It's understandable that many people want to hide their embarrassing physical flaws. But often it helps put things in perspective when you see how others have risen above extreme physical impairments.
For example, take Ward Foley, who was born with Arthrogryposis, a rare condition that resulted in disfigurement and scars. Rather than to isolate himself, Foley, who calls himself "Scarman," travels the United States speaking to children and adults struggling with illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges. His talks leave audiences laughing and crying -- laughing with his humor and crying from his touching, inspirational stories. He says every one of his scars made him the man he is today, and he even penned a book called "Thank My Lucky Scars" [source: KSN News].
Or, perhaps you could gain inspiration from one of these two victims: As a teenager, Jeff Fabry lost his right arm above the elbow and his right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident. But now he's a three-time Paralympics archery medalist who uses his teeth to pull and shoot arrows [source: Nelson]. And you've probably heard of J.R. Martinez, the soldier who, while serving in Iraq, was a victim of a land mine that burned more than 40 percent of his body. While in recovery, Martinez began talking to those suffering from the emotional agony of war's physical damage and discovered the positive impact he could have on others. He became a motivational speaker, and his participation on the reality TV show "Dancing With the Stars" showed he has no shame about his appearance.
- ABC. "Dancing With the Stars: J.R. Martinez's Second Dance!" (Feb. 3, 2012) http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/video-detail/performances/jr-martinezs-second-dance/pl_PL5520946/vd_VD55144984
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Warts: Diagnosis, Treatment and Outcome." (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/warts/diagnosis-treatment/warts-diagnosis-treatment-and-outcome
- Bowers, Duane T., LPC, CCHt. Interview. Feb. 5, 2012. http://www.duanetbowers.com
- Film4. "Embarrassing Bodies." http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/
- Hintz-Zambrano, Katie. "New Ways to Overcome Your Most Embarrassing Body Issues." Details. (Feb. 1, 2012) http://www.details.com/style-advice/grooming-and-health/200910/how-to-deal-with-embarassing-body-issues
- Hunter, Melissa H., M.D. and Carek, Peter J., M.D. "Evaluation and Treatment of Women with Hirsutism." American Family Physician. June 2003. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0615/p2565.html
- Hypnosis Files. "Stop Being Embarrassed about Your Body." (Jan. 24, 2012) http://www.hypnosisfiles.com/tag/stop-being-embarrassed-about-your-body#ixzz1krvwNi7a
- Insulite Laboratories. "Facial Hair and PCOS." (Jan. 30, 2012) http://pcos.insulitelabs.com/PCOS-and-Hair-Growth-or-Loss.php
- KSN News. "An Inspirational KSN news broadcast with Ward Foley speaking about his life." (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezCqKLCS5_A&feature=player_embedded
- MayoClinic.com. "Body dysmorphic disorder." (Jan. 30, 2012) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/body-dysmorphic-disorder/DS00559http://www.jfponline.com/Pages.asp?AID=2737
- Nelson, Trent. "Jeff Fabry, Paralympic Archer." The Salt Lake Tribune. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcAY-MPHoTs
- Nizoral. "The Nizoral Story." (Feb. 2, 2012) http://www.nizoral.com/story/index
- Paralympic Team USA. "Jeff Fabry." (Feb. 1, 2012) http://usparalympics.org/athletes/jeff-fabry
- WardFoley.com. "Ward Foley, Enabled and Enabling." (Jan. 30, 2012) http://www.wardfoley.com/Ward_Foley/Ward_Foley.html
- WebMD. "America Asks About OAB." http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/america-asks-11/embarrassing?page=2
- WebMD. "Sclerotherapy for Varicose and Spider Veins." http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/guide/cosmetic-procedures-sclerotherapy
- WebMD.com. "How to Handle Embarrassing Body Problems." (Jan. 31, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/america-asks-11/embarrassing?page=3
- YouTube. " Jeff Fabry, paralympic archer." (Feb. 3, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcAY-MPHoTs
Author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin speaks with Lisa Oz and Jill Herzig on the You Turns podcast on the four tendencies.