DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always been insecure about my lips, so I’ve been thinking about getting lip injections. All my friends have nice, full lips -- so does my mom! -- but unfortunately, I don’t. My lips are so thin that you can hardly see them. When I’m out, I always hide my lips or look down because I’m embarrassed by how I look. I want to feel beautiful and be confident.
My mother thinks I look beautiful as I am and doesn’t support my decision, but I’m 18, and I can make this decision on my own. Do you think if it makes me feel more confident I should get the lip injections? -- Not Beautiful, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR NOT BEAUTIFUL: You are not going to like my answer. Honestly, I think that rarely does getting something like lip injections or plastic surgery transform a person’s self-image. This is because the root cause is typically much deeper than physical appearance. We all have positive attributes as well as some that we don’t love. Being able to embrace our fullness -- including our less desirable aspects -- is a part of life.
That said, of all the things you might consider doing to change your physical appearance, getting lip injections is one of the least invasive. Check with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to do this. If you go ahead with it, find a health professional who is qualified to offer this procedure.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am one of four siblings, and the eldest son. My father and I do not get along at all. He puts an immense amount of pressure on me to do well in every aspect of my life. Now, I understand that parents need to put pressure on their children for them to succeed, but the extremely high standards my father has for me are driving me crazy. For example, I grow facial hair quickly. I hate shaving and enjoy having a beard. Every time I see my father, we get into a massive argument about my beard and how it is unprofessional to have a beard. This is just one example of how petty our arguments are and how our entire relationship is based on pressure and fighting. Do you have any advice on how I can create a better relationship with my dad? -- Constantly Arguing, Ithaca, New York
DEAR CONSTANTLY ARGUING: Do your best to consider your father’s perspective. When he was growing up, a clean-shaven man was a successful man. Honestly, that is still commonly true, though, thanks to Prince Harry, who got married wearing a full beard, it’s clear that times are changing!
Your job is to listen and learn from your father as you also pave your own way. If you have identified a field of work that allows you to wear a beard, let your father know that. Similarly, consider each of your father’s recommendations seriously. Do your best not to judge his suggestions. Think about how you might incorporate what he has said into your own plan. When it works, be sure to tell him. When it doesn’t, stay your course. Do know that what your father is attempting to do is to keep you safe and capable of building a successful life for yourself. Some of his advice is worth considering; don’t make the mistake of dismissing what he has to say.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)