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I didn’t actually scroll much through the internet yesterday, even though I totally wanted to. I worked out the class schedule for my offspring for Fall 2022, and worked out the number of years (again) that they all will need to be in school. I should be free and clear of the anxiety of their education by the time I’m 51, which totally made me feel sad for Linda Evangelista, of whom I heard for the first time yesterday, listening to her interview with People Magazine. I was swilling water out of a half working washing machine and needed something to occupy my inner eye instead of the terrible ennui of being alive in a world where washing machines break and children still want their wretched clothes washed:

I feel foolish for never having even heard of one of the greatest supermodels of all time until everything went terribly wrong for her. But even more, especially given what I was rambling on about yesterday, I found the interview to be genuinely heartbreaking.

I mean, the American promise to the world is that if you can be very beautiful, and as a result be very rich, you will be happy. Beauty and wealth together are enough to guarantee temporal contentment, but also an eternal legacy upon which you might rest the weight of your discomfited psyche. Work hard and these necessary blessings will be yours.

This, when it is spiritualized and comes into the church, is called the prosperity gospel, and it is poisonous cruelty. First, because when you aren’t happy, it is your own fault. You didn’t work hard enough. Second, because happiness is only possible through wealth and beauty brought into the world through “faith.” When you lose beauty or wealth, or never attain either, you cannot be happy. And third, because happiness is such a narrow constraint. It is bound not only to your feelings but to your perception of yourself. It is concentrated solely on you. You are the center of your own world. When you fail, you have only yourself to blame.

And so, because Ms. Evangelista knew herself through her beauty, when her beauty is taken away from her, especially by the promise of keeping a hold of it for just a little bit longer, she has nothing. She can only hide in the shadows. Except that now she is coming out to talk about it, and try to keep it from happening to others.

Speaking as a very short, slightly dumpy, graying 45-year-old post-menopausal woman (it’s fine with me if you assume my gender) also suffering from “stubborn fat” (that’s apparently what Cool Sculpting promises to kill) I wish I could shout across the interwebs to Ms. Evangelista that there is hope for her, that she has worth as a person, no matter how destroyed and unlovely her body is. Jesus came to us, taking on human flesh and living with all the ruin of our estate so that we could, ultimately, be happy. But not happy in ourselves, happy rather in the glory of his beauty, which he gives to anyone who calls on him. If anyone knows Ms. Evangelista personally, perhaps they could mention this important information to her.

And now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to walk three miles because of the horribly stubborn and cruel fat. Have a nice day!

Photo by Vladimir Soares on Unsplash

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