The Journey to Beauty, Part 2
Barbie is just a few months older than I am, but we don’t look it. She’s held up as the standard of beauty for millions of women and girls, and I…am not.
How did we give permission to Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls as well as bazillions of other toys, to determine what is beauty and what is not? Who decided that blond hair and blue eyes determined beauty? Who decided that large breasts, skinny waists, and long legs should be every woman’s dream?
Our society has bought into The Barbie Syndrome. Ordinary is not good enough. If we don’t look like models, we have little value. Can it be true? Is it possible 99.99% of women have no value?
Photoshop can do miracles. It can even turn women into Barbie for advertising purposes.
Click here to get the whole story about that woman’s makeover. Well worth the time.
Some, however, aren’t content to be photoshopped into a Barbie look-alike. The “woman” in the following video (yes, I use the term lightly) has undergone countless rounds of plastic surgery designed to provide her with what she considers a perfect body. Or nearly perfect, as she can still find things she wants to change.
What is the purpose of beauty?
Watching this video might lead us to believe it’s to make people take a second look, for guys to whistle at us, for other women to be jealous.
Um, may I just say, at best, that’s totally shallow? It may be the introvert in me coming out, but I don’t want people to stare at me. I don’t want guys to whistle. I don’t want to flaunt my body in hopes of being noticed.
This isn’t because I’m middle-aged and not as svelte as I once was. It’s because I don’t believe that’s the purpose of beauty. It’s not why God created it.
What’s the most attractive thing about the women you know?
Chances are, it’s not the perfect spacing between her eyes or the fullness of her lips. It’s not the platinum color of her hair. It’s not likely her waist size or bust size or the length of her legs.
The most attractive thing about any human is also within the reach of every one of us. It’s two things, and they go together.
1. Sparkling eyes.
I’m not talking about mascara or eye shadow or curled lashes. I’m talking about the eyes themselves, no matter whether they’re blue, brown, green, or some color in between. Eyes, the windows to the soul. Eyes that focus on the person they’re with. Eyes that show delight and interest.
2. A genuine smile.
Likewise, a genuine smile has nothing to do with full lips, glossed lips, or the perfect shade of pink/red/whatever lips. A true smile reaches your eyes and tells the person you’re with that he or she is special and the two of you share a connection.
It’s far more important to be intensely beautiful to one person at a time, whether it’s your spouse or a friend, than to have fleeting mass appeal.
And yet, there’s another level, more important than the beauty our culture or our circle of family and friends sees, and that’s the beauty God sees in us.
More on that next time we take steps on the Journey to Beauty.