When patients are very ill, or in significant pain, one of their last priorities is their appearance.
When they begin to feel better, their appearance becomes important again.
This is not vanity, so much as it is the re-gaining of dignity.
Within the medical profession, this phenomenon is known as the "positive lipstick sign."
Likewise, when people are depressed, anxious or going through life transitions, they may not take the time to care for themselves. It is all they can do to get up each day and interact with the world.
Then there are the people who are unhappy with their bodies. They hide their weight gain, or loss, under ill-fitting clothes.
It all comes down to appreciating (when we are physically and emotionally able) what we have been given. Treating our bodies like the "temples" they are. Taking the time to love the skin within which we dwell.
Focus on appearance can be taken to extremes of course. We can spend more time worrying about superficial aspects of ourselves than deeper issues to which we should be attending.
But there is nothing wrong with appropriate self-care.
There is NOTHING wrong with loving our own bodies.
It is all about pride of ownership. We are each given one body for a given lifetime. It is ours to do with what we will.
It behooves us to treasure this body of ours. Feed it good food. Take it outside for walks. Let it move about, joyfully. Dress it with flattering clothes, no matter how big (or small) it is.
Nurture it, as it deserves to be nurtured.
And show the world that we are grateful for the first gift we ever received: the gift of our self.
Show the world a "positive lipstick sign."
Dr. Lisa's Bountiful Blog is read on the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast. Show summaries are available on the Dr. Lisa website. Subscribe to podcasts of the show through iTunes and let us know what you think.