Hocus Pocus

“Therefore, it stands to reason, does it not, sisters dear? That we must find the book, brew the potion and suck the lives out of the children of Salem before sunrise.”

Present-day Salem gets a really spooky Halloween when new kid in town, Max (Omri Katz), lights a black candle that summons a trio of witches from 300 years ago. Winifred (Bette Midler) and her sisters Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) must finish their potion before midnight on Halloween or they will cease to exist.

The Sanderson Sisters’ Problem
They’re a little weird, to say the least. The ladies have a thirst for youth because their spells allow them to take the life force out of children. This life force helps the girls stay young.

Obsession with Youth
The sisters suffer from a common cultural dilemma: They obsess over staying young and beautiful. A problem that mainly stalks us females, the pressure to stay young is high in civilized countries. Instead of breaking down specifics in Hocus Pocus, let’s break down specific examples in American culture of how our female population is brainwashed into thinking youth is a cure-all for mental anguish:

  • Social Media
    We all know that one girl who Photoshops her Instagram pictures so badly that she basically doesn’t have a nose in them. She’s not trying to trick us; she’s trying to trick herself. Photoshop and other digital manipulation tools are systematically teaching girls to play with their “ideal” image, which frankly ends up making beautiful women look like aliens in their profile pics.
  • Medical Procedures
    There is so much pressure to stay young that some women resort to plastic surgery. Let’s be real here, Readers: I am not about to demonize you if you’ve ever had a boob job or a Botox injection. What I’m demonizing is our culture that causes some people to become addicted to these types of procedures to the point where they are put in danger. If you want new tatas, get ’em! Just make sure you’re the one who really wants them.
  • Snakeoil
    We all know how I feel about supplements (they are mostly garbage). Supplements, facial treatments, lotions and potions are sold everywhere that are said to alleviate the visual process of aging. Many of these products are expensive and completely useless. This is a practice that has gone on for centuries.

While women are not the only group affected by social pressure to stay young, it does seem more commonplace for women to suffer from youthful obsession and body dysmorphia. The Sanderson sisters, even at their 300-year mark, are no exceptions to this phenomenon.

At the end of the day, the best cure for getting old is enjoying every step of the process. Those eye bags? You earned them. That bum shoulder? You earned it. Those gray hairs? Yep, you earned those too. I’m not trying to suggest you should never use moisturizer or inject away some wrinkles now and then, but embracing the process of aging and all its little surprises is the best way to cope with the inevitable process of getting older.

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