We live in a world where we're encouraged to constantly do things to alter ourselves in an attempt at conformity. The media is a great example – advertisers have the #1 goal of making money for their company, it's business, and I'm not mad at them for it. But think about it, when you are seeing an ad they are trying to convince you that you have some type of deficit that their product/service will solve. And once your problem is solved, presto, your life is magically better. The diet industry does this all the time. They show you the before/after photos, and the person in the before photo always looks miserable, and in their after photo they appear happy. Note the fine print at the bottom of all those ads "Results not typical." Yet we are sold on hope that weight loss will make our life better. We are sold on happiness.
Another example is the beauty industry. When we watch an ad for makeup they hook us by convincing us that without their product we don't look as good as we could. And after all, isn't looking better always the better choice? They think so. Because when you believe this you buy more and more of their products.
Or how about the travel industry. The commercials of pristine beaches or exotic locals lure us with their beauty. (News flash – just like models and celebrities are photoshopped, so are these images). They convince us that we need and deserve a vacation, and that we must act now to get the best deal. Families or couples are shown laughing and smiling (this isn't typical of my family vacations where we are at each others' throats half the time). Again, we're being sold on happiness. And subliminally it is implied that without their product we will be less happy.
I could go on and on with more examples, but I hope you get the point by now, and that you can think of more examples of your own. Interestingly, research has shown that people who live in less wealthy countries and can't afford these things we're told we need, are actually happier. Things don't make us happy, at least not in the long term. Altering our bodies or our image doesn't make us happy either. Living authentically according to our true selves does.