The Shell Around Our True Selves



We are trapped in our skin, in our flesh. This is the outward appearance that everyone sees. What we do with it reveals how we want people to see us, and what opinion we want them to form about us.

Some people buy expensive makeup or even have plastic surgery to “look their best.” But what impression does this really provide?

Some people dye their hair wild colors or get multiple piercings. Is this done to repel interaction with others, to provoke curiosity among others, or for a level of comfort among themselves?

Others prefer to do nothing other than let nature take it’s course. These people are oftentimes the “most comfortable in their own skin” as the saying goes.

Whatever the reason for the transformation, or lack of transformation, our flesh is only skin deep. Over time, our flesh decays and diseases, but it is just a shell of our true self. No matter how many creams, ointments, or medications we use to try to preserve our skin, it will decay.

I can’t help but wonder what is beyond the shallow shell of the people I see sprawled out on magazine covers, TV shows, and movies.

And isn’t it ironic, or surprising, the magazines we find at doctors offices, especially dermatologists are often circulars such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and People. What is the message our society is sending it to itself? They say beauty is only skin deep. I completely disagree. What I have learned in my life is often times the most “beautiful” people are hurting, bitter, or resentful. While the “homely” people are often those who are kindhearted, loving, empathetic, and overall real.

So, is our outward appearance a revelation of what lies beneath it, or is it a mask hiding our true self? All too often we want to look our best, while not working on being our best.

How often do we toil on our appearance while at the same time trying our hardest to hide our true identity? Or perhaps worse, the futility of modifying our outward appearance is in fact our true superficial identity. If that is in fact the case, we can do better and be better.

Maybe it is time our society gets back to valuing what lies beneath the skin by celebrating the true personality of people. This includes the attributes everyone has that makes them unique. Rather than hide our true selves, I believe we need to share our true selves with others.

So I challenge everyone reading this, and everyone you decide to share this with, that we go beyond the superficial and embrace the truth. If you prefer to use makeup, cremes, plastic surgery, or whatever, kudos to you, but hopefully you are doing it for yourself. If you prefer to use nothing, again kudos to you, but also be doing it for yourself.

I know this requires a level of vulnerability that perhaps you are not comfortable with. I am not even sure that I am comfortable with it. But, I challenge everyone to not let fear win. Don’t be afraid to share your true self. You will feel better that you did it, and you might find out that others connect with you a little bit better.

Until we chat again.


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