Monday, November 1, 2010

In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Them:  Hannah Montana, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, etc.

Us: Annette Benning, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, etc.

Everyone:  Ads, commercials, magazines, movies, TV, etc.

Beauty (per free dictionary):
1. The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.
2. One that is beautiful, especially a beautiful woman.


Baby boomers remember the 60's. A time of freedom, acceptance, freedom to be whatever you wanted to be. Beauty was supposed to be in the eyes of the beholder. So what happened? 

We look for beauty in cosmetics, clothing, face lifts, hair color then tell the children that they are beautiful just the way they are. We point out beautiful people, build sexy muscles, show off our most attractive parts. Do we accept ourselves just the way we are?

I'm tired of rag magazines that line check-out stands. I'm tired of pageants parading beauty across the stage. I'm tired of seeing older performers with plastic faces and lips that don't move. I'm worried that little girls play with beautiful dolls like Barbie, their idols and princesses. Little girls have play make up and nail polish. Children's clothing mimics adults. Who is the beholder?

I'm finally discovering that I enjoy a day without make up. Sweatshirt and jeans are my style. My hair is finding its original color while the smile I've had my entire life has given me wrinkles that accompany every upturn of my lips. High heeled shoes hurt my feet that love to be wiggle free. My body is not toned as long ago, but I certainly feel comfortable in it.

Last night I watched ghosts and goblin running door to door laughing and yelling. Costumes covered them making them all equal. We should all run so freely in our own skin. We should teach our children to find that freedom in their skin, too.

I have new idols now. These men and women make me proud to be an older woman. I have such admiration for those not afraid to age, not afraid to be beautiful in a new way.

Mine:  Judi Dench, Michael Caine, Al Pacino, Camryn Manheim, Clint Eastwood.

I admired beautiful actresses who aged naturally. Their looks did not affect their talents. Mary Martin, Helen Hayes. Anyone who ever saw Hallmark's To Dance With the White Dog starring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy cannot forget them or the beauty of a story of aging years. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We all have our 'opinion' regarding what we find beautiful. Mother Teresa wasn't beautiful. I've never seen an ugly Disney princess. However, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan didn't seem to have a problem finding long-lived popularity. Where do we look for beauty? How deep does it go? Would an artist ever have painted a Christ or Mary as less than beautiful?

I am adding a new definitions to 'beauty'.

1. Beyond skin deep.
2. Found only in the eyes of the beholder.


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