July 14, 2006, Newsletter Issue #24: Extreme Makeover Dos and Donts

Tip of the Week

"Beauty is only skin deep." Some social critics disapprove of the "Extreme Makeover" show, which 7,000 people auditioned for in 2003, and our society's focus on appearances (after all, there are broken levees, homeless people in Louisiana, and real-world problems to deal with.) They caution that the cancelled "Extreme Makeover" TV show and its copycats such as "The Swan" send a message of instant happiness and overcoming life's problems thanks to a tummy tuck, breast implants, makeup lessons and new hairdos.

We all know a healthy self-image isn't easy, and if you've been reading up on cosmetic surgery, you know it's not as painless as TV makes it seem--even the fictional "Nip/Tuck" acknowledges the downside of the business. Also, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery cautioned in 2004 that the "Extreme Makeover" TV show left a false impression that getting multiple cosmetic surgery procedures isn't simple or something you should just rush into. It's still major surgery. If you're considering getting an extreme makeover, here are some pointers: Don't expect to be instantly happy. Only you can make yourself happy and fulfilled--through strong connectiosn with family, friends and community, work, hobbies, personal growth and learning, fitness and health, community service, faith and spiritual life. Don't get conceited. It's not pretty. Don't do it unless you're serious about a major life change. Don't do it without the support of family and friends. Support them in return--don't ignore them. Don't expect critical friends and family to approve--they probably wouldn't anyway.

Stand up for what you believe in. Be confident. Our society does focus on appearances--but don't let the media kid you, they do as well. Occasionally though, we all come together and try to solve real problems, like flood devastation on the Gulf Coast or hunger in Africa. No one may notice your breast implants in the midst of a crisis, but everyone will see another helping hand. That said, there's still nothing wrong with doing something for yourself. Jean Kerr quipped, "I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want--an adorable pancreas?" (Quoted in CULINARYTHERAPY by Beverly West.)

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