BY KRISTOPHER KARCHER
A few days ago, reader James Beach responded to my last article about DECOY by Keith Walker. I found it incredibly interesting and wanted to make a short post to respond to his comment.
THE QUESTION: What would you do if you were in the same situation as the married couple in DECOY? Would you give up your body and live in someone else's?
“Maybe... much would depend on the particular circumstances. Popular movies have also asked this question (minus the heavy sci-fi quotient): BEING JOHN MALKOVICH offers 15-minute thrill-rides through the actor's body, while AVATAR provides space-travelers the opportunity to live as an alien in another ecosphere.
As far as my body goes, I've learned to live with my unique defects (a GQ model I'm not!) but the opportunity to experience life inside the vessel of another is appealing, if only for the novelty.
I once had a waitress friend who would dress down (glasses, loose-fitting clothes, no make-up) or dress up (violet contact lenses, push-up bra and tube-top, "glamour shot" cosmetics) just to research what she already knew... the big titties got her the tips. In a way, I suppose that was her way to live inside a different body.
Plastic surgery manipulates the flesh so that average-looking or ugly people can experience life from the vantage point of a body that they fantasize is attractive. (Usually they look fake or bizarre, however!) The old TWILIGHT ZONE series pushed this concept to the limit in the 1960s with an episode wherein a youth is forced to live inside a "model body" (a dozen model bodies are displayed to choose from) and winds up loving the feeling after much resistance under the argument of the freedom of the individual and the sake of art.
Long answer to a simple question, but then, what are we but molecules that are constantly rearranging themselves? We can logically get new bodies every seven years, if we can acquire the skill to master the molecule.”
While James makes many interesting points here, I wanted to focus on one point I really didn’t even think to touch on, body image. To refresh your brain, DECOY, a short play by Keith Walker in Series A of the Strawberry One-Act Festival at the Theatre at St. Clement's on August 23rd at 1pm, focuses on a newly married couple, the groom of whom is sick. He is given an option to try a second round of normal treatment, or try a newer technique where the mind and everything who the man is on the inside is just transported into another body. Completely forgetting about just being sick, if you could have a new body—say look exactly like Zac Efron—would you?
I mean think of the possibilities here. You’d be hot, you’d be healthy, you’d be more agile and strong, and you would be hot! No more being insecure about love handles or the crook in your nose, you could custom design your body like you could a car. Yes we have plastic surgery now, but with this new technology your options would be limitless, and who doesn’t want to change something about the way we look?
I will be the first to admit that there are things about me that I would change, but I am a strong believer that I was given the body I’m in, and I can mold it into what I want naturally, and the things I cannot naturally change (other than piercings and tattoos), I’ve learned to love. For me, it is just a part of the human experience. BUT- I’m not condemning anyone who has “had work done.” Another part of being human is making your own choices. Everyone’s body is their own. Do what you want!
To end this post, I will leave you with this. There are normal civilians who have had crazy amounts of plastic surgery just to look like celebrities. The three depicted in the video below have spent their life savings and many months of recovery to look like Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Bieber, and Madonna.
Sometimes plastic surgery goes horribly, horribly wrong.