When All Else Fails, Read

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            For those mornings when you feel disappointed by what greets you in the morning, pick up a book. Stop stressing about that wrinkle or lamenting that gray hair. Leave your make-up right in its case. Don’t walk over to your closet for a quick spruce-up. Just ignore your vanity for thirty minutes and feed something other than your ego. Feed your brain.

            Sit down and turn a few pages. Explore territory beyond the terrain of the face society tells you to hate. Think about classical mythology or new recipes or psychological advances. You don’t have to ponder heavy philosophical questions every time you decide your reflection depresses you, but you should relax. Or at least recognize that there’s more to fret about than unconventional looks or fading beauty.

            If you’re going to worry, worry about an issue that merits your attention. Worry about the economy. Worry about your moral health. Worry about all the illiteracy in the world. You’ll have more luck trying to fix one of those conundrums than ever looking like a fashion magazine 24-7.

            Why? Because no matter what you do, you can’t ever stay 16 or 26 or 36 forever. You can try and slow down the aging process but the truth is that you age everyday. Even if you were born naturally and conventionally beautiful, there are times when you will inevitably look tired or messy or just other than your best. You are human, which hopefully means you have a greater ratio of flesh to plastic than vice-a-versa.

            Dye your hair, do your nails, apply that new shade of lipstick, but you if you spend more time trying to fit a mold than questioning why that mold even exists in the first place and what you can do to break it, then it’s time to reassess your priorities. Do your research and read up to find alternatives that work for you.

            But maybe you’re too frustrated with the whole idea of beauty to even attempt to de-construct and rebel against it. That’s fine, too. Just stop battling the fact that what you see doesn’t match up with what you “should look like,” according to all those nasty fashion magazines.

            If all else fails, direct your mind away from the mirror and read. Because you can always improve your mind.

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