Feel Good  

Fake lives

When I look in the mirror every day, I want to see the reflection of a person who accepts herself, faults and all – an individual who has lived, experienced, and not only survived, but blossomed into a person I love. I believe we can be people who do not judge themselves (or others) minimally by outward appearances, but have an awareness of the treasures and beauty within. Perhaps, focusing on our abilities to excel at sports, care for our loved ones, or create a successful business we enjoy are more valuable endeavors than searching for hours online for the perfect new nose.

When we see so much plastic surgery advertised in the media, we begin to over-value a youthful, model-clone appearance over a well-developed, self-actualized self. Pretty hair and skin are more the focus than, say, the ability to play the guitar, or excel at sports. But do you ever stop to think – is this what happiness is? Will having huge eyelashes and a flat belly fill me with a sense of satisfaction and pure joy? Maybe temporarily, but what about when you’re 50, 60, 89 years old? What will you have to fall back on then but a past filled with empty pursuits of temporary beauty?

What a transformational experience if everyone treated everyone with an open, non-judgmental mind. Similar to how a dog or other animal looks upon you. I’ve had the pleasure of owning three wonderful dogs in my life, and I must admit have rarely experienced their level of unconditional love. My dog doesn’t look at me with a critical eye and notice I have no make-up on or didn’t do anything with my hair. She doesn’t look my outfit up and down and grimace at my choice of style that day (Stacy and Clinton on TLC’s ‘What Not to Wear’ would be horrified!). She just throws herself, body and soul, into my arms and vibrates with the pure pleasure of my presence. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to greet our spouses, parents, friends, and children with that same spirit of “I am SO GLAD to see you!” But maybe without the bodily vibrations; could be off-putting for people who don’t know you any better.

Keep the Botox and collagen injections for the few who feel forced into them to keep their careers in the spotlight alive a few more desperate years. I still don’t, and never will, understand how duck lips make you more attractive. I’ll take a genuine 80-year-old wrinkly smile over an unnerving Barbara Walters frozen statue look any day.

Instead of hunting through magazines, the internet, or movies for the impossible pursuit of perfection, wouldn’t your time and energy be better spent on developing your innate qualities of kindness, generosity, adventure, leadership, or growing vegetables to share and inspire others? Would it be more effective to bring your skills and wisdom to the world than increase your bra size or change your eye color? How many people does that positively affect? In the end, if all we’ve focused on and developed are putting on fake eyelashes and making our biceps bigger, life in our old age will be very sad indeed. Read, learn, and explore the world around you. See how many joyful wrinkles you can create on your beautiful face and ripple out into the world.

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About the Author

Tara is a published poet and children's e-book author. Article publishing credits include Snowshoemag.com, Riversportsmag.com, VidaYum online children’s magazine, and Homes & Land Okanagan. She currently spends most of her time discovering new BC restaurants and wineries, hiking with her dog, and writing. Her column is about positive living and coping skills for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Follow her on Twitter @TaraPanrucker.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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