Real beauty

Pro. 31:30, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  This morning’s article follows yesterday’s one called, “When you are considered defective.” Beauty is defined by society, and the media drives the stereotype.  And let’s not forget the advent of social media filters that now allow almost any normal person to be “filtered” to look absolutely stunning and nearly flawless.  We are often told that those models, movie actresses, singers, and influencers are the epitome of beauty.  They are the gold standard, and everyone else is “less than that.  Thousands of magazines, with the covers adorned by these men and women, instill in our minds what the definitive understanding of beauty should be.  Social media sites and the trickery of those filters further influence the idea of what human “perfection” is.  

Millions of young girls, boys, women, and men stand in awe of these people, snapping pictures, begging for autographs, and screaming their names in frantic adoration when they see them.  Scores of young children and teens flock to stores and pharmacies to buy products endorsed by their idols in an effort to mimic their style.  Unfortunately, some fans will hurt themselves physically and psychologically in that quest.  The urge to be like them, to be adored as they are adored, to live rich, happy lives like their idols appear to can be the cause of much pain.  Some will develop eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia because they become disillusioned by what they perceive as shortcomings in their body type.  People do not know that the lives of those who are the “gods” of beauty and style are often not that happy at all.

Beneath the fake, happy exterior is a life that struggles to come to terms with the riches and what society expects of them, often leading to depression as they search for meaning and privacy.  And what have these “beauties” really done to deserve the accolades of the legions of adoring fans?  Usually, nothing more than singing a song, sauntering across a runway, or pretending to be someone else in a movie, commonly dressed in less than modest outfits to garner attention.  Many of these men and women are superficial, egocentric maniacs driven by worldly riches and hedonistic lifestyles that frequently include illicit drugs and alcohol.  

But there is another kind of beauty that far exceeds that of these narcissistic ego-maniacs.  It is beauty derived from within, and its source is humility.  It is a beauty that often speaks of pain and suffering and overcoming hardships that you and I cannot even begin to imagine.  It is a beauty that speaks volumes about perseverance and one that is centered on giving more than receiving.  Sometimes the giving is without their knowledge as their very presence encourages everyone they come into contact with.  Their pain is hidden from us, even though we know it is there.  They are rare, beautiful gifts from the Father in heaven, given to us to share on this earth for a period of time.  

They brighten every second, celebrate life and love, and radiate a strength that invigorates us and puts a smile on our faces.  Their essence exudes a beauty that words cannot begin to describe. When we are lucky enough to meet one of these gorgeous souls, we know that we have been sent a special blessing from God, and we treasure every word, and every moment we are fortunate enough to share.  That is true beauty.

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