To celebrate Mother’s Day and the special women in our lives, the team at Dr David Sharp Plastic Surgery shares the pearls of wisdom bestowed by their mums for good health, beauty and wellbeing…
Mum lives by some principles that I’ve tried to pass down to my own daughter, Eldene. Roald Dahl describes her ethos perfectly:
“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on their face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Mum’s advice for my sisters and I was always quite Marilyn Monroe-esque: “Get lots of sleep. On your back. On silk pillow cases spritzed with Chanel No. 5”. Even if you’re slipping into bed in a daggy fleecy onesie, it makes you feel a million dollars after a big day. Mum swore by sleeping on silk pillow cases to prevent wrinkles forming; and looking at her, you’d believe it works (and if it doesn’t, at least it’s added a bit of glamour to bedtime, which can never be a bad thing)!
Getting plenty of sleep is definitely a factor in anti aging. It fuels an energetic, positive attitude, which is then exhibited through our appearance. Mum has always embodies a beautiful example in that respect.
I was a barefooted and adventurous child, so my mother was more inclined to offer beauty advice to my sister, who was a model and far more glamourous! But sometimes motherly advice comes from unexpected sources, and one beauty tip I have never forgotten came from a stylish, ageless socialite I was looking after as an 18 year old trainee nurse in Sydney in the 70’s. Towards the end of my night shift one morning, she saw me rub at my tired eyes, and admonished me for being too rough with this delicate skin. She told me to treat the skin around my eyes gently, to avoid prematurely aging. Even now, decades later, I vividly remember her voice and her beautiful, flawless complexion every time I go to rub my eyes…and I’m a little more gentle because of it!
Decades before ‘clean eating’ became a trend, mum’s advice about good nutrition and body image was a vivid part of my childhood. There was never talk of diets, low-fat food or guilt. Mum’s an incredible gardener and cook, and almost every meal was home-grown or sourced from a nearby farm; somehow she managed to do this while working and raising a busy family. Being taught to treasure your body and put effort into nourishing it is an invaluable start to life. As a child, it evoked plenty of eye-rolling, but as an adult I realised it’s the foundation of valuing how we feel and look. Every Sunday mum still collects a basketfull of produce from her garden and spends the day slow cooking a feast for her 13 children and grandchildren.
My mum, Somlak, grew up on a river boat in Thailand; survival certainly took priority over beauty and wellness while living in poverty for the first half of her life! She became fluent in English when I was about five, and that’s when she began sharing her ‘cultural wisdom’ with me. In Thailand, her family would shave off their children’s hair to mark developmental milestones.
When I was six, mum took me back to her village, so her family could shave my head. She told me that if I ever wanted to rejuvenate or renew myself, I should do this to shrug of the ‘old’ and start afresh. It’s a simple, but beautiful, symbol of regeneration.
One of my mother’s pearls of wisdom when it came to beauty and wellbeing was the importance of hydration. As all young children do, I probably underestimated the importance of this advice during my childhood. Having studied nutrition as an adult, I can appreciate the importance of her advice. Living in Queensland it’s warm all year round it’s too easy to constantly deprive our bodies of the water they need. It is integral to good body and skin function, and therefore has a direct impact on how healthy and rejuvenated we look. My mother is no longer with us, so Mothers Day is a poignant time of reflection on her life - and about the preciousness of good health.