true beauty

by jani on November 9, 2012

As I was standing in line at our local pharmacy, I turned around and realized I was confronted by all these celebrity faces trying to sell me products. I had to ask myself, would I really buy make-up because Emma Stone is staring back at me with her perfect features and beautifully made up eyes? The answer for me was…no! I asked the woman in front of me (similarly dressed as I in her comfy sweats, sans make up, if she would. She said, ” I would need a famous make up artist to look like that!” My response was, “There’s not a make up artist in the world who could make me look like that and frankly, I wouldn’t want to!” I then began to wonder what these images say to our young teenage girls. In this our world the emphasis is placed on outward beauty, and no one can deny that Emma Stone, Kate Hudson, J Lo, and Taylor Swift are “beautiful” (no disrespect to these woman – I’m a fan of their various artistic fields). ButI want to teach my granddaughters and other young girls that outer beauty really is skin deep… actually it’s only a layer deep!

I want to teach them true beauty… inner beauty… not a photograph from a grocery store or a magazine cover like the following four images.

True beauty in a young girl or woman lies within. My mom is 88 years young and as sharp as she ever was, but her body is failing her. She can’t walk without assistance and lives in an assisted living facility. She doesn’t sit around moping and feeling sorry for herself. No, she has a worker take her down to the enhanced care unit usually twice a day. This unit houses people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other  full-care needs.

She knows each of these residents by name, even when many have forgotten their own names. It’s a locked-down unit, for their own safety. My mom treats them with the dignity they deserve. She visits with each of them, sing songs with them, leads them in group singing – and truly shows her deep love for these people. She has been at their sides along with their family members as they have slipped away from this earth. My mom to me is true beauty! And, she is one example I would hope other young girls would try to emulate!

Our innocent and adorable baby girls come to this earth filled with wonder. They’re  happy with the child they are. Most have loving parents who confirm their tender emotions through the adoration reflected in their eyes.

Can we as parents of young girls try just a bit harder – to help them find purpose other than believing their outward appearance is what matters most? Do we inadvertently propel this idea by clothing them in the coolest outfits and latest fads and by constantly telling them how beautiful they are? Please don’t misunderstand me. Building our daughters’ self esteems is so important. Dress them in cute attire,  fix their hair in cute styles.  But also in telling then how pretty they are, remind them of the pretty they have within. Mother Teresa taught that “[to become beacons of light in this world (or true beauty), we need to] cultivate the goodness in ourselves and others.”

Am I alone in these thoughts? Can each of us help? And if so, can we try a little harder to do more – to teach our daughters and our sons to serve others with a happy heart?

 Postscript I’m pleased to see that Cover Girl has recently chosen inspirational 13 year old cancer victim, Talia Castellano, as an honorary Cover Girl. Now let’s see her on your webpage, Cover Girl! Oh, and I for one want to see Talia’s face in magazine and store ads ! How about this idea for the cosmetic industry… why not use everyday teens and women of all shapes and sizes in your ad campaigns? Now that’s novel!