance instead of transform. However, I do seek to incorporate the understanding of asteya (the aspect of non-stealing) as defined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to illustrate that when one’s obsession with image overrides self-love, health, personal authenticity and purpose, it lacks integrity. How is it that we can appreciate Mona Lisa’s beautiful Roman nose, yet negate our own artistry? Would you appreciate a forged or photoshopped Picasso? A well-restored Picasso, sure, but a Picasso manufactured to look like a Matisse? Probably not.

Personally, I find natural women infinitely more attractive for a couple reasons: 1) because they are real, and there is no accomplishment associated with plastic surgery as there is with loving oneself, 2) natural women tend to be healthier, therefore radiating happiness, which is truly as beautiful and sexy as it gets. Scar tissue diminishes energy flow and we are live, energy beings. Living with toxic silicone baggies and scar tissue inside one’s body diminishes energy flow, as well as overall systemic functioning. It may suit some women to diminish their heart chakra – they may fair better in business and/or less love-based sex, but it may be a hearty price to pay to block the exquisite feeling of being loved for who you are.

99% of the characteristic Beverly Hills women that I have taught yoga to over the years (who choose multiple elective surgery procedures) suffer from some form of inflammatory illness; be that joint pain, arthritis, digestive imbalances, skin rashes, allergies, asthma, severe migraines, etc., and from my experiences, they are never as happy as they pretend to be. Ironically, I often find myself thinking, “She would be so pretty if she hadn’t put that stuff in her lips.”

Many people wonder about these health-related consequences. Why are some people more affected than others? Well, it is the same answer as to why some people become ill before others do when exposed to the same toxic elements. There is an accumulative effect of toxins vs. the immunity supporting forces that counteract them. Ironically, women often receive more attention and affection after a new procedure, which they equate as love. The endorphins that follow the feeling of love can support one’s immune system, even though the toxic source is still there. Eventually, however, the toxins tend to win. It is up to each person to decide if it is worth gambling with their health and committing to an illusion, all the while contributing to the global objectification of women and diminishing self-esteem in the young girls exposed to it.

I know that I am fortunate to be an attractive woman with a fit, flexible, and beautiful body. I say this not to brag,  only to illustrate that I am not whining from a position of lack or perceived inequality. I know that I can use this to my “advantage,” but here is the thing: I consciously choose not to. I honor and respect my path, other people’s path, and Nature too much to manipulate them. Similar to exercising the strength to focus my mind or defy gravity in my postures, I choose not to take actions that lack integrity. Yet, our world is set up to support those who do and I have been criticized for stepping away from the easy and seductive paradigms that we currently live with.

I believe one major reason that our natural resources are rapidly diminishing worldwide lies in that individual desires outweigh the needs of humanity as a whole. With that said, most people are looking to “win” or “score” in each moment of their lives. When do we stop to 1) give back unconditionally, and 2) be content with what we have, as it is? Hey, I live in LA, so I know that it is much worse here, but only because it is somewhat acceptable to be superficial and show one’s selfish motives here. Greed is everywhere, however, and it doesn’t take much to seduce someone to reveal how selfish they can become. It takes conscious effort to practice integrity, kindness and live with a unity consciousness mindset. This is what will create a greater humanity, and this I would truly love to see.

Personally, I would much rather be alone, loving myself authentically and truthfully than to be in anyone’s company that loves me for who I am not. The endless, seductive road trying to look like a photoshopped supermodel is truly a pathway that is not only very difficult to escape once you are on it, but begins to chip away at the essence of who you truly are. In my opinion, it is men who play with dolls much more than little girls do, in our society. Have you ever wondered about celebrity men who seem to serial date supermodels? Supermodels define sexual objectification, their choice of work often indicates that they desire to be wanted (easier to control) and their frail, boy-like bodies seem easier to dominate than a hearty, healthy woman would be. Poor Ken wouldn’t even have a chance.

What this all stems down to is integrity and self-realization. It is obvious when a car is stolen from its parking space, and we can use physical evidence to convict someone of the crime. Trademark attorneys, likewise, work to protect the intellectual properties of those who own them. Yet, the world-renowned “guru” that I worked for with a long list of sexual harassment charges and plagiarism lawsuits defies public detection because our society enables predators. The demographic of people unceasingly obsessed with their image, spending their precious energy and life trying to look like someone else is also encouraged in nearly all aspects of media. Hey, my own “friends” have knocked off creative concepts that I shared with them – globally, our monkey minds are still dominated by what we can take from the outside world instead of what we can sincerely give, share, or in the least, honor our sources. One of my favorite practices of yoga is honoring each guru for their contribution. Nowadays, however, original content is copied and pasted by others who simply put their name on it.

None of this is appealing to me, yet it is far more common than not. After years of wondering if I have self-sabotaged profitable opportunities, I have come to embrace that I simply prefer to be true to who I am and surround myself with those who are also true to who they are. I personally have no desire to conform to our world’s set-up of “how to win the Hunger Games” if doing so compromises my authenticity and purpose.

Patanjali states that desire is the root cause of any form of stealing (be this a physical possession, persona, facial features, or even assuming the ideology or creative concept of another as your own); therefore the practice of asteya (non-stealing) is focused on simple living. The objective of yoga is to become self-dependent, self-empowered, authentic and harmless beings. Anytime that you need someone or something to feel a certain way, you are in a co-dependent and unempowered relationship. When someone is selling sex there is most often something that person lacks or an underlying insecurity to his or her seduction (seeking money, affection, etc). This is completely different than loving playfulness between respectful and conscious partners.

Can we at least agree that we all contribute to our collective consciousness? We’re in this together, stuck in an unbreakable web of inter-connectedness. Aside from the amount of non-degradable toxic waste that plastic surgery contributes to our already compromised planet, it simply shows how weak and unaccepting of reality that we are, as a whole. Sometimes I feel like an actor in the TV series, Planet of the Apes, and I am not referring to the primates with tails. I dream of living in an organic, conscious, truthfully positive and reality-based world. I know that I am so much more than how I look and I believe that Nature holds far more power than our man-made world. I am an intelligent, loving, naturally sexy woman seeking self-actualization while contributing to a healthier world for all to live. I believe this to be a wiser investment with my energy than hiding behind an altered physical image of a doll that anyone can buy.