DEAR HARRIETTE: Growing up has been difficult for me, as I have been suffering with low self-esteem for a long time. My nose has never been flattering, and kids made fun of it during elementary school. I have been saving up for five years, and I finally have enough money to get a nose job. Since I don’t have any close friends, I asked my mother to come with me to the doctor’s office to get a consultation. She has agreed, but she doesn't understand why I am so self-conscious about it. How can I get her understand my decision? -- Bad Nose, Westchester, New York
DEAR BAD NOSE: Share with your mother the things that people have said to you over the years and how those comments have made you feel. Speaking your truth may be therapeutic for you as well. I understand your mother’s question, by the way. The truth is, a nose job is no guarantee that you will suddenly have higher self-esteem. You have to work at that, no matter what. I recommend that you start saying affirmations to yourself about your good qualities -- your intelligence, your kindness, your thriftiness (you have saved a lot of money!) and any other qualities that you can name. Reminding yourself of your value and surrounding yourself with others who support you are key to building a positive view of yourself.
If you truly want the nose job, go for it. But be clear that working on your inner self is what will help you to feel your best.