I was reminded the other night about “beauty” being only skin deep. Yes, it is true. I was attending a meeting with other ladies and one of them read us a short devotional if you will. The topic was “beauty” and discussed what we all know: that: being that beauty is considered in that which gives us pleasure or is pleasing. That got me to thinking about it.
As a society, we value beauty, not just in our bodies/faces but also in our surroundings. You mention the word beauty or beautiful to anyone and they will picture something or someone different from you. Ahhh, yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? There is such variance as I think of that tribe in Africa that sees beauty in a long neck: girls start to wear these metal neck rings to ensure their necks are elongated, the Japanese at one point thought/valued small feet and women would bind their feet and became deformed, some think piercings and tattoos are beautiful, others like make up, hair dyes, etc. We certainly know that people are willing to spend their hard earned money on cosmetics, plastic surgeries, botox, body building, tanning and the list goes on. How can you not when you are continually bombarded with images and messages, some outright and others sublime. That just considered the people, there is a whole other realm of beauty to be had in our homes, in our gardens/yards, communities, cities and the world over. Don’t get me wrong I like pleasing things just as much as the next guy, I just get the idea that beauty is only skin deep meaning that beauty is something more than superficiality.
For instance, take the blind or visually impaired: how do they describe or experience beauty? Obviously, it is not something they can see, but rather something else they must sense: I would think their sense of beauty would lie in sounds, smells and touch/taste. We talk about our “mind’s eye”, which I think is what we picture in our minds, but how can this be for someone whom has never seen anything?? What do they picture?
There are so many interpretations or views of what is beauty: Take a look at these photos. These are considered beautiful images of women, which is truly beautiful?
As I go through life, I realize superficial beauty is a wonderful thing if you have it, but if you don’t (according to society, or even your friends) it doesn’t mean you don’t embody beauty. When I look at photos or images of people, I gravitate towards the eyes and the laugh/smile. Why? Because they usually can’t lie. I think beauty is something we also carry inside and is shown to the world by our eyes, our smiles, our laughter our hearts and souls (our actions or words). Maybe we have a wart on the end of our nose, maybe we have bad acne, maybe we have scars or burns. We have beauty inside which can emminate outwards. As women, we have many roles, many important parts to play individually, as a spouse/partner, as a mother, sister, friend, etc, and the list goes on. Society would lead us to believe our worth is in something so superficial that the least blemish will send teens and perhaps younger now into a panic!! Lord help them when they are faced with something that is potentially scarring: whether to her external beauty or to her internal psyche. The latter of course being much more damming. For me, with my journey of aging, and this on-going battle with skin cancers, I have had to let go of the societal image of beauty and be a better beautiful person. Every day is a new day and I am thankful to have the health I do and am still able to enjoy much of life.