Don't know much about designer shoes.
Don't care much about designer bags.
Feel the same about designer threads though I am passionate about clothing in general, just immune to the allure of labels, in fact, downright snarky about status-driven acquisitiveness.
But I am obsessed by the notion of a designer body, the idea that through exercise and diet and perhaps some tailoring, one's God-given form can be changed and even perfected.
I am obsessed with the concept of an ideal body despite my upbringing which stressed good values and inner beauty, which cautioned against the trap of superficial appeal, which scorned that which was only skin-deep.
Since I was small, I had a body consciousness which compelled me to wish to remake my physical self into something better even as my parents and my education required me to perfect my heart, my mind and my soul.
It was not that I wished to be altogether different; just improved. Me 2.0.
At rare and fleeting moments, I have experienced the triumph of having achieved this goal. Three times -- for stretches of several months apiece -- I also experienced the joy of my body's perfect biological capacity, the miraculous way it swelled with life.
I felt so rich and whole and holy when I was expecting. My big belly silenced my life-long critique of my butt and the tops of my thighs. It eclipsed all my imperfections.
Sometimes I think that it is a good thing that my daily life is full to overflowing with projects and work and concerns and meetings and assignments and tasks and responsibilities, making it impossible to dwell on body-related issues.
Other times I wonder if my body-focus is about something else entirely, a displaced spiritual quest, an essential sadness, a feeling of personal inadequacy, a vestige of the adopted kid I once was and always will be.
I do notice that after days that are especially stressful, my favorite activity, after the gym, is to Google plastic surgery procedures and websites, losing myself in a fantasy land of perfection, of Cinderella-like transformation where the good doctor is Prince Charming. Tonight, for instance, I spent over an hour looking at a procedure called Vaser Lipsosuction, avidly scanning Before and After photos, practically drooling with absorption.
What a fantasy it is...the prospect of melting away the middle-aged belly roll that my devoted workouts cannot budge, firming up those increasingly problematic upper thighs that no stair master can tame, lifting the brows that are gently sloping downward -- weary of holding an interested expression, which they have done, admirably, for decades -- asserting breasts that have settled into a a conciliatory posture.
I've noticed that the stress that drives me to the plastic surgery websites relates to a feeling that something vital has been taken from me. Preparing to enter the cyber portal, I am empty, drained, possibly pillaged.
The prospect of a perfected body restores that which was taken from me.
Other women shop for designer shoes, still others handbags and clothing.
For me, the designer body is what I really want, my legs, my butt, my breasts, my brow made to look just as they do in my dreams, as if I had created them myself.