What is it about winning a contest that gets people so excited? Squealing in a voice you've never made before but you're pretty sure you've heard it on TV, in a pitch similar to your neighbor's 2 year old's WORST tantrum. Specifically, there is nothing like a MAKEOVER to thrill complete strangers and make your friends jump up and down. The Before and After! The Big Reveal! The possibility of what could happen, and the momentous end result, are deep reaching hooks into the psyche.
Is it that we all secretly desire huge changes to occur, but don't actually want to deal with it ourselves?
Change is HARD; logistically it takes time and effort that we just can't invest at the moment. It's just habit, and it's easier, to live your life with the haircut you know and the clothes you are accustomed to. To take the same route, and park in the same spot makes it easier to, say, not get horribly lost. No one wants to walk around a parking lot for 10 minutes with a "Now, where did I misplace that One TON object again?" look on their face. Better to look decent in old jeans than to accidentally show up at the grocery store in a tunic you "didn't realize was see-through in fluorescent light", and on the day you decided to "feel free" and wear a thong. Do we not only seek safety in routine, but the appearance of sanity as well?
Like a living cliche, the older I get, the more resistant I am to change; which is why entering a makeover contest was a serious test of bravery. I LOVED my long hair, it was if not all then a massive part of my femininity, my self, a statement of my sexy nature, and I DID NOT want to cut it. I submitted to the DC Moms Like Me makeover contest because I wanted people to know about an incredible positive transformation that had happened to me, because it can and should happen to so many others afflicted with this disease.
In November of 2008 I was diagnosed with Lymphedema, a failure (for various reasons) of the Lymphatic system that causes swelling of the limbs. People would stare and say to me "Your legs are huge" and "They don't fit your body". The curious would ask "What's wrong with your legs?", while the cruel would simply mutter "Freak". Learning that what I had was actually treatable, and having the swelling greatly reduced with Manual Lymph Drainage has opened up new worlds I never thought I would visit: worlds of pretty little dresses in so many adorable styles, and shorts in the summertime! Pain reduced worlds where my disease ceases to hold me back.
The MAKEOVER was, of course, AMAZING!!! Change is Good, in so many ways.
New worlds can open up to you when you address the issues that are causing you the most discomfort in your life. Seek out information, follow up on new leads, and take charge of your own health and happiness. You don't need a crew to make you over (although that makes it fun and significantly faster!), because YOU KNOW what you need to do to create Positive Change.
With a gratefulness that makes every cell in my body swell, up I give hearty virtual hugs to:
Traci Levine, Lymphedema Therapist, and all the wellness warriors at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital;
Peggy Fox: WUSA9's brainchild of the Mom's makeover;
Terrance Noonan, the ebulliently joyous Mom's Style Guy, tv producer and Stylist Extraordinaire who I had a Blast shopping with!
DC Moms Like Me, who sponsored the contest (She footed the bill y'all! Serious credit here!);
Erwin Gomez (makeup) and Valerie Lafaye (hair), Stunning artists of Erwin Gomez Salon & Spa in Georgetown;
The Four Seasons;
WUSA's A+ crew;
Artist Lucy Foronda Dirksen ,
Designer Margo Schlossberg
and Blogger Barbara Saylor for coming to the studio so early in the morning;
And of course my tirelessly supportive Family.
I look forward to taking the moms in our family to brunch, and celebrating change!
For more information on Lymphedema, visit the National Lymphedema Network at
Watch the makeover on WUSA9!