Is Beauty Skin Deep? – Interview with a Plastic Surgeon

I was in NZ last week conducting a number of training sessions as usual. While I am there I stay with my parents and usually in my household we have very challenging Q&A on human behaviour. My father is a retired Plastic Surgeon and during this visit, over dinner one night, we got into a discussion about “beauty”, specifically “is beauty skin deep?” I asked him, after he had performed a surgery, did people change their perceptions about their outer beauty and did it affect their inner mental attitudes about themselves? My father’s reply was, sometimes no matter what you do on the outside of a person, the inner person still harbors doubts whether they are beautiful or not. He couldn’t be more right.

It got me thinking. How many times have you been around physically attractive people and yet you couldn’t wait to get away from them? It was almost as if being around them just made you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, some people may not be that attractive on the outside, yet after talking to them only for a short while you are totally absorbed by them!

The self-esteem of many people is very fragile indeed. People are often very critical about themselves; the first though that comes into their head is a negative thought about themselves. So how does one change that negative thought or raise their self-esteem? This is not something that can be changed overnight and it actually requires a person to understand how their environment has shaped and influenced their psychology, their thinking.

For example some people (not all) put on weight or begin to smoke in order to deal with self-esteem issues. This doesn’t usually start overnight, it is usually a gradual process. You eat more than you should or eat the incorrect foods and reduce your exercise. The same thing happens with smoking. You don’t usually smoke a whole packet on the first day, but slowly increase the amount of cigarettes you smoke. After a while you don’t really pay attention to the increase in the number of cigarettes consumed as it is now a habit. Your life thus far is an accumulation of habits.

As another example, let us say you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn’t be able to do it after just training for 3 weeks! People want a quick fix, yet they fail to realise that 90 percentage of behaviour is based on routines. The problem in developing your self-esteem to combat either stress or burnout requires an understanding of your own behavior and the components of emotions.

Developing inner beauty or as I would prefer to say – becoming comfortable in your own skin – needs one to truly understand what makes you tick. Once you have an answer to this question, life becomes easier on all fronts. Understanding the components of emotions and feelings will give you the awareness of control and focus. It will make everyday life easy whether it is your job in sales or your professional and personal relationships.

My father highlighted the fact that working on the physical is so much easier than working on the mental state or the psychology of a person. The emotion, feeling or thought a person experiences often has a strong power over them; you can’t physically hold it and break it but you can bend it and mould it to whatever shape you want. It is like sculpting a piece of clay.

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