…In Hopes of Making the Cut

Fortune 500 Consultant Offers Lasting Alternatives to Going under the Knife

A generation ago, reconstructive procedures were reserved for the aging and the rich and famous.

Now, teenagers are routinely undergoing plastic surgery – roughly 90,000 procedures a year, according to ABC News. Fourteen-year-old Nadia Ilse made headlines recently for having surgery on her ears because her classmates bullied and teased her, calling her “Dumbo.” The $40,000 specialty operation was paid for by the charity Little Baby Face Foundation.

“Not every one of the 90,000 surgeries is the result of teasing or bullying, but it’s clear more teens are undergoing invasive, sometimes dangerous, procedures simply to feel they fit in,” says international social advocate Traci S. Campbell, author of The C.H.A.M.P. Within. “Enough is enough! A far healthier alternative is to develop the character and confidence necessary to navigate adolescence with a respect for yourself – and others.”

Campbell, whose nonprofit C.H.A.M.P. Community Project supports at-risk teens and single-parent families, discusses tough “personal love” steps teens can take to foster the healthy self-image that will benefit them throughout their lives.

• Forget Hollywood – be your own personal celebrity: Young women are starving themselves to be grossly thin or they idolize celebrities, including the Kim Kardashians of the world. Ironically, the truth of the matter is that many in Hollywood have more personal issues and hang-ups than those of us in the real world. Why not create your own style and make your own mark? Style includes your attitude, and what you do!

• Go in before you go out: While it is great to look like a million bucks, if you feel like two cents, then the fashionable clothes and expensive makeup serve no purpose. Take time to talk to yourself (seriously, out loud!) to find out what you want to do, want to be, and WHY. Write it down and review it often. Then line up your daily activities and associations around your list. Not only will you feel like you are accomplishing something, you will begin to feel good about YOU and to see your own value. Then, take a trip to the mall to get that latest pair of leopard skin boots, or whatever is trendy at the moment. I am sure they will look a whole lot better on you.

• Get old-fashioned: In an age when fast-paced social media rule interactions, old-fashioned values are needed more than ever! Why? Because they benefit us. They protect us from the consequences of impulsive actions and bad decisions; cause us to place higher expectations on ourselves and our associations (especially those involving men); and they foster the strong core values, like honesty and integrity, that never go out of fashion.

• Embrace your higher power … a LOT!: You can’t do it all by yourself! There is a sense of peace and confidence that comes when you take the time to pray/affirm, meditate and visualize your life. The focus and concentration, as well as repetitiveness of these actions, will energize you mentally and emotionally. It will also help you prevent future emotional “chains” by dealing with hurts and not sweeping them under the rug! Practice forgiveness to get rid of that old mental garbage; this is critical. And spend time daily to “exercise” your mind and spirit as well as your physical body to cultivate the image of yourself that you really want.

• Put other people first: To be the best woman you can be starts with being the best friend, parent, student and support for others. Real sexiness and attractiveness comes from the confidence of those who are willing to stand strong for a cause – one that benefits others. Spend time volunteering in your community. Seek opportunities to use your talents (and we ALL have a talent) to help or mentor another person, or a community.

Traci S. Campbell has been an IT consultant for more than 15 years, working for high-profile corporate clients such as Sears, IBM and McDonald’s Corp. As an international social advocate and life coach, she focuses on helping clients overcome personal obstacles so they can achieve their goals. She is the creator of The C.H.A.M.P. Within program and founder of the national Beauty In/Beauty Out Tour. She provides services through her 501 (c) (3) organization, C.H.A.M.P. Community Project, which supports schools, rehab centers, shelters and other local and international programs for at-risk children and single-parent families. She can also be heard on Inside Out! Live, a radio show available online and on iTunes.