I just spent a week at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. My daughter had a football-sized tumor removed from her abdomen, along with her spleen and part of her diaphragm.
The recovery was excruciating. You couldn’t do much to keep Paige’s mind off the pain. The epidural, the oxycontin—none of that lifted the expression of agony from her face. For 1 whole week, the only tonic in her world was a program called “Look Good – Feel Better.” Two wonderful women came in with boatloads of expensive makeup. They did makeovers on the cancer patients and gave them bags of freebies to take home. That was the anodyne.
The first real smile I saw on my daughter’s face postop was when she came back from that session, clutching her purple bag of goodies. Whenever she felt discouraged and needed a lift, she asked for the purple bag.
Two wonderful women came in with boatloads of expensive makeup. They did makeovers on the cancer patients and gave them bags of freebies to take home. That was the anodyne.
Is vanity superficial? We often think of makeup (and fashion, and style, and cosmetic medicine) as superficial. But if that’s true, how can looking good have such a powerfully tonic effect on the critically ill?
The truth is that beauty—the need for it, the hunger for it—is deeply hard-wired in our brains. It’s right up there with the need for food, shelter, and warmth. When life itself is at stake, we don’t suppress our concern with looks to focus on “the essentials.”
Far from it. We come back to it as one of the true essentials. It beckons us back to life, reminding us of the pure pleasure of living.
Strength in Beauty, Beauty in Strength
I watched my daughter gain strength by attending to her vanity. At that critical moment, her vanity was anything but shallow. It helped her rise to the challenge of healing.
Never doubt the medicinal effects of what you do.
Joyce Sunila is the president of Practice Helpers, content marketing experts for aesthetic practices. You can contact Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Practice Helpers website at www.practicehelpers.com.