One of my favorite authors/bloggers @bakeanddestroy raised this question yesterday on twitter, and honestly, I couldn’t come up with anything within 140 characters or less as a reply. She ended up receiving some shallow responses, but a better amount of helpful ones.
So what would I say to a young man who’s having a tough time with their looks?
First and foremost, it’s not how you look on the outside that should make you happy, it’s all about how you feel inside. When you feel good on the inside, you tend to make others feel good when they’re around you. People will love you more for how good you make them feel, not for how you look. Looks are temporary and shallow. Spreading love and laughter always leads to long lasting and meaningful friendships.
And let’s put it this way, my wife is super awesome, and not too many people think I’m good looking. But how did I win her over? I made her laugh. And you gotta be truly at peace with yourself in order to make people laugh and feel good when they’re around you.
"Laughter is the way to true love!" ~ the movie Michael (1996)
But that being said, if there’s any additional advice that I would give to this young man - and if he’d like to put in the extra effort - is to eat healthy and exercise.
Now, I know that initially sounds shallow because we tend to associate “healthy eating and working out” with “looking hawt,” but it’s a well known fact that healthy eating and exercise leads to a healthy mind, especially in the medical theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In classical TCM theory, there are what’s called the “seven effects,” or “seven internal pathogens.” They’re emotions that cause disease: anger, “joy” (excessive excitement and craving), worry, pensiveness, sadness, fear, and shock. All of these emotions not only raise havok in the wiring of the nervous system and snowball into a turd-storm of emotions, but they also attack the organs and create horrible things like weight gain, digestive problems, insomnia, headaches, and so on, which create even more emotional disturbances.
What healthy eating and proper exercise both do in this case is help prevent and treat these things by free-flowing the blood, fluids, and bioelectricity in the body, minimizing any chance of these “internal pathogens” to settle in, thus creating balance and harmony in the body and mind… so that when a boy is faced with your typical tween/teenage issues, he can face those obstacles in a much calmer and level-headed manner.
And whatever the exercise may be, whether it’s running, pumping iron, or sports, he should do them not because he thinks it might make him look good, but because it makes him feel good, it makes him feel strong, and most of all, makes him feel happy.
Sorry this is long, but any advice worthwhile should be a little long-winded, right?