I spoke with my colleague last week about her recent preference to focus on her “insides”, i.e., our emotional state, over her “outsides.” She said that’s its more important that her insides are “right” rather than her outsides that this point in her life. After watching “Young Adult” with Charlize Theron a few days a go, I totally understand what she means.
In the movie, Charlize portrays Mavis, a beautiful but emotionally screwed up woman who goes back to her hometown to reclaim her high school boyfriend. The movie continually shows Mavis going to a salon, getting new clothes or doing her make-up in anticipation of one encounter or another. And she ends up looking great. But there’s no question she’s screwed up inside. She’s an immature woman whose career — though at one point strong — was going to pot.
But, as I explained to my colleague, it’s not an “either or situation.” How you treat your body on the outside is both a reflection of what’s happening to you emotionally and, in turn, that treatment can affect you on the inside as well.
And Mavis is a perfect example of this. Sure, she’s beautiful, but she’s also an alcoholic thanks to her massive depression which means she looks like crap every morning; she suffers from Trichotillomania (a sign of deep, emotional struggles) which means she has to add hair pieces to her thinning blonde locks; and she eats great amounts of junk food to offer her some element of happiness which then takes its toll on her skin. And every time she looks at the ramifications the destructive behaviors have on her body, she becomes even more insecure and depressed. All is not beautiful on the outside for Mavis despite all of her beautification efforts. And the more she screws up her insides AND outsides, the harder she has to work to appear beautiful.
Beautification isn’t a salve for deep wounds. But screwing with our outsides will certainly affect us on the inside more than we may think. Both must be tended to, and by caring for BOTH the inside and outside, we are ensuring an overall feeling of well-being.
So go for that manicure. Don’t use it as a crutch and don’t see it as a treat either. It’s just another way to say emotionally and physically beautiful.