June 19, 2024
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June 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

You Are So Much More Than Your Appearance

Some of the “simple” life experiences we all have, at various times, point to the folly of thinking that how we look is the only—or the most important—aspect of how we’re viewed by those we care the most about.

Let me share an example.

Teddy Bear was a gift to my son, on the day he was born. He’s the one on the left (the teddy bear, not my son). Teddy Bear is worn-out, discolored, and very much in need of a washing all too often.

Freddy Bear is a backup my husband thought to buy in case one day Teddy Bear disintegrates (which will probably happen sooner rather than later). Freddy Bear looks shiny, new and happy.

However—my son only ever wants Teddy Bear. When he sees Freddy Bear he throws him away, saying, “Hey! THIS ISN’T TEDDY BEAR!”

So, I’m sure you know where I’m taking this, but just because Freddy Bear looks like the one a kid would choose, it’s actually Teddy Bear—the Teddy with the memories, the snuggles, the hugs, the play times—that my son continues to go back to, time and time again.

Looks are not the end-all, be-all, ladies and gentlemen.

Remember to view yourself as a whole person—you are someone with acts of kindness, humor, talents, laughter, empathy, awareness, love, etc.—not just an empty vessel. You are loved because of the former, and not because you’re “shiny and new.”

We learn in Pirkei Avot (5:27): “Do not look at the container but at what it contains, for a new flask may contain old wine and an old flask may not contain anything, even new wine.” The teaching is clear and super-relevant, especially now in our appearance-conscious era—it’s the contents, not the container, that make all the difference. And the sparkle of a container is by no means a good indication of what’s inside.

You are valued most deeply for what you do, who you are, and how you care.

And on that note, I’m off now to wash Teddy Bear for the 100th time:-)


Talia Becker is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. She worked on the Robert Wood Johnson Eating Disorders Unit for five and a half, years both in the inpatient and outpatient setting. Talia also has over six years of experience in private practice, where she treats individuals, families, and groups. Talia utilizes cutting-edge techniques and evidence-based data to uniquely formulate the best treatment approach for her patients. She can be reached at: [email protected].

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