I caught a debate if you can call it that, on day time Thai TV today that made me find time to blog again. The subject discussed was the desire by parents to support their children to get “beautiful” at whatever costs which of course, ends up being plastic surgery, making Thai plastic sergeants laugh all the way to their offshore accounts.
OK most Thai parents can enter extreme parenting. They have to be resourceful in finding the best schools, money to pay, to get into the best school. Then extra tuitions once the little angels get into the best schools so they can be in The “Kings” and “Queens” top classes from kindergarten through to high school and even more extra tuition to make sure they pass entrance exams to the best universities. Perhaps due to this extreme support, it instills in their minds, the needs to be the “best” come above all else for their children.
Have you ever wonder how many “bests of breed” can we have? At this rate we have to redefine “best” as this word loses its meaning. I know some of you will say that the plus side is Thailand becomes the land of the beautiful so for those who think this, I hope you are being ironic.
I’m all for living amongst beautiful things but not artificially created ones and not one that makes “beauty” a singular attribute a person strives for.
How do we get ourselves out of this rut? Not easy. The more worrying thing about wanting to be the best looking is the creation of society that moves itself further away from understanding humanity and the state of being human.
The show mentioned that our youths believe that being good looks alone will allow them to do whatever they want. So like getting extra tuitions to pass exams, to be the best in class, parents are obliged to pay for plastic surgery.
Now take a look at Pancake of the cover of Lisa, she can be Korean or even Japanese, no trace of Thai-ness. This is who most girls aspire t be. Can you imagine the unfortunate girls that aspire to look like her as that means “beautiful” and the level of artificial correction they need?
OK, look alone for “show biz” even if I detest the idea, makes commercial sense but what this show hinted at is that our youth and subsequently their parents (by the way shouldn’t this be the other way round?), think that beauty alone will open doors to all jobs now that is freaking scary! Why? Because it shows that we have lessen the bar yet again for our youth. Will Thailand economic growth doubled or quadrupled if all Thai youths are good-looking? No let me rephrase that, not good-looking but looking as good as Korean or Japanese pop stars or at a bigger stretch, Hollywood stars since we have become so good at being other nationals rather than our own race.
The show also interviewed a legend, well in my life at least but if she has a wiki page perhaps she is truly a legend to us all, Ajahn Mae, Dr. Sunee Sinthudacha, a brilliant linguist that is renowned for her wits and advocate of Thai culture. She is an educationalist who has done more for Thailand than most by holding a mirror to our culture and dare to speak on the taboo subject that most would rather swept under the media carpet.
Ajahn Mae is an original and she should be someone who modern Thai girls should aspire to be rather than “Pancake.” She has a voice, she is funny, witty funny which is getting rare to see on TV, clever and has integrity a word that has little association with the media.
True to form during this show, she raised the question why Thais today think that being beautiful is more important than getting the right education. Why parents would rather see their children become famous rather than becoming for example, teachers. A very good question that sadly the show did not take out to the street and ask the popular mass.
From my world, this is happening right in front of my eyes, a dear friend who has a beautiful little gal, took her to photo shoot from age 3 month and by six month she was a veteran and now at 4 she is on soap operas, magazine covers and guess what, she can cry when told to cry, sit when told to sit. All her colleaugues including me, cooed at this baby and now when she walked int her mum’s office, she has to post for photos as everyone just want to take her pictures. Well, need I say more!
Right now our youth prefer to be “beautiful” and so when given a choice between education and beautification, it’s a no brainer.
So why as grown ups, do we ourselves, put value on things that has little contribution to the moral fibre of our society and at the detriment of our cultural worth?