“Why waste another minute?” reads the glaring catchphrase on the large, impossible-to-ignore billboard.
Perhaps you’ve also noticed this highly visible ad while commuting back to the city from Upstate New York.
For a minute I think it’s a joke, but then I see the photo of the smiling plastic surgeon, and he seems pretty serious that he wants you to rush into his office ASAP and beg him to sharpen his scalpels.
It’s actually a brilliant tagline, and I salute the marketing company that came up with this campaign. Because I actually did contemplate calling up the good doctor and begging him to cut and paste me into a zigzag pattern. This very minute. And think that I am totally wasting my life by not rerouting my Waze and heading to the doctor’s office Right. This. Second.
This sense of urgency is seen everywhere you turn. It’s coded in slews of slogans, images and advertisements.
It’s in the make-up that will make you look prettier.
The diet that will make you thinner.
The heels that will make you taller.
The vitamins that will make you smarter.
You don’t need to look too far; there’s always something out there that will make you better. That you desperately should want and must have.
I often wonder what would happen if we stopped believing in these brilliant slogans and campaigns and started to believe in ourselves.
Belief in your potential, in your ability to conquer all, is the greatest gift you can give yourself. What you truly need to make anything work is self-belief.
And if no one has ever told you that you are brilliant, beautiful and bold, then tell it to yourself. Watch how you become brilliant, beautiful and bold.
We often get sidetracked and do things out of habit or outside pressure. We do what is expected, rather than what we’ve elected.
There are three questions I ask myself to help me stay focused on what makes my heart sing:
1. What would you do if there were no critics?
2. What would you do if you were the only person in the world?
3. How would you entertain yourself? DO THAT.
For me, the answers to these questions never include things that are external; they are always creative endeavors that fill me with joy. There is tremendous pressure for us women to be thin, poised, polished and beautiful at all times. I welcome the opportunity to cultivate my inner world, my creative universe. Regardless of the shape of our bodies or facial aesthetics, we all have an inner beauty waiting to be seen. One form of beauty is art, bringing forth that which is beyond the physical. It gives us joy because we feel empowered, creating something out of nothing. When you do something you love, for the right reasons, it fills you with a sense of purpose. There is a sacred space within all of us that is true and pure, and when you access it, authenticity, freedom, spirit and creativity are born. We are inspired to make a difference, however small.
But creativity isn’t limited to writing, painting, music or cooking; every single moment of life affords us an opportunity for self-expression. A work of art is a work of heart. When you love what you do—it shows, and that’s how our art forges a connection to others. We are simply sharing our joy, and this thrill is real. And potent. And tangible. A high like no other.
Creativity is also a lovely distraction from the mirror.
Every now and then I peer into the mirror at The Wrinkle. The Wrinkle was the first crease that made its way onto my forehead before the ripe young age of 40 and gave the term “midlife crisis” a whole new meaning. The Wrinkle was also quite possibly one of the most humbling human experiences and confirmed:
No, you aren’t different.
You will age.
What made you think you were going to be different from everyone else?
The quickest remedy is to cut a full, thick fringe of bangs.
You’ve probably heard of the five stages of grief. Well, I’ve finally gone beyond acceptance and embraced The Wrinkle. I even have a slogan for it: “Aging is a privilege.”
I’d love to read that on a billboard. But no marketing agency would touch it with a ten-foot pole. You see, it wouldn’t sell any creams.