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It's Our Turn: If you want to be 'unique,' take a look at what's inside

I wish...

...I was taller.

...I was thinner.

...I had brown hair.

...I had blue eyes. skin was darker. hair was thicker. fingers were longer. feet were smaller.

In today's world, where anything is made possible through millions of products, I wonder if anyone is truly happy with their physical appearance. Are you?

I remember as a teenager I asked my parents a few times if I could get colored contacts and color my hair. My mom always answered with the question, "What for?" to which I never really had an answer. But the day I quit asking was the day my dad was the one who answered my question. He said something along the lines of, "God gave you those eyes and God gave you that hair, and as long as you live in this house, that's the way it will stay."

End of story.

While I could argue relentlessly with my mom, I never dared try it with Dad. He always seemed to have the final word.

So, while I added a few highlights to my hair over the years, I didn't actually have the nerve to color it until I turned 40, and that was because the gray was overtaking the dishwater blonde and making me feel more like 50. But I told my stylist to try to match my natural color as closely as possible. (Dad's words were echoing in my mind and I was hoping if it was subtle enough he wouldn't notice. If he ever did, he hasn't let on.)

I've thought many times about his words over the years, and I have to say, I now agree with him. And it's come in handy when my own girls have been asking me the same questions about altering their physical appearance. I just say, "When I was your age, Grandpa told me..." So far, it's worked!

Is anyone ever truly happy with their appearance? It seems people are always trying to find ways to change or "improve" their physical traits. Dye your hair. Wear colored contacts. Go tanning. Have plastic surgery. If you've got the money to spend, there are products out there promising to give you the look your heart desires.

It amuses me when someone says they are trying to "show their personality" with a new hair color, or that they are searching for "a unique look." My question is, how unique can you be when you are trying to look like someone else, and how can your personality shine better with an "artificial" look than with your own, genuine look?

The most incredible thing about human beings is that we are all different. It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not, there is no disputing the fact that there are no two people in the world who are exactly the same.

You came out of your mother's womb unique. You are the only person in the world with your fingerprint, your footprint, your voice...

It's my belief that God had a vision when He created you. Knowing you better than anyone else will ever know you, He created you as a perfect package. That includes your physical traits as well as your mental and emotional traits.

Are you happier when you change your hair color or after you have plastic surgery? If so, how long does it last?

Maybe if we'd put as much effort into "improving" our attitudes and our outlooks as we do into improving our outward appearances, we'd find ourselves happier with who we are.

If we're happier on the inside, chances are we'll love who we see in the mirror, even if the hair is a little gray, or there are a few extra pounds on the hips.

Maybe your next resolution shouldn't be to lose weight or look younger. Maybe it should be to strive to be kinder, or more compassionate, or more patient, or more sensitive to others.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

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"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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