Are you ready for a change?

Now that we're clear about the challenges of not being mistaken for a supermodel, I'd like to speak to those readers who feel their appearance is not perfect. If you're absolutely satisfied with your features, skip to the end of this column. Okay, now that we've gotten rid of her, the rest of us may want to try the following advice:

Get Any Makeover You Believe Will Help
As a life coach, I love makeovers, from new clothes to surgery, pedicures to highlights. But redoing makes you feel better only if approached with the right attitude. I asked a number of stylists, personal trainers, and plastic surgeons about the mind-set that leads to successful makeovers. They agreed on these points:
  • Do it for you and only you. Make sure you want the makeover and that those changes will bring you closer to your definition of beauty—not someone else's.

  • Realize that a makeover won't take unless you already know how to sustain self-esteem. If you hate yourself, you'll find a way to hate your new look.

  • Accept that you'll always look like you. Slather moisturizer and lip gloss on a hyena, and you won't get Tyra Banks, just a moist hyena with glossy lips. Even plastic surgery will leave you looking basically like yourself. "We make small changes," one surgeon told me, "but we can't change the fundamental architecture of the face."

  • Don't expect the makeover to fix your life. "Some patients think looking better will automatically bring love and success," another doctor said. "When it doesn't, they blame the surgeon or go in for more procedures."
If you can follow those suggestions, jump on the makeover bandwagon. It'll give you a boost, not because you'll necessarily look better (though you might) but because you'll probably believe you look better. You may feel this way even if the makeover leaves you uglier. I know several women who've gone a little nuts with makeover magic. "I feel so confident now," they slur through puffy duck lips, struggling to wink seductively with Botoxed eyelids. I'm glad they're happy, but to make the glow of self-esteem last, they—and all of us—must move beyond external change to inner transformation.


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