Accepting the Inevitable…..or Not???

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I read an article once, written by a celebrity who said that, whilst walking down a high street, she glanced at her reflection in the shop window and was shocked to see her mother! The reality hit home that she had aged and now had to face the fact that youth had passed her by! The way in which we choose to handle this inevitable fact of life is  often dictated by one’s financial status.

This article is not meant to be sexist in any way, as it can apply to male readers as well as female.  So, all you men out there, whether hetero, homo, or for that matter, bi or trans, one hopes you too will find it informative.

Most people know of someone who has decided to fight the ageing process by undergoing some form of cosmetic surgery. Many of these people never discuss what they have had done to improve their looks, but often the results speak for themselves – and not always in a positive way either! The cost of cosmetic surgery, or enhancement techniques, can often be extremely prohibitive and for the average person it’s often just a pipe dream. However, if one feels that there is a way to get help to lift the droopy breasts, firm the butt, remove sagging eye lids etc. it is critical that research is done regarding the professional one is going to trust to do the job.

Any kind of surgery carries a certain amount of risk but, by choosing a qualified practitioner who comes recommended by satisfied, bona fide patients, one is reducing the risk of disappointment as well as disfiguration. It has become apparent that, due to the high cost of many procedures, people search the internet for cheaper options. In order to save money, many people have opted to have treatments done in countries other than their own, and the results in some instances have been less than perfect.  Standards of hygiene and the skills of those performing the techniques in foreign countries can be questionable.

It is a known fact that many foreigners come here to South Africa for cosmetic surgery, which, when one is paying in dollars or pounds, is much more affordable than in their own country. Plus, the standards for such procedures is known to be high. If you are thinking of having a procedure done purely for cosmetic reasons, then the advice is to check the credentials of the person in whose hands you are putting your trust. It is probably acceptable to ask for contact details of past, satisfied, patients, and also to see the qualifications of the professional you wish to have operate on you. Just having a sexy hunk of a man willing to improve your breasts, or lift that sagging bum may sway you into trusting him. Don’t let yourself be coerced by sales talk either. You are the person footing the bill. You need to know all the risks involved in the relevant procedure, and what the potential outcome will be for you. Like most things in life today – you get what you pay for.  Cheaper often becomes costlier in the long run. However, more than that, you are entitled to get as much information regarding the procedure as you can.

Information is power! Take your time, ask the questions, and if you feel that you will be happier after the surgery and you trust your practitioner – go for it and never fear that looking glass again!!

Feeling Good About Yourself?

Very few people are totally content with their physical appearance. Although most learn to accept slight imperfections, sometimes these flaws can lead to bullying in childhood and low self-esteem.  With professional help much can often be done to alleviate the problem.

A child who has prominent ears may be laughed at and called Mickey Mouse or Dumbo. Pinning back the ears by a plastic surgeon is apparently a fairly common and not an overly complicated procedure. It is probably somewhat easier for a girl to disguise her ears with a particular hair style than for a boy, but that is not always possible.

Nowadays the wearing of glasses is a fashion statement so it doesn’t appear to be as much of a problem as years ago when a short or far sighted chid was called “four eyes” and made fun of.  It would appear that more children are being prescribed spectacles than in previous decades, possibly due to computer usage or an excess of television viewing.   However, with the advent of contact lenses, the wearing of glasses may become a matter of choice.  In adulthood there may be the option of surgery to correct the short sightedness, by a qualified ophthalmic surgeon.

Anything which makes a child stand out as different can have long lasting psychological effects. A big problem these days is obesity. Even though there are more and more fat children, they still are often a target for teasing. Often the reason for the obesity is psychological. An unhappy home life, sexual abuse, and generally a poor self esteem can culminate in a child finding comfort in food – and the wrong kind of food.  The rolls of fat may offer the child a barrier to the world of misery in which he finds himself. The bigger he becomes, the safer he may feel. However, it is a catch 22, as the bullying and verbal abuse from other children may continue unabated.

Sadly, the damage to a person’s self esteem during the childhood years may not disappear once one is an adult, even though the person may be seen to have succeeded in their chosen field.  However, it is possible to get help in correcting the problem, which in turn can give back confidence and a feeling of self-worth. If a problem is allowed to continue, depression and even suicidal thoughts may result.

So much can be done nowadays to help people gain confidence and to feel good about themselves, but it is imperative that the professional one chooses to help alleviate the problem comes well recommended. Attending seminars hosted by motivational speakers can point a person in the right direction as far as building up a positive self-image and therefore self-esteem.

Areas which seem to cause adults misery can be ugly teeth which were not corrected in childhood, unhappiness with the size of one’s breasts, a perceived unattractive backside and more commonly nowadays, sagging skin from having been morbidly obese and then losing a huge amount of weight.

Worldwide there are top class professionals in all the medical fields who could be approached to help rectify the problem but, unfortunately, it is usually up to the patient to foot the bill, as anything deemed to be cosmetic is generally not covered by normal medical insurance options. If the condition needing to be rectified can be proved to be causing serious psychological problems, it may be that certain types of medical insurance options might be more amenable to covering some of the costs of the procedure.  Obviously, there would have to be psychological assessments done to prove that this is in fact the case. If there are seriously deep-rooted psychological problems, then cosmetic surgery to increase or reduce the size of one’s boobs or to gain a Kardashian-type butt may just prove to be a total waste of hard-earned cash which does not alleviate the negative self-image. Seeking psychological help may have been a better option than enduring the painful surgery!


Living in today’s world with all its technological advances seems to have created a situation whereby people tend to be less satisfied with themselves and their lives than their parents  or grandparents ever were. For example, social media, whilst having many benefits and allowing people to keep in touch with one another instantaneously, has a dark side as well. Spending time on viewing the lives of others can result in feelings of failure, insecurity and low self-esteem. After all, by nipping and tucking photos with the help of photoshop, even the most ordinary looking person is suddenly able to look like a movie star.  It is also a way to brag about one’s life – wonderful holidays, great social life, amazingly happy families. The list goes on and on.

There are many reasons for having  poor self-esteem or poor self-image and one could write reams on the subject and many people have already done so. My hope is to discuss some of the factors which can have either a negative or positive influence on the way in which people perceive themselves. There will be several articles linked in some way to the first one which concentrates on self-esteem.


Sense and Sensibility

One of the funniest things I ever heard was a child saying that his friend had cut his tongue on a cold drink can and all his taste buds had fallen out! Well, hopefully all that happened was that he had a small cut on the tip of his tongue and was still able to taste for the rest of his life! It must be dreadful being unable to taste food, smell fragrances, feel discomfort or pain in parts of one’s body (within reason of course!), hear sound or see the beauty all around. Our five senses are such an important part of being human.

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See no evil, Hear no evil, Taste no evil

A relative who was getting on in years once said that if she had to choose between being unable to hear or unable to see, she would probably choose having poor eyesight but still be able to enjoy listening to music. A difficult choice, and one which I believe none of us would willingly want to have to make. Losing one of our senses, after enjoying them for a good part of our lives, has to be traumatic in any event.  Experts tell us that our other senses step in to compensate for the loss but surely that would only be the case in very young people or if one or more of the senses is absent from birth? I do hope that I never have to put that theory to the test!

What is more delicious than waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee? Oh, hang on-what about the appetizing smell of frying onions? Bacon sizzling away is another winner for those who are allowed to eat pork. The list could go on and on and the olfactory nerves have already awakened the taste buds (those which have not been lost through a sharp edged cold drink can!) which are now fired up and raring to go! Opening the window and taking a deep breath after the rain is decidedly therapeutic – especially if it hasn’t rained for quite a while. No more dust in the air! Divine! Yes, the power of smell is very important to a quality of life. Perfumers have known all about this since time immemorial and we pay a premium when we buy a bottle of their expertise!

What about touch? The warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you cuddle a new puppy or a new baby for that matter (depends on your preference of course), not to mention the smell of the puppy breath as well. We will leave out the new baby smell as it’s not always one of baby powder and soothing lavender lotion.  How about the comfort of a friend’s hug when the days have been tough? We often tend to under estimate the value of being able to feel through our sense of touch. Babies need to be touched from the moment they are born. Premature infants in incubators are known to respond positively to gentle touch whilst fighting to survive. Humans are tactile creatures and many of us tend to ignore the importance of touch by being afraid of seeming to be needy.

Friends and family are so often scattered all over the world these days, and to be able to pick up the phone and hear your loved ones’ voices can make all the difference when it comes to coping with the miles that separate you. Fortunately there are a variety of up-to-date devices which assist with hearing loss which can be beneficial in many cases. One’s voice is unique, and often even age does not result in it changing. How often have you heard something which transports you back in time to another place and another age? It may have been someone’s voice, a song, a piece of music or even the sound of a plane flying over your house.

Sight is something we take for granted until the day we realise that the writing seems to be getting smaller or it is becoming difficult to read road signs. Fortunately, whether young or old, there are many forms of treatment. For children, wearing glasses is now in vogue – unlike those years in the past when a child was often the only one in the school who had to wear them and often got teased and called “four eyes” and asked if they wore them when they were asleep! Apart from deterioration due to age, with cataract removal surgery, lens implants, and an often performed procedure to cure short sightedness we are living in a world where we should be able to enjoy good sight for most, if not all, of our lives. However, even with 20/20 vision there are probably many people out there who remember the embarrassment of seeing someone you are sure you know and calling their name, only to find out that it’s not that person at all! So, sometimes, the sense of sight can be deceiving.

Eyes need to be treated with care as strange and often dangerous things can happen.  An example is the true story of the over-worked, young mother trying to juggle a full-time job with bringing up a toddler, who grabbed a bottle of eye drops one morning to ease her dry eyes. Imagine her horror when she suddenly found herself totally unable to see, and her irises had become enormous. In desperation she rushed to the pharmacy for help. She took the bottle of eye drops with her and was horrified to discover that they were the ones the vet had prescribed for her dog’s eye infection! Never again will she store human and canine medication on the same shelf! Yes, she did recover the full function of her eyes, after a few days of blurry vision!

For many people their favourite sense is the sense of taste and it would be politically incorrect to mention the way in which this is often obvious to outside observers! Being blindfolded and asked to identify various foods can be quite nerve wracking as one is often suspicious if the food is not visible. Chefs know the importance of the presentation of the food to be served.  If it looks appetising then one is more likely to savour the flavour. Even the most delicious food can fail the taste test due to its messy appearance.  Imagine just how dull life would be if we had a yellow pill for breakfast, a green one for lunch and a red one for dinner.  Many wives would welcome an advance such as this with open arms, but there is a lot to be said (and millions of ardent food lovers will vouch for this) for enjoying one’s food.

Many starving people in the world will never be in a position to understand the true enjoyment of experiencing different flavours of food, as for them food is just a necessity and not a gastronomic delight. For those fortunate enough for this not to apply and who have their taste buds intact and are able to thoroughly enjoy their sense of taste – Bon Appetit!

A lot has been written about a sixth sense and that will be covered in a later blog which I trust will prove to be of interest.