I spent an hour perusing the latest copy of a certain upscale fashion magazine.  

I was in shock. Every model on every page of this “trend-setting, fashion-bending bible” was anorexic to the point of emaciation. You couldn’t pinch an inch on these girls if you were paid to. I’m talking third-world country skinny. Is this the image that we are foisting on our young women? This is not real. This is not what you see when you walk down the street. No wonder we have unfortunate young women who get caught up in the hype and set unrealistic goals about their weight, face and self-esteem.  

As they grow older they are encouraged to nip and tuck; snip and suck out the extra pounds and pull their eyelids up to the top of their head. I can’t imagine going through all that pain in order to look like some wisp of a woman who wears size 0 and has the smooth face of a baby’s booty.

Everything on TV is focused on youth and the fashion industry’s idea of what’s beautiful. At some point somebody is going to look at me; tactfully suggest that I have too much skin for my height and maybe I should “get something done.” 

Ain’t gonna happen. Not even if a courier shows up at my door with a Publisher’s Clearing House check. Well, it could happen, I sent them my address. 

The latest innovation in plastic surgery is using your own body fat for surgery “lifts.” The surgeon takes the fat from one part of your body, where you don’t want it, and transfers it to another part of the body, that could use a little puffing up.

Does this mean that you could have your butt growing on your chin?

Some folks are desperately seeking happiness in their mirror and the mirror isn’t showing what’s inside. 

Happiness is a product that is nesting in your inner being. It comes from the inside, not the outside. It doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen. Nothing tangible can make you happy. No other person can make you happy when happiness isn’t a part of your inner being.

Darren Hodgson said, “Nobody (as in no other body or person) will ever bring you complete happiness, think about what will happen if they leave you or are taken from this earth, where will your happiness be then. If you’re waiting for something to happen such as that promotion you’ve always wanted or when you’re working less hours then happiness will never come.”

You say, “I’ll be happy when I’m thin.

I’ll be happy when I’m in a relationship.

I’ll be happy when I get into a good college.

I’ll be happy when I get a high paying job.

I’ll be happy when I reach my goal weight.

I’ll be happy when I’m beautiful.“

The Dalai Lama on his last visit to Australia was asked “what is the meaning of life?”  He answered, “happiness and usefulness.”

The common denominator in all of these situations, is you. You can change your body, get a new job, go to a different school, but you will still be the same person on the inside. 

Self-acceptance starts with changing your definition of happiness. Happiness is a sense of peace and serenity that lives within you, despite what is going on outside of you. You can choose happiness at any moment. It is yours for the taking.

Did you get that little tidbit of information? Happiness is a choice.


What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.

- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama


DALE  LILLY  is Lifestyles Editor and can be contacted at lifestyles@desototimes.com.




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