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General Articles

Keeping up appearances - Bodywork dilemmas

Are you dealing with the bodywork but not fixing the mechanics?

If your car breaks down most people understand that taking it to the garage for a re-spray or having the bumps knocked out is not going to get you back on the road again if there is something seriously wrong going on under the bonnet!

People can understand this for their cars, their homes and many other possessions, yet for their most valuable possession (themselves) this logic seems to completely escape their notice. Why would you spend inordinate amounts of money enhancing the outside when the real problem or a large part of the problem that needs working on is on the inside?

There are so many different reasons that people have cosmetic enhancement or surgery and many are legitimate choices, based on their careers (TV, cinema, entertainment), post child birth, post accident/surgery, birth defects etc., but there are many, many more based on trying to live up to an idealised version of yourself or others that lead to heart-breaking multiple procedures that leave people at best looking like lady Penelope out of Thunderbirds and at worst like the neighbours’ overfed hamster.

The Riviera is an area where people get caught up in the glitz and glamour of the twenty-something’s culture and many won’t even take a trip down to the supermarket without the contents of their makeup bag splurged across their faces. So if you are considering any form of cosmetic treatment, enhancement or full-blown surgery, ask yourself and preferably others whether you really need it and what the trigger is.

Did you wake up in your 40/50 year old skin to hear someone telling that you looked tired today and arrive at the conclusion that a trip down Botox alley or to the surgeon would sort that one out? Are you doing it for you or for someone else? Breast enhancement is a great example of this – why on earth would you want to lug around a couple of huge breasts that will cause you discomfort when doing sport, give you back ache and a fat behind (yes a sports coach told me that the body has to compensate by balancing itself out when large breasts are not part of your natural morphology)? Who are you really doing it for? If your man can’t accept you as you are as an all-round fabulous package, then find another man who can. How many men do you see opting for surgery to ‘please’ their wives? Most men will opt for a diet and a workout at best.

Most of the issues associated with changing yourself cosmetically come from within. If you are not happy with who you are before, then no amount of treatment on the outside will change that. Sooner or later you’ll be back having the next thing done until you lose all sense of reality and end up looking like a papier-mâché Halloween mask.

There is nothing wrong, of course, with wanting to improve the way that you look. After all, very few people have genes that give them a perfect look with which they are completely happy.

So if you have an oddly shaped nose that you feel self-conscious about, for example, then having surgery to give it a more natural shape can be very beneficial to your overall level of self-confidence.

Where things can start to become a problem, however, is when you don’t like anything about yourself and want to change everything.

In such cases, making drastic changes is probably not a good idea, as you are most likely suffering from a psychological disorder that you should seek help for.

Even though you may think that cosmetic procedures or surgery is going to help you, in all likelihood, it will probably not, and you will continue feeling the same way about yourself no matter how many exterior improvements you undergo.

It is far better to work with a psychologist or life coach to see how you can improve yourself from the inside, change and enhance your life style and you will find you then become naturally more beautiful. There is no substitute for happiness, the world’s fastest acting and best beauty treatment. People who are happy, glow and radiate a magic that no cream, filler, injection or knife has ever achieved.

Aging is another major reason cited for undergoing procedures. In a time where we are all destined to live longer and longer women find themselves on a ‘nip and tuck’ treadmill where ‘having something done’ is now considered maintenance in the same way face creams where fifty years ago. However you’re onto a losing battle as although you may be able to knock up to ten years off your face initially, you are still going to age and your body will age regardless and you will still ‘feel’ your age even if you don’t look it. There is no virtue in pretending to be what you’re not!

Yes I know some people are lucky and have great genes which means that they ‘age’ more slowly. Others have opted for a healthy life style and it shows on their face. So before you try and shave off the years on your face look at all the other aspects of your life and see what you can clean up their first. Doing more sport, cutting down on alcohol and other toxins, drinking more water and eating a healthy diet will work long term and be sustainable – the surgery will not. You could also try Daniele de Winter’s great range of healthy beauty supplements, all made with natural super ‘foods’. They work miracles and are testimony to her ‘inside out’ beauty philosophy. Work on the inside and it will show on the outside.

Not smoking and not overdoing the sunbathing will also do wonders for your appearance and health in general. Sun worshippers and smokers accelerate their own aging process.

If fitting in is your problem then ask yourself who are you trying to fit in with?

Since the media largely dictates what society views as attractive, if you don’t fit that look, then you may feel unattractive and your mood and personality will suffer as a result.

If, however, a cosmetic procedure can make you look more like what is considered to be attractive, then your mood and personality are temporarily likely to benefit from that surgical enhancement. But this is a dangerous road to go down, because it’s very unlikely that you will ever look like the computer enhanced models that you see in the magazines or the young Eastern European ladies dancing the night away in the Monaco clubs.

Another very important point to consider is that although cosmetic surgery can change how you interact with other people, it won’t necessarily make a drastic change to your personality. In other words, if people don’t like you very much now, then changing your appearance probably isn’t going to make them like you any better. You may get more attention from the opposite sex, but in terms of the friendships that you develop, and real long-term relationships, that is something that comes from within you and not from how you look.

Even if you yourself are not a victim of this, then look around you and ask yourself if your daughter is. I am stunned by the number of twenty year olds who are getting things done and being sucked into this multi million dollar market prompted by the constant media bombardment on their smart phones/pads of the ideal image and the relative ease of getting procedures done. Help your family members to value their inner qualities, learn to love themselves and help them to build their self-esteem.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel one’s best – it fact it’s great. The problem arises when you go for a ‘quick fix’ solution and ignore other deeper issues that are left unresolved.

Keeping up appearances is exactly as it’s written ‘appearance’ and not reality. Think before you act and maybe ask someone to help you determine what your best ‘reality’ already is before you alter your ‘appearance’.

Sunday, 1 November 2015    Section: General Articles    Author: Judy Churchill
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