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Kvetch in the City - Capture this.

Last night I watched an exciting video conference unveiling the first photographic capture of the Milky Way’s black hole that resides in our galaxy. This was apparently very big news, finally capturing a photo of the enormous and mysterious black hole that could lead to discoveries and possible answers about the origin of our universe. It got me thinking about black holes.

Speaking of which…

The other day while I was walking to my office, I happened upon my colleagues at work having lunch. One of them was just back from time off having had a deviated septum corrected. I asked how she was doing, which then blew the door wide open into a group discussion about Jewish women, big noses and plastic surgery. Men and balding also got thrown into the conversation since there were men present and the undertone of the discussion hit on physical appearance and ultimately self acceptance.

The discussion brought me back to my childhood growing up as a young girl with a classic, “Jewish nose.” In my family, self acceptance somehow got skipped over. In my family, nose jobs and Jewish girls was the equivalent to circumcisions and Jewish boys…like a ritual, it wasn’t questioned, it was something that was going to happen. In my case though it took 35 years, not the typical 16, like many of my peers. Big nose? Get rid of it as soon as possible. Throughout my life I struggled with the idea of it all. On one hand the idea of changing my face simply scared me. On the other hand I would look at photos of myself and wonder what I would look like with the "perfect" nose it seemed all models at that time in the fashion magazines had. In private, using a black marker on photos, I’d redefine the contour of my profile, meanwhile in reality, enduring endless comments about the size of my nose from whomever thought it okay to drop a careless remark. Apparently, everyone had a say. And of course, my mom who had had a nose job back in the day and who never stopped encouraging me. I kept trying to follow the Barbara Streisand route, however, eventually I caved. It was too challenging always having my nose be a source of commentary. And so, at age 40 I followed suit, and flew up to NYC and had my nose “done.” He was a renowned plastic surgeon and did a great job as far as nose jobs go, very natural. In fact, so natural, nobody thought I had anything done. My new “natural looking” nose job should have been applauded. instead, I, like all those who have tasted the addiction of plastic surgery decided that one nose job was not good enough. So yes, back I went dear friends. I went back for another. Truth be told, I messed up what was (hindsight being 20/20 ) my authentic and beautiful original face. I finally understood how Michael Jackson ended up looking like he did, and how Cher, like Benjamin Button, aged backwards with a face frozen in time. And of course, how Jocelyn Wildenstein (google plastic surgery cat woman) ended up looking like a creature from a sci fi movie gone terribly wrong. I finally understood how once you start with plastic surgery, it’s hard to stop. Plastic surgery, a societal black hole, only made worse by another black hole…the internet filled with celebrity’s plastic surgery selfies ad nauseum.

And so, while astronomers and physicists rejoice in finally capturing a historic photo years in the making, that could seemingly explain the origins of our vast universe, down here on planet Earth, I am personally committed to growing more in self acceptance, aging gracefully and rejoicing in a scientific cosmic photo way more important than any selfie on Instagram could ever be. Well, that is after I get a neck lift…


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