The ugly truth about seeking perfection
ANYONE who knows me well would tell you I don't get caught up with the way I look. I spend little time or money on hair or make-up and devote the minimum to clothes and shoe shopping.
I think it's important to have a clean, neat and tidy appearance and to be fit and healthy - that's self-care and taking pride in one's self - but I'm not into changing the way I look or how I present myself visually to the world.
I am happy in my own skin and, trust me, it's not perfect.
I just don't get the word ugly when it comes to appearance. For me physical appearance says very little about our character or value as a person.
I hadn't given this much thought until the other day, after going to Pink's concert.
This extraordinary artist brought home this idea in a stirring recount of a message to her daughter, who had recently told Pink she felt ugly.
Her words resonated with me: "We don't change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
Body dissatisfaction, negative self-image and self-acceptance are real issues for many people - both male and female and of all ages.
It's an internal process often influenced by external factors.
Unfortunately some people think they need to change how they look to feel good about themselves.
The unrealistic images of beauty we are bombarded with in the media and societal pressures to look a certain way are having the biggest impact, especially on our young people.
Pink's daughter is a case in point. At six years of age she said to her mum, "I'm the ugliest girl I know.”
My own teenage daughter has had similar thoughts.
When individuals don't think they measure up in the beauty stakes they develop a strong sense of dissatisfaction and the way that manifests itself can be very ugly.
Unfortunately the unrealistic, unobtainable and highly stylised appearance ideals that have been fabricated will continue to be shoved in our face.
The question is, how do we make a person feel comfortable and happy with the way they look and less likely to feel impacted by the images of so-called perfection being portrayed?
Don't look in a mirror - recognise your inner worth.
To truly feel good, work from the inside out. Focus on your strengths.
With self-acceptance comes confidence and that is true beauty.