Beauty.

Can we all agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? I know that the midget will see something and tell me how it is beautiful…and I’ll confess to her that I’m not seeing it. On the other hand I’ll remark how cute something is…and she asks why is it touching me. Different artforms touch different people.

Beauty is diverse, and it has been argued that it is part of beauty that we are not all the same. Marketing tries to fit us women into a little box and tell us ‘this! this is beauty!’…and most of us can’t fit into the box even if we wanted to.

Saturday I went to a Christmas luncheon at my Grammy’s retirement home. I had not expected the turnout that was there, you could barely navigate through the room! Which was filled with young and old, and quite a few walkers. I was the first one there and navigated my way to the table where Grammy sat. My Grammy is nearing 90, and has seen many trials throughout her life, and when she smiles she is beautiful. Her skin is like paper that you fear if it is bumped it will crack open, and her formerly razor sharp memory is just starting slip but I still see her and think she is beautiful. I remember looking over the room, seeing a few familiar faces of Grammy’s friends and thinking how all these women are beautiful. Time is well worn on their faces, and their joy shines through.

At a later time, I was at an event with my mother. She was at least 15 years older than anyone else there, and if you looked around the room you could tell she was the eldest in the room. But here is where I’m getting to my point- it is not a bad thing that she has wrinkles. Her faces lights up when she laughs, and she is a beautiful woman and I know she will still be beautiful at nearing 90 like her mother.

Here is where I am frustrated. I expect to hear from ‘The World’ that my value as a woman lies fairly heavily in my outward appearance. It’s messed up, and I think there are some great stories out there that tell a different story, but for the most part when I go shopping I will be bombarded with messages saying I am not a pretty enough package and here is how to change that. Here is what I will not accept- this same message being ‘preached’ from other believers.

If a woman wants to change her appearance, lose weight, change her face cream to diminish wrinkles, dye her hair to cover up grays, etc, she should be allowed to. If that is something she wants to do to her appearance, I firmly stand behind her right to. I also stand behind her right to get piercings and tattoos, but that’s a topic for a different time. Here is what I do not stand behind: being told that she has to change something about herself to be beautiful. Really? Really? As believers we are saved by grace, Christ died for us while we were sinners who hated Him. But I ‘have’ to get on top of it with this aging thing or I might look like a prune and therefore be less lovely. Excuse me but…what the snickerdoodle?!

Give me the option that I can ‘slow’ the appearance of the aging process if I want. But don’t treat growing older like a virus. How does the saying go? It is a privilege denied to many. There are enough struggles with being older without telling women that they better stay on top of it so they don’t ‘lose’ their beauty. No, you don’t lose your beauty, it changes. And what better gift can you give to the young women in your life then showing confidence in your beauty even as your hair grays?

Young and old- we should be building each other up, not demonizing progressions in age.

Picture Source- Unknown

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