I had planned for the subject of this blog to consist of my favorite and least favorite Academy Awards Red Carpet gowns from Monday night, but since none of the dresses really wowed me, I’m doing a full 360. I’m not writing more about diamonds and designers, but rather on the true meaning of beauty.
How, you might ask, can the same woman who wrote about loving glamour and glitz really be sincere about appreciating more what’s on the inside than what’s on the outside? Well, for starters, that woman, me, has always loved clothes but my fashion role models tend to be those who I, perhaps hopelessly, believe are as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside: Princess Di, Audrey Hepburn, Queen Latifah, Sela Ward, Angie Harmon, and Robin Roberts, just to name a few. Yes, I think Angelina Jolie and Beyonce are gorgeous, but I’m not sold on their genuineness and I don’t really like their style. Jennifer Aniston has, in my opinion, impeccable style but can seem a bit flakey. On the otherhand, I think Helen Mirren is stunning and is a fashion inspiration to all, young or old.
So, what or who do you regard as the epitome of beauty? Blonde? Brunette? Tall? Thin? Foreign? Smart? Funny? None of the above? All of the above? Is someone beautiful because they’ve had “work done” to make them beautiful? Would you consider Adele even prettier if she was thinner? (I think she is prettier than many a thin woman!) All good questions. As for me, I think many of my co-workers like Ana, Melissa, and Rosemary are beautiful. I consider Mother Teresa beautiful, as well as my mom and my husband’s Aunt Teresa. Are any of them filthy rich and fabulously famous, forever thin and always glamorous? No, they are simply beautiful inside and out. Maybe Audrey Hepburn said it best:
I agree. A pretty face doesn’t mean a pretty heart and an ugly personality can instantly destroy a pretty face. I’ve known many a gorgeous woman who are unfriendly or arrogant and guess what, they are not half as pretty as those whose faces light up and whose personalities light up a room. Take Halle Barry for instance. Gorgeous, yes, but her eyes don’t project true joy. She always appears a little sad to me.
Still, as long as you’re famous you are sometimes considered prettier than if you weren’t famous. Meryl Streep comes to mind. In some cases, like say with Jessica Alba, your God-given beauty makes you more famous than your so-called talents. Still others become rich and famous regardless of their morals or values. I immediately think of Kim Kardashian, who I think is drop-dead gorgeous but who I don’t believe deserves the fame and wealth she’s been awarded thanks mainly to a pornographic sex tape.
This is the society we live in though, and sadly it’s a society my college-aged daughter and your elementary, middle, and high-school aged daughters are exposed to on a daily basis. Your sons are also witnesses to it all, which is equally alarming. It’s nothing new however, even the legendary Marilyn Monroe had it figured out way back when.
I also like what designer Alexander Wang said, “Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.” Indeed Mr. Wang, indeed.
In my days off you’ll find me in yoga pants, TOMS, and wearing little or no make-up. I love those days! But, I also think it’s important to clean up and dress up. How you feel externally can often dictate how you feel internally. Overweight or a size 2, 5’2″ or 5’10”, when one puts on something pretty they feel pretty.
And then there’s the Bible, the most trusted source of right and wrong. 1 Peter 3:3 says, “It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you – the beauty of a quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear and it is worth very much to God.”
I live to impress God, but am also guilty of guilty pleasure purchases bearing some logo or representing some trend and I have way too many shoes! But, I love my Target sweat pants as much as I love my Tods loafers. I also love the saying “always wear your invisible crown,” but maybe in hindsight I like this one even better: