Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently signed to a prestigious modeling agency in Los Angeles. This feels like my big break because I've been wanting to get signed for such a long time. The other day, my manager told me that I would book more gigs if I got a certain type of plastic surgery. I don't think there's anything wrong with me, and I'm not necessarily ready to make such a huge change to myself. I don't even think that I believe in getting plastic surgery. Other people within the agency have agreed with my manager and said that getting this procedure done would help my career a lot. What do I do? -- L.A. Model

DEAR L.A. MODEL: In the world of beauty, you will find that there are many enhancements that will be recommended to aid in your potential success. What’s most important for you to not lose your way is to figure out what you value -- and what you don’t. Do some research and learn about the particular procedure in question. Read as much as you can. Speak to people who have had the procedure and consult with a plastic surgeon about the risks and benefits.

You can decide to do nothing right now and see how your career unfolds. If, over time, you don’t seem to be getting the bookings that you want, you may reconsider the surgery. In this day and age, models of all stripes are being hired for jobs. That includes models with all kinds of “flaws.” Rather than reshaping some area of your body, you may want to embrace it and choose to make it part of your brand. Whatever you choose, do it with confidence. Your confidence in yourself will help your agency to be inspired by the uniqueness of you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Without sounding superficial, how do I tell my boyfriend that I want him to do nice things for me?

My love language definitely involves receiving gifts, yet I haven't received anything from him. It isn't necessarily about the gifts; I would just appreciate the gesture. For me, receiving a gift is a huge sign of love and appreciation. I'm wondering why he doesn't even offer. He has a really good job. Am I right to be a little upset about this? -- Bare Minimum

DEAR BARE MINIMUM: Your boyfriend is not a mind reader. We make the mistake of assuming that people want what we want, the way we want it. That simply isn’t true. Your boyfriend may have grown up in a household where his parents didn’t give each other gifts -- or perhaps his parents weren’t together. He may not have witnessed the joy of giving and receiving, so he may be oblivious to what you crave.

Talk to him. Tell him what makes you happy. Also, be sure to give him gifts so that he has a chance to experience what you like. But know that his love language may be different. Observe him so you can learn what makes him happy.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)