To Peacock or not to Peacock?

Be a peacock in a world of pigeons...

 

Pride in personal appearance. This is not a new concept, nor one to obsess over, however in the polarised world we live in, society seems to have put great or no value into this concept.

Pride in personal appearance is nothing new, nor unique to humanity.  It is a key attribute in personal confidence, and of course an instinctive factor in sexual attraction.  However, today more than ever we seem to have gone crazy with this notion.

As a born people watcher, I see obesity, anorexia, poor presentation, immaculate presentation, neglected skin & obsessive beauty regimes…. Balance appears to be the exception.

With that said, I’m all for the odd Pyjama day and am guilty of being a combination of lazy, rushed and negligent more often than I would like.  However, putting a little effort into personal presentation can make a world of difference to your self-esteem and confidence.

When I started my career in Appearance Medicine, one of my first patients was a timid, recently single Mum of 3. It was clear her confidence was at rock bottom, and she confessed her financial situation wasn’t much better.  I felt ethically torn treating her with dermal filler and wrinkle relaxants at this difficult stage of her life.  I was disappointed in myself when I agreed to treat her – were cosmetic treatments really what she needed right now?!.

A few weeks later she was booked for a routine review.  I was prepared to console her, expecting that the cosmetic treatments would not have addressed her underlying issues so she would be disappointed.  To my surprise, a new woman entered the clinic.  She appeared 6 inches taller and was radiant and beaming.  She was applying for work and had signed up to trampolining classes.  In her mind, the treatments were exactly what she needed. She was a loyal and grateful patient for years following, and I enjoyed watching her blossom and thrive.  

Now I’m not advocating that everyone lines up to have their faces to be used as pin cushions.  What I am saying is that maybe we all need to remind ourselves of our realistic presentation and personal goals more often.  We can’t sit back and blame social media and advertising for our predicament.  What do you need to do or stop doing, to be the best, most sustainable version of yourself? What is holding you back?  Invest in yourself.  This could be as simple as wearing sunscreen, watching a youtube makeup tutorial, or scheduling an appointment with a hairdresser or as complex as following a diet and lifestyle overhaul.  If it is your frown line that bothers you, consider a wrinkle relaxing treatment (Botulinum toxin is one of the most extensively tested drugs, it has been used for over 30 years with millions of treatments performed year on year). 

Do what you feel comfortable doing, to be your most confident self – but please don’t stay awake at night worrying about the signs of inevitable ageing.  Don’t regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many.