True Beauty (and not that AWFUL TV show!)

Alright, we’ve all heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in reference to people.  My husband jokingly changes that last word to “beerholder” from time to time. For fun, I googled quotes about beauty, and found the standard sayings comparing physical beauty to art, love, etc. I will not diminish the grace of the people who said them, as they are all worthy sayings.

I say “meh.” Yep, that’s right. Meh. I also googled images of beauty and –no kidding!– nearly every single one of them was of a female face or some cosmetic to make my face more conventionally pretty.

If we seek physical beauty, then look at a newly bloomed rose at sunrise, dew shimmering on its petals. Or look at the glory of a brilliant sunset after a particularly stormy day. Or how about the unmatched beauty of a warm summer evening when the chorus of frogs, crickets, and an occasional bird sings along with the choirs of the heavens.  That’s the beauty the eye can behold.

If I have learned anything on my short time on this earth, it is that true beauty cannot be seen by physical eyes. Some of the most gloriously beautiful people I know are not conventionally pretty. They have receding hairlines, extra padding on their frames, physically crippling diseases, and emotional challenges. These wonderful people most likely would never be depicted in a mainstream “beauty” magazine — but their beauty manifests elsewhere. These are the people whom you can call at any time and who will help you find your smile on those dark days.  These people bring you chocolate (despite the doctor who tells you that you must lose weight) because they know you love it. These people remind you how beautiful you are, even on Saturday mornings when you are in sweats and a ratty t-shirt, you haven’t had your morning coffee, and your hair has yet to see a brush.

On the other hand, I have also known some very physically beautiful people who have been narcissistic, abusive, and cruel. Yet they are the ones that end up praised for being “beautiful.” What on earth is up with that? It hardly seems right.

If I were to judge a beauty pageant, I would ask contestants to answer questions in privacy. I would not wish to see their physical appearance until we chose the winner. The criteria would consist of their ability to give and receive love, their courage in adversity, and their care for their fellow human beings. Most of all, I would ask contestants what brings them joy.

How on earth could we possibly judge that type of contest?  Why would we want to? Let’s just seek and revel in the beauty of these wonderful people.

My dear friends, the beauty that lies within is the only true beauty. Cherish that among the people you meet. That true beauty is the face of Love looking back at you.

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