Hey everybody…welcome to the Déjà vu Blogfest. It turns out selecting the right article to re-post was a lot harder than I imagined. So many deserved consideration, but only one could be chosen. In the end I decided to select a piece that still resonates with me and I believe sends a message that’s worth repeating. Some of you might remember it, being originally posted on 3/1/10 and well received at the time, but now I’m hoping that a new wave of bloggers will feel the same way.
In case you lost the link, you can find the list of other Déjà vu participant’s right here. Please check them all out because I’m certain you’ll experience some special writing. Enjoy this special day!
We all read a lot of blogs. I mean A LOT. The content is so diverse, ranging from instructional, insightful, inspirational, comedic, and everything in between. It’s rare when I don’t take something from what I read here and find a way to improve my writing, or my disposition. I consider this community a bubbling spring of enthusiasm and I try to give back as much as I absorb. I also develop some of my own blog post from snippets of ideas on other blogs. It could be something as simple as an open-ended question or an unusual turn of a phrase, but I’ll mull it over and expand upon it here, adding my own unique flavor to it. This is one of those times.
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 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 said stayed with me, germinating until just recently when I read another blog post. It was written by another female blogger 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 that unique phrase.
Here I am today, still 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?