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.
16 responses to “Defining Beauty…”
You still have your dream tiara, don’t you, Bird? Oh, how today’s youth trouble so much over the physical-at least teenage girls do. Today, and especially tomorrow, I’ll be forced (?) to watch The Masters, which for you women who play golf, isn’t torture at all, and sometimes it’s not for me, either. But i have a feeling that tomorrow, will be. I’m just not a golf-a-holic, nor do I always appreciate the beauty of the course. I appreciate athleticism, but sometimes have a hard time calling a man who walks (while adoring fans applaud) while his caddy lugs a 60# bag 18 holes in the rain, much of an athlete. Criticize me, crucify me if you want, but I prefer a much clearer vision of athletic ability: baseball, swimming, running, cycling, etc?
Without further adieu, I must run, but everyone, please have a good Easter weekend..
Golf is a sport?? You poor thing!! If there is no risk of blood showing up, it isn’t a sport. Personally, I like to see men crash into each other, or take a non-contact sport just a little too far. Golf doesn’t fit that category..
Happy Easter, Annie!
I’ve been brainwashed into thinking that golf is a sport (or I put on a good act!) by my husband. Truth be told, my idea of sport is something that requires ability that most don’t have. Most golfers would call what I’m about to say, blasphemy! The superb ability that golfers have is to be at the right place at the right time so they can have a lucrative career and be idolized by youth.
What happened to the athletic ability of the discus thrower, the pole vaulter, most of the Olympic sports (I leave out the luge-that would be a sheer rush-NO MORE!), tennis and swimming. I know that swimming takes ability, commitment amongst other stuff. Michael Phelps didn’t win 8 because he looks pretty!
Exactly!!! Don’t you just love having to cater to our honey’s little hobbies?? Thank God Don doesn’t play golf…I’d have to rethink the relationship!
Beautiful words! I am thankful my mother was raised on a farm and put more store in learning hard work rather than beauty. I am the 7th of 9 children, and the youngest of 4 sisters. My sisters and I are completely different except heighth and I’m the tallest by 1/2 inch (and yes that 1/2 inch is important to me…lol). But to me my sisters were all beautiful and unique and I felt like the odd man out. The oldest was a curly blond haired, blue eyed, brilliantly smart and talented young woman. The second had curly dark brown haired, dark brown eyed, petite Suzy Homemaker type young woman, very motherly type sister. The third was a curly red-head, with brilliant green eyes, who was vivacious and seemed to have boys flocking to get a date with her. Then there was me…straight hair that turned light brown in the winter and blonde in the summer, and my eyes couldn’t decide what color to be. One day my eyes would be dark brown, the next almost a goldish-brown, and some days they were hazel. I was the tomboy, raised with most of the boys in the family because my sisters were 10, 11, and 20 years older than I was and had already left home by the time I was 9. Making that transistion into a young lady was hard for me. I didn’t really notice a boy until I was in 9th grade, and before that they were just buddies to play football and baseball with. Starting Jr. High was a challenge as most girls were wearing makeup, plucking their eyebrows and shaving their legs…I wasn’t. I took some bullying about it too, but it really didn’t phase me because I still thought it was for sissies…lol. In seventh grade after mom caught me and one of my little brothers fighting with 2 neighbor boys to protect our baby brother, she sent me to Charm School to be a “proper” young lady. It worked to a point, but what really helped me was mom telling me what the Bible said about true beauty coming from inside, not outside. She said that no matter what others thought, if they saw the beauty inside of me, that they would also see beauty outside as well. She was right! She modeled it too! Her spirit was so beautiful, even when facing terminal cancer that it shone from inside making her beautiful looking even going through chemo. I didn’t want to be a beauty queen ever. I just wanted to be beautiful like my mom, that down home farm girl from Indiana. I’ve taught my daughters the same thing my mom taught me. Some have learned the lesson and are truly beautiful on the inside, and others have fallen for what the world considers beauty which saddens me, and worries me because of their need to look like those anorexic models, or the nip and tuck Hollywood starlets. This is also a lesson I am still instilling in my daughter Jk, and my granddaughter. It’s one of the most important lessons that young women need to learn…Beauty comes from the inside. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
You sound beautiful too. I always wanted straight hair!! And eyes that change colors….stop it! How great is that!
One thing I can say about my family. Beauty didn’t make them happy. I laugh almost every day. My children love me, and they are all three beautiful on the inside. Yes, they are working out their quirks, but being vain has never been a thing any of them have struggled with. You went to charm school?? My mom made me walk in high heels with a book balanced on my head because she didn’t want me tromping around in them like I had been born in a barn. — her words, not mine. I’m sorry to see mothers like ours fading from the world. I wasn’t a fighter, per se, but I did have my tom boy tendencies. In the end, though, I turned out to be a girly-girl.
You taught your children in the way they should go. Even the ones that have temporarily swerved off track will remember your words later on, and they’ll come back to what they were taught. Sometimes we forget that all of life is a learning lesson, and our kids aren’t going to take our words for it. They have to live and learn for themselves. By the time they are our age, they’ll have collected some wisdom from their travels. As mothers, we have to let them do that…
Thank you for sharing about your family! I just love to “peak” in to other people’s lives!
O my I mist confess I am an intervention junkie myself! All the stories are sad, and hard to except I once was in their very shoes! Bit I dance and praise God every time there is a victory! One less child lost, is the one in 99 🙂
I was once there too. Maybe that is why I don’t want to watch it…brings back sad memories!
My phone has spelling issues! So much for smart phone ;D
LOL!! I understood every word. So much for a Smart Brain, huh??
I agree with everything you’ve said, and I tried to do that with my kids. I think I’ve succeeded, but it is getting progressively more difficult as the media promotes beauty and perfection.
Your posts always brighten my mood and this one is no exception. Just from reading your blog I get the sense that the beauty radiating from your soul is so powerful that it could make a blind man wolf whistle when you pass by. I was lucky enough to marry a lady like that. To me that is better than winninng the lottery. And believe it or not, she’s managed to put up with me for 29 years. She has the patience of Job, I tell ya. Thank you once again for sharing another great post.
You’re wife sounds really awesome! 29 years! That is quite an accomplishment these days!!
About the wolf whistle — thank you! Wow…cool compliment!! It’s good to hear from you these days…
life today is based on “what can i sell, and how much money does our company have” if we spent that much money and effort in building confidence and good morals, our world would be in better shape, and we could grow old knowing our youth would be there for us
You are absolutely right, Terry!
I’ve never been the smart one or the pretty one. But since I’ve got a great husband and kids and grandbaby I must have done something right. I, too, think its too bad so much emphasis is put on beauty these days. For the most beauty you will find is inside yourself.
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