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.