Let’s talk about what constitutes “beauty”. I’ll tell you a secret. My husband is a secret “Intervention” junkie. We have to record this program every time it comes on, and on Don’s day off, I have to sit through this stuff with him. I look at it as a form of pittance for every crappy thing I’ve ever done in my life…
Today, I had to watch the sad story of a woman, addicted to booze, who had once been a model. Her mother
made no bones about insisting that her daughter wear make-up, stay thin, have a manicure/pedicure, etc. And even though her daughter would try to please her mother, it was never good enough. At 5’11”, she weighed 114 lbs, and the agency she worked for insisted on her losing weight. The daughter didn’t want to lose weight, but good ole Mom took her straight to the doctor and got her diet pills. Yeah. Mother of the Year.
Of course, I started reflecting on my own mother.
Growing up in my family, I was surrounded by what the world would consider beautiful people. As I may have mentioned, my mother was in the Miss California contest back before I was born. I have one sister that looks exactly like her, and another one who is also awesomely beautiful — dark hair, olive skin, and ice blue eyes. If that wasn’t bad enough, they had big personalities to go with those looks. Men across America have fallen in love with my sisters at one point or another. One of my brothers makes Antonio Banderas look like an amateur, and the other one has eyes so green people always think he’s wearing contacts. But one thing I can say about my mother, she never once insisted we do what the mother in the Intervention show was doing. She insisted on us being good people first, pretty people second. Thank God for the mother I had, because it sure could have gone another way.
….And me, you ask? What was my title in the Family of the Genetically Fortunate? The smart one.
Oh, yeah. When you are a gawky teen-age girl, you always dream that you’ll be the “smart” one in the family. And in a family that didn’t place all that much importance on education, I had a sneaking suspicion that Mom was just trying to make me feel better; because all these beautiful people around me were just as smart as I was.
But as life went on, and the twists and curves of day-to-day problems became distant memories, I came to embrace Jesus’s directive to lay up my treasures in heaven. And this included physical beauty, as well. It became more important to me to be a pretty person on the inside, than to focus tons of attention to what I looked like on the outside.
As an avid television/movie watcher, I have seen the most beautiful women in the world age to only a fraction of what they had been before, despite all of their wealth and fame. Even my own mom has progressed past the youthful beauty she had once been so renown for, and her character has become her defining trait.
I’m sad that children today work so very hard on their physical appearances, yet starve out the characteristics and personality traits that will in the end, be the only thing we will hold on to into our old age. 10-year-olds on diets, teen-agers having breast implants, 20 and 30 year-olds having botox….it is just proof of how shallow and disconnected from reality these latest generations have become.
That’s my own little observation for today….Teach your children to be peaceful with their appearance. Sow in them the importance of a shiny, clean heart, a clear conscience, a happy demeanor, a gentle mouth. These are the real beauties we find in the world today.