What makes a woman beautiful

I have once heard it said that art cannot be explained, only seen. The depth, richness, passion, and texture of art is best witnessed by the human eye. To try and describe a work of art in words alone or by a picture would fall very short.


Beauty is also such. I have stood in the presence of such beautiful people. I have been in awe by the beauty that can radiate out of a human being. It is hard to describe, but I know I have seen it with my bare eye. 

Unfortunately, our culture has reduced beauty to visual perfection. Magazine covers feature women who are not only young, healthy, and lovely- they also remove any flaw or imperfection from their body or skin. We are truly looking at aliens, meaning they are not actually human but rather something other worldy and unreal. 

The same goes for the world of plastic surgery. Now, we are extremely fortunate to have such a medical wonder to have something as advanced as plastic surgery. What an amazing thing for someone who has been in a car accident and had their face destroyed or someone who has experienced a severe burn. Yet we have taken it to a new level and now alter the way we look completely so as to attempt to become less insecure or more wanted by our partners. 

Lastly, I sadly see beauty tragically defamed in the world of our “sex culture”. Women who are idolized as beautiful are chock full of enhancements. Fake tans, plastic surgery, and sexy figures are what is featured in sex magazines and the growing pornography world. 

I am not undermining physical beauty. Physical beauty is a god-given, wonderful and amazing thing. Women are just drop dead gorgeous. I often admire many gals as I am out and about and am truly amazed by how unique and lovely some people are! Some people do have awesome bodies they work hard for (or are just blessed to have those natural curves). Sometimes I love getting tanned, my nails done, hair blown out, or a new outfit. I am not knocking on the fact we can spruce ourselves up. I am simply saying that our culture idolizes this and makes it the standard to live up to, we go crazy trying to be skinny and pretty, and lose sight of what real beauty is in the process… 

I often gaze at my daughter and am amazed at how perfect each and every feature is on her body. Her tiny toes, long eyelashes, and her sparkly eyes captivate me. Yet what I find most beautiful of all about her is her beaming smile that is so full of heart and life. But without that heart and life motivating that smile, it would be empty. She is beautiful because she is. That is it. She needs nothing more and nothing less in my opinion. There is nothing that could make her less beautiful to me-  no physical imperfection could lessen her beauty. 

Mother Teresa won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She founded the Missionaries of Charity. The charity focuses on giving “wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor” and helps people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, leprosy, soup kitchens, orphanages and schools. One women who reported her encounter with Mother Teresa on the website motherteresa.org, explained- “I have often been asked what it was like to look into Mothers face, and all I can say is that it was like looking into the face of God.” Is there a higher compliment? 

Anne Frank is one of our most beloved writers and one of the most discussed victims of the Holocaust. Just four months before their hiding place was stormed by the Police, she wrote the following entry in her diary:

“I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write …, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent …

And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! …
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?” 
Yes, Anne Frank, you will:)
Rosa Parks is known as the “mother of the modern day civil rights movement”. She recieved this title from her refusal to give up her seat to a white male passenger on a bus in Alabama in 1955. Her courage sparked the hearts of many. 
There are a few commonalities I observe about these three women. The first, I must state, is that none of them are perfect. I am not claiming them to be. I am sure each had many flaws just like all of us. But they did have some characteristics, in my opinion, that made them very stunning women. 

The first is that they were passionate. They were not sitting around looking pretty. They did things. These are thinking women. They used their minds as a weapon to fight for what meant the most to them. 
The second is that they all had faith. They believed their actions could produce change. Even though they did not yet know the outcome or effect of what one single journal entry, act of courage, or meal to a homeless person would bring- they still did it. Did Mother Teresa know she would become such a figure head? I doubt it. Or Anne Frank a journalist to show us the inside of the terror of war? I wonder if Rosa Parks did that act having full confidence it would be an act of courage to the nation against racism. I truly believe these women did these things not fully knowing what it would bring, but HOPING they could find their purpose or help some people. That is faith. Jumping even when it is scary or dangerous. Having hope in the darkest of times. 
The third is they all sacrificed. Each one took time out of their day to seek the heart of others. They all yearned to help people. Helping people is not easy. It means stopping what you are doing to tend to another persons needs. It means sometimes getting dirty, giving money, and carrying a burden. 

They all had courage. Now I do not view courage as absence of fear. Rather, I view courage as moving despite fear. Each one faced extreme hardships, to the point I doubt I will ever experience. I do not live amongst poverty, am not living in hiding for fear of death, nor am I hated because of the color of my skin.  These women still moved through the trembling of fear and imminent death. Their mind, heart, and passion motivated them. 

I am going to interject one more thing I think is beautiful. That is when someone has a spirit for adventure and fun. When I am around someone funny or full of joy- I cannot help but feel more joyful myself. There is something beautiful about a woman who can find the fun in life and relax. I know a few people in my life who are great at this. They love finding crazy things to do and feeling the rush of adrenaline and just acting like a kid. I envy them because I want to be more like that! I want to make people happy to be around me! 

I suppose what I am getting at is that true beauty is more full than just the face, body, and clothes. It is radiated through the face and body. It is felt, seen, and beheld by the human eye. It is achieved through work in the heart and mind. True beauty tends to both the outer and inner in balance. We ought to stop giving all the praise to beautiful people who do not possess inner beauty in Hollywood and on the streets. Outward beauty alone has little power to do anything lasting or impacting, and fades with time. 

The fullness of beauty can impact generations and stay with us forever. It can transform us, renew us, and inspire us. We never forget someone who is truly beautiful. Others’ beauty can make us more beautiful, from the inside out. It is powerful. We all have the above characteristics in us naturally. We are all beautiful. Some of us are more adventurous, some more philisophical, and some more comfortable helping others. God designs us that way: unique and fearfully made. God’s light can shine through us and impact the world if we allow it so.  
I want to teach Lillian about true beauty, from the inside out. My hope is that she would be compelled to not only dwell on her outer appearance, but also her inner beauty. I hope she will be able to see beauty in others and not judge people by their outer appearances- but really get to know everyone- inside and out. I hope she is able to see her authentic, unique, one of a kind beauty is wonderful and more than enough to do great and powerful acts in her life. 
 

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