Beauty is Not Only Skin Deep

Me at about 8 years old, in my church dress playing in a creek in the mountains.

I disagree with the old saying, “Beauty is only skin deep.” I saw a post on Facebook showing women before their applications of make up. Beside each photo was a photo of them with makeup on.

The photos of these same women, without makeup, amazed me. They looked so different and yet beautiful in a natural way from their “make-up” photos. Some had narrow lips; some had smaller eyes or noses. But each had their own individual “look.” None of them were ugly or plain.

The photos of the same women with makeup applied made them appear more like the models in advertisements for clothing, or perfumes. Their faces were cleansed, covered with concealer for dark circles under the eyes or blemishes. Then their skin tones were augmented or changed by foundation creams or blush makeup. Their eyes had a thick line drawn on their eyelids, (above and below) with eyeliner to accentuate the false eyelashes that were applied next, (all to accentuate their eyes). Bright, various colored lipstick accentuated the pucker or pout of their lips. I am sure there were other parts of their regimen to increase the beauty of each one.

There were no photos of their bodies or how heavy or thin they were. But everyone knows how slim and trim all beautiful women are, right? Well, to be honest, not all beautiful women are thin, slim or trim. I learned this for myself. After about 50 years of feeling like I wasn’t beautiful enough, I had a revelation.

Do you remember the beautiful but evil queen on Game of Thrones? Point made. Just because someone is beautiful on the outside, whether their faces are made up with lots of makeup or little or no makeup or whether they have naturally beautiful bodies, these features do not necessarily mean they have a beautiful heart or mind. Which would you rather marry: a beautiful woman or muscle bound man with a shallow brain or hate-filled heart or who lied about everything? Or would you rather date/commit to/marry a woman or man who is attractive because of their personality: confidence, wisdom, honor, intelligence, friendliness, a sense of humor or big heart full of love and compassion for others and a thankfulness that they are sharing their life with you? Beauty (and handsomeness) are beautiful and are not dependent on outer appearances.

For many years, since I was a little girl starting in about third grade (?) I compared myself to other girls. I wished for a while that I had dimples or curly hair. I thought I didn’t look as pretty as the other girls. I was slim in the earlier grades but in about the fifth grade I began to plump up some. So there I was a little on the plump side, un-athletic, and not really in to sports. I also had to wear glasses for nearsightedness. Then when I became a teenager, or right before it, I got taller and looked less plump. I knew I was pretty smart but that was not what most of the other kids seemed to care about. I did have some brainy friends though, whose friendships I enjoyed.

Then when the hormones started up I looked slimmer but again I wasn’t as thin as the other girls. I was friendly and polite. I tried to be a good person. I am still the same me basically, but older and wiser. I have a larger capacity to understand, endure, love, cope with and face challenges.

Me at 17.
Me at 17 years old.

I don’t wear much makeup, unless there is a big event, which doesn’t happen very often. But that’s okay. As an “older woman” I know my beauty and where it rests. My beauty is more than skin-deep. Strangers look at my smile and know who I am. I may not be drop dead gorgeous, but my heart can be seen by my smiles, my eyes, my openness, willingness to help, and politeness.

Everyone, whether they consider themselves to be beautiful inside, outside, both or not at all, can have a beauty all their own. Real beauty is shown through our responses to others, (do we ignore them, smile back at them when appropriate; do we offer assistance if we see they are dropping something or open a door for someone when their hands are full or pushing a walker or stroller. How do we treat people from other countries, races, or different lifestyles than our own.

Everyone would get along better if we treated other people like we would like to be treated. I have often wondered how some people disagree with others about their sexual preferences, religions, culture or race and treat them like they are unacceptable. Yet they should know that you cannot change someone’s lifestyle, or anything by being hateful, rude, judgmental, or making fun of them.

It helps you and others to learn to get along better with each other if we try to get to know each other, their culture, even a few words from their language. Or just be kind and treat them with good manners and compassion like you would for anyone else.

2 thoughts on “Beauty is Not Only Skin Deep

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