Friday, February 16, 2007

Another blog!

The Dove Pro-age campaign asks, “What’s better than knowing you’re beautiful?” In my previous blog I wrote, “My answer to that will take another blog! So here it is.

At age 72, my first response is that knowing I am healthy is better.
Knowing that my family is OK is better.
Having a personal relationship with the God of my understanding is better.
Being financially independent is better.
Being intelligent is better than being beautiful.
Being talented is better than being beautiful.
My beautiful granddaughter who was wounded in Iraq by an I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Device) would probably say that being pain free is better than being beautiful.

I quickly compiled a long list but the list doesn’t really convey my feelings.

Beauty is a great gift from God. Like any work of art it is to be admired and appreciated and enjoyed.

In an advertising campaign for skin care products for women, beautiful is most likely used to describe physical attributes that are aesthetically pleasing. However they are using models of varying sizes, shapes, and ages so their message conveys the idea that beauty can be seen in women who do not meet the current cultural definition of beauty. And that, I applaud with a standing ovation!

As a little girl I often heard, “Beauty is as beauty does.” Looking beautiful is not the same as being beautiful. And the latter is the better of the two. Of course, as a little girl, I thought that doing/being beautiful was some sort of booby prize for little girls who weren’t pretty! A consolation that was supposed to make up for not looking pretty.

It took many years to fully realize that being beautiful is more important than looking beautiful. And even more years to realize that inner beauty transforms and becomes outer beauty also.

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good; but that which is good is always beautiful.
Ninon de Lenclos (Anne Lenclos)

Do you love me because I’m beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me?

Oscar Hammerstein, II


  1. I work with many young women who engage in disordered eating behavior and admit that this is how they stay beautiful. They do not see themselves as being beautiful. I think it is primarily a foible of youth not to be able to truly distinguish between "looking" and "being" when it comes to beauty; the beauty myth follows us generation after generation. It is only recently, in the beginning of my fifties, that I can look beyond the wrinkles and greying hair, peer past my fingers growing ever nobbier with arthritis, and even get past my poor body image to see a beauty that only life experience has given to me, from the inside out. It is a wondrous gift to glimpse all of this from time to time...and sometimes a difficult gift to hold onto during a vulnerable moment.

    Your blog entries resonate. Thank you!

  2. The concept of "beautiful" is sometimes misunderstood, but I do still love it!

    A couple of weeks ago a friend interrupted our telephone conversation to say goodbye to her host, "Milton"*, who was leaving to take his wife, who has Parkinson's Disease, to the hospital for tests. When my friend turned back to our conversation, she briefly commented, "Milton is truly a beautiful person." It never once occurred to me that her remark had anything at all to do with his appearance!

    One of God's greatest gifts to us, as we grow older and our faith grows deeper, is the ability to see the truly beautiful.

    Thank you, Sarah, for helping us to see the many benefits of our years.

    *name changed for this comment.

  3. With the baby boomers getting older, I think the standards of beauty will change. You're already seeing more overweight actors on TV shows and I just realized that Talbot's has opened a "woman" department.