Last week, I chanced upon these status messages while scrolling through my friends' updates in Facebook.
"Z is under renovation."
"J is under renovation."
Hmmmmm. Okay. Under renovation. It sounded so cryptic.
Days later, I was with my friend Fernando and I told him what I discovered.
"Grabe, Z and J had their noses done," I announced. "Nakakaloka!"
"Ay. Charice much?" he replied.
"I know. Next week daw ang soft launch sa Malate."
We both laughed.
"Hindi ba maganda naman ilong nila?" Fernando asked me.
"Exactly. Ganoon na ba ka grabe ang competition?"
"Ang hirap pala kung ganoon. Ikaw ba, may ipapabago?"
His question got me into thinking. I have always regarded plastic surgery as something I may consider far, far into the future. What I haven't realized was that the future could be now.
That night, I stared at the reflection in the mirror hanging in my bathroom. I looked at myself long and hard.
Not bad for 30. Still…
I have few wrinkles, but I have wrinkles. Six lines on my forehead to be exact.
My eyes crinkle a bit when I smile and laugh too hard.
My nose can look more pointed
I can always use one more dimple. Or two.
As the years pass, I am certain I will lose whatever good looks that remain. My skin will sag, my tummy will become bigger. I will look, heaven forbid, old.
Will I survive this harsh, unforgiving gay world armed only with an eyeliner? Or should I succumb to the knife and the youth and beauty that it brings?
Surely, Botox can't be that bad, right? Or a nose job can't hurt. But where does it end?
There is a fine, fine line between beauty and a lie.
Most people are afraid to grow old alone. So to prevent that from happening, some decided if they cannot grow old, they cannot grow old alone.
It's like buying time. One more year, one more chance at love.
Others fear the loss of beauty.
"Age hits the beautiful hardest of all, because some homely people tend to grow into their looks, and consequently look better at 40 than they did at 20," Rudeboy told me while we were discussing plastic surgery.
My friends J and Z are both good looking and popular. They go to the gym regularly and they sport lean fit bodies.
They get more than their fair share of men. The lucky ones, as we would say. But we can always be more beautiful, apparently. It is never enough.
After all, every year, a new crop of gay guys land on the streets of Malate. They stand there, young and beautiful.
And no matter what you say, they will always be competition. And, youth possesses such an advantage.
As I stared at myself more in the mirror, I realized I like myself at 30. And that, looking back, I have always been content with how I look like.
I can only hope that each year, as I look at myself in the mirror, that same reflection looks back at me.
A happy man is what I see. Older yes, and hopefully, happier.