Superficiality – Happiness

is an Inside Job

The Peninsula Woman

May – Jun 2004



Imagine a woman…… A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is. Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource. A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom. Who refuses to use precious energy disguising the changes in her body and life. ~

Patricia Lynn Reilly

Recently I have noticed a tremendous surge in the media on cosmetic surgery, extreme physical makeovers, teeth whitening, botox, and weight loss programs. This type of advertisement is specifically designed to help you believe “if you are physically transformed and beautiful, you will be happier and more desirable.”  

If this were true, some of the most beautiful people in the world would be happy and content, and there would be no reason to do anything else in life. Actually, what history shows us – is just the opposite. 

The Problem Explained

What is happening?  Why is it happening? We have always been a culture that worries obsessively about changing the shape of our bodies. We are led to believe that the fat on our bodies is an indication of weakness and we can control our lives by controlling our bodies. Body-esteem and self-esteem are very closely linked.  Our obsessive worries about body inadequacy interfere with many of our relationships and in the end, help to create a distorted sense of our true self.

Our culture has lost its core values. When a society loses its core values and principles, people become focused on the Superficial. Many of our societies values and rituals have become lost. When a culture loses its values, individuals have to fight for a sense of what is important to them.  We are now forced to decide for ourselves what is truly important.  We live in a fast paced information hungry society. We have the ability to receive information at the touch of a button on our computers.  But information can become an overload and our poor sensitive systems need a break!!! Superficiality is a result of an overloaded Information society. Because you cannot absorb ALL of the information that you are bombarded with on a daily basis, you are forced to choose the easiest thing of all, Superficiality.  

Value Yourself-Taking back your Power

With summer just around the corner this topic will predictably increase in the media and frantic woman everywhere will once again, be running around starving themselves to get into their bathing suits.  

The National Eating Disorder Association says: “Media messages about body shape and size will affect the way we feel about ourselves and our bodies only if we let them. When we effectively recognize and analyze the media messages that influence us, we remember that the media’s definitions of beauty and success do not have to define our self-image or potential.”

I have put together 5 things that you can do to counter this media frenzy and help you to put your life into perspective.

1)   Love yourself exactly the way you are. The pressure you put on yourself about what you “should be” is actually counterproductive and can lead to many psychological disorders.  

2) Don’t believe everything you read! Not all information is true. Certainly some of the information that you read will work for you. Take your power back and decide what is true for you!

3) Read something other than the popular media.The book, “Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel – Jean Kilbourne” This is a great book on how advertising sways us, even when we don’t want to be swayed.

4) Refuse to accept criticism from anyone about yourself. Tell your significant others that criticism has a negative effect on self esteem, and that it poisons the love for both yourself and them.

5) Take time for Sacred Ritual. Determine what represents sacred ritual for you.  Whether that is taking a walk, sitting in the garden, listening to music, working with a Spiritual Counselor or going for a drive in the car. Conscious rituals remind us that we are sacred, important and special.  But most of all, value yourself first.

Remember, “Happiness is an Inside Job!”