Ask Caroline

Caroline Manzo tackles questions on parenting, relationships, and self-esteem.

on May 16, 2011

Meghan from New York, NY says: In today's world, there is so much pressure on girls/women and our appearance. It often seems to stand in the way of our wellbeing. How do you feel about our weight and appearance obsessed society, and how do you think girls and women can combat it?

Caroline says: This is an interesting question, Meghan, and I have two schools of thought on it. I agree that we live in a society that puts a huge emphasis on physical appearance. It seems that we're all fighting to beat father time at his own game, trying looking fabulous at any expense.

There's a difference in personal hygiene and overall good health versus vanity. If you were to tell me that you're getting Botox or lip injections to fit into society, I'd try to shake some sense into you. If you're not secure about yourself, there's no amount of plastic surgery that will ever make you feel adequate. Superficial beauty fades over time, confidence in yourself grows and becomes the true beauty that will always shine through.

Now lets look at the flipside. It's your basic responsibility in life to put your best foot forward in everything you do. Your personal appearance is no exception. Maybe you're overweight, fine, work on trying to get yourself into shape for your health, if nothing else. Maybe you can't afford designer clothes, so what, always look clean and put together, dress appropriately for your age and body type. There's nothing more ridiculous that a person dressing out of their element trying to fit in. It just doesn't work.

Don't use your physical appearance as a crutch. It's a poor excuse, and no one's going to buy it. Know who you are and work it! Yes, we do live in a society full of Barbie and Ken dolls, and it takes a very confident person to march to the beat of his or her own drum. Be the best you there is. You need to know and understand your strengths and weaknesses, never let someone's outward appearance make you feel inadequate. The difference is simply this, change what you want to change about yourself for your own gratification, not to please others. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that true confidence is a beauty that never grows old and can never be outshined!

Have a question for Caroline? Submit it HERE and she may just have your answer.

Caroline's weekly episode blog>