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It was my curse for years... I would go to a party, be having a great time, and then I would start to notice the beautiful people. The women with their manicured nails and dresses from this-season's magazines. The aerobicized waistlines, the perfect creamy skin and pearlescent teeth, flawless makeup. I can feel myself shrinking. I suddenly feel overweight. I wonder why I never noticed before how shabby my clothes are. I have to make a concerted effort not to bolt for the door.

National Geographic Specials saved me. It started when I watched something on how pack dogs jockey for position. It dawned on me that my boyfriend and his friends act the same way. It used to bother me when they'd need to have a debate over whose car we'd take to the movies, or whose house we'd adjourn to after the bar. But once I recognized that they were just posturing for position, challenging the alpha as it were, it no longer upset me. I found it quite amusing.

I decided to try this approach in other areas.

The next time I went to a party I just kept thinking: We're all a bunch of dogs. We're all here sniffing each other's butts and sizing each other up for pack dominance and deciding who gets to breed. And it was so funny that I just smiled all night and had a great time.

Now, whenever I see a fashion model and am tempted toward eating disorder provoking thoughts, I just picture a dog in haute couture and I can't take the whole thing seriously. It works!

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