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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

Drop Dead Gorgeous - Holistic Alternatives to Cosmetic Surgery

The untimely death of writer Olivia Goldsmith, author of the First Wives Club, from plastic surgery highlighted the risks associated with our narcissistic addiction to looking forever young. Is being beautiful and youthful through surgical intervention worth dying for? Extreme makeovers are popularized by the media. We watch the magical transformations on TV believing that the participants will live happily ever after. However, they donít. As a result of the surgery (surgeries), many have confessed to having lost friends, and facing overt or subtle criticism from family and colleagues at work. Some are soon dissatisfied and feel the need to have another nip or tuck. They have broken through the surgery barrier. Plastic surgery can become addictive if one has the money to support it.

Why are we women cutting up our faces? Why are we becoming obsessed with our bodies? I have seen women who had so many procedures done that they continually stare at themselves in the mirror, not out of wonder and admiration, but because they do not recognize who they have become.

Many eye-lifts have resulted in hollow, vacant looks. Many face lifts have resulted in a loss of expression. However, worst of all is the death of the interior woman, the beauty of her words, experience, wisdom and intuition. Instead, a more superficial female emerges working on the outside without working on the inside to get a sense of her true life and an appreciation of her accomplishments. What is most frightening is that during all this time, a girl is watching her mother aging ungracefully, cutting up her face, vacuuming out her thighs and inflating her breasts. Her mother embodies the message that in order to succeed you have to be stereotypically beautiful and thin. Her mother is struggling to turn into a Barbie doll.

We need to learn how to love and respect ourselves to see beauty in self-expression, a smile and a sparkle in the eyes. We need to take back our power! Here are some suggestions to attain internal and eternal beauty:We donít need to wear a mask to obscure our inner light. True beauty is honest and joyous. Vanity-based plastic surgery is the unkindest cut of all - a betrayal in the deepest sense to ourselves. We are good enough!
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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