Ever since the first season of the Hills, I have been following the adventures of Speidi with as much self-righteous indignation as the next guy. Nobody can agree on how to provide health insurance to everyone in the US, but we can agree on one thing: Heidi Montag is ridiculous. But as I came back from the gym the other day, fresh off of a new haircut and shortly after changing my Facebook picture in celebration of Doppelgänger week, like Nathan to King David, Liza (my wife) pointed out the fact that “We are all (the would-be) Mrs. Botoxhead.“ I realized she was right, and I’ve had a revelation of sorts: I’m just like Heidi, but without the guts to put a hip bone in my jaw.
Ok, so maybe I haven’t (yet) had numerous plastic surgeries or been on a reality TV show (fingers crossed), but from a Law/Gospel perspective, all Heidi did was “eat the whole loaf.” Our self-conception of beauty IS on the inside, and her insides said, “we feel ugly; let’s change how we look.” For those of us who have bothersome “target areas,” agonize over new glasses purchases or spend time de-tagging unflattering Facebook photos, we may not have as much right to bash Heidi as we’d like. The promise of autopoiesis—self creation—is one of the curses of the Law, and all Heidi did was use the available tools to eat the apple.
Someday, maybe, I’ll be able to rest on some platitude of “who I really am,” or know that “beauty is really only on the inside.” Until then, I’ll continue to go to the gym, watch what I eat and concern myself with what I look like—but only in moderation, because I get uncomfortable when people live out the logical end of the assumptions upon which I base my life–and continue to thank God that Jesus came for Heidi Montag, and self-absorbed plastic sinners like me.