Today’s topic first originated from a blog I read almost a year ago (sorry, I can’t find the link). It revolved around the author’s pending 39th birthday and she was reflecting about the increased number of gray hairs on her head, the few extra pounds she was carrying, and the additional wrinkles staring back at her in the mirror. The gist of her writing revolved around our society’s definition of beauty and what women today had to suffer through to try and at least stay in the ball park. It was a fascinating read for sure, but it wasn’t actually the blog itself that stuck in my memory, but rather a comment left by a fellow reader. In that remark the person wrote that he didn't really understand men (or women) who went for the "easy beauty". EASY BEAUTY…what an interesting concept.
Unconsciously the seed of what the commenter spoke about stayed with me, germinating until just recently when I read another blog post. It was written by Thea, and in her blog she was lamenting about feeling Unpretty. Her heartfelt post stirred something in me and evoked the memory of the prior blog and the unique phrase. I left a brief comment for Thea, but still I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Thus here I am today, needing to say more. We live in a society that places far too much emphasis on physical appearances. It’s fruitless to deny its existence, or relevance, a pheromone in a visual form attracting the sexes to each other and rendering us powerless against its magnetism, like a moth drawn to a deadly flame. But who created the measuring stick that we all, men and women both, are compelled to compare ourselves to? A smile with perfectly aligned glistening white teeth, once only available to the wealthy and privileged, is now almost expected. Bulging bust, trim waistlines, tropical tans, and acne-free complexions are the standards.
It seriously makes me angry when I think about the damage this does (and revenue it generates). I don't consider it vain or shallow to worry about how others see us. It's simply human nature. The problem is the beauty we desire others to see can’t be found in the mirror. It's in the eyes and hearts of those we come in contact with everyday. We all have a different set of lenses we see the world with and what might be pretty to you...could be unremarkable to me. But there is one form of beauty that is universal. And more importantly it’s a splendor that no amount of eye liner, blush, lipstick, highlights, nail polish, teeth whiteners, antioxidant face cream, body oil, styling gel, or perfume can enhance. That’s our inner-beauty.
The person who can recognize inner beauty, sees so much more. To me, that’s the true easy beauty because it is so much more natural and organic. Why spend so much energy focusing on cosmetics and an outer appearance that will eventually fade? Partners drawn to one another by physical appearance alone, eventually, will not see each other. Concentrate instead on the element of yourself that will resonate long past your prime, and even after you have gone.
How do you identify inner-beauty? For me, it’s in the little things. I was in a store the other day, standing in line waiting to check out, when I saw an elderly man by himself who was struggling to carry his grocery bags. A young woman who was sitting in the coffee shop of the store also noticed the elderly man. She sprung up from her chair, took the grocery bag from the grateful customer, and walked the man out to his car. I honestly can’t remember what the woman looked like, but I remember her actions. I had witnessed inner-beauty.
Let’s not have a misunderstanding here, I appreciate looking at a beautiful girl as much as anyone. But that doesn’t mean any woman’s self-worth should be determined by how pretty I think she is. I believe that any woman with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye...can never be considered anything but beautiful. A vibrant inner-being will always shine through. That doesn't mean they'll win any beauty contests...but in the end...why should they need to?