Thursday, May 11, 2006

Beauty

True beauty comes from being committed to something other than yourself.

I read this great quote in a magazine, and thought it really rang true. For instance, Angelina Jolie is physically beautiful...there's no question about that! But I think that what makes her truly beautiful is that she's not completely self-absorbed. I mean it doesn't seem like she cares about what she looks like. Nor does she care if other people find her beautiful. She's stunning because she's committed to something larger than herself. Does she spend all day examining herself in the mirror and making sure that she doesn't have any new wrinkles? Does she compare herself to other women all day long? Does she only see her worth through the eyes of men? Does she focus on these superficial, external things? I don't think so. Why? Because she's too busy focused on things that make her feel good internally. She's too busy making a difference to someone other than herself.

Physical appearance has become ridiculously important in our society. We've become increasingly greedy, self-absorbed and narcissistic. And I think that things are getting out of control. Why does a 15 year old need a $800 LV purse? Why does a 30 year old need Botox? For that matter, why do I need $300 Versace sunglasses?

It's getting harder and harder to keep up with our "culture of cool." Keeping up with the Jones' these days means something a lot different than it did when I was growing up. Back then it was getting a TV and a microwave. Now, it's about owning the right designer jeans, looking as young and beautiful as possible, and getting behind the velvet rope. We're all celebrities, right?!

Of course, I'm as guilty as anyone else. Did I really need those Versace shades? No. Could I really afford them? No. Why did I buy them then? Because I liked them, and if I'm truly honest with myself, because I liked the label too. I liked what the label means. I think my point is that we all need to try to disconnect from these types of external things as much as we can. Granted it's difficult when you're surrounded by want more, need more, must have more messages all the time.

Still. What gives me the greatest pleasure is that which is intrinsic. That which is outside the context of our consumerist culture. Nothing feels better than a sense of accomplishment, be it creative, spiritual or athletic.

Not even putting on a pair of $300 Versace shades.

8 comments:

May said...

Well said Shellz!

hattigrace said...

Beauty is someone coming to the website of a grieving woman and leaving her kind, caring words of understanding and encouragement. And, if you are gonna wear sunglasses, why not love them? For whatever the reason.

Life can be ugly, hard, tedious, stressful. Why not add some beauty? Certainly Our Maker is into beauty. I mean, birds could be all grey and black, but He made peacocks and cardinals and bluejays. Flowers and butterflies and sunrises and sunset. . . are they neccessary, or did He think we would enjoy the beauty of them?

I don't know if Botox fits in, I mean, I think eyebrows that are frozen to prevent wrinkles are a bit boring, but just 'cause I do hair, I am no expert on ALL that is beautiful!

Furtheron said...

I'm with you Shellz - today I'll try to care more about others and less about myself.

With all deference to Steve Hogarth and the rest of Marillion - there are some lines in this that always touch my heart - I've bolded them.

Everybody knows we live in a world
Where they give bad names to beautiful things
Everybody knows we live in a world
Where we don't give beautiful things a second glance
Heaven only knows we live in a world
Where what we call beautiful is just something on sale
People laughing behind their hands
As the fragile and the sensitive are given no chance


And the leaves turn from red to brown
To be trodden down
To be trodden down
And the leaves turn from red to brown
Fall to the ground
Fall to the ground

We don't have to live in a world
Where we give bad names to beautiful things
We should live in a beautiful world
We should give beautiful a second chance

And the leaves fall from red to brown
To be trodden down
Trodden down
And the leaves turn green to red to brown
Fall to the ground
And get kicked around

You strong enough to be
Have you the courage to be
Have you the faith to be
Honest enough to stay
Don't have to be the same
Don't have to be this way
C'mon and sign your name
You wild enough to remain beautiful?
Beautiful

And the leaves turn from red to brown
To be trodden down
Trodden down
And we fall green to red to brown
Fall to the ground
But we can turn it around

You strong enough to be
Why don't you stand up and say
Give yourself a break
They'll laugh at you anyway
So why don't you stand up and be
Beautiful


Black, white, red, gold, and brown
We're stuck in this world
Nowhere to go
Turnin' around
What are you so afraid of?
Show us what you're made of
Be yourself and be beautiful
Beautiful

Smakie said...

Beautiful...

and what the heck! I didn't know they were three hundred dollars!!?

:)

Mel said...

I agree Shelley-Belly. Thanks for sharing those thoughts. If we change the way we think, we can positively effect change in the world. xo

EM said...

Well said and definitely in agreement...

Now you KNOW you have to post a pic of yourself with those sunglasses right??? :) Let me live vicariously through your purchase!

Buffy said...

That quote really knocked me off my feet.
It's just what I needed.

David said...

Shellz, you're totally right. Beauty is something our culture has become obsessed with about. We all wanna look young and hot and we think that labels can do it for us. But no. That's not true. You can have all the labels in the world, and still, you could look like a big mess. Style is what this world needs.

Take my sunglasses for example. I have a pair of dark brown copper polar lense Dior glasses and a pair of silver mirrored aviators from Aldo Shoes, and I'm telling you, just because one pair cost $25 more than the other (the Dior's were actually on sale for $40, because our family shops on Military Base and they get all kinds of authentic designer labels for super cheap, it's crazy!) they both give me confidence when I wear them because they look ├╝ber cool.

So, I think that's what people need. Confidence. Once they gain that, then labels just dont matter. It's just another name, you know? Too bad a lot of people will go broke before learning that...