Beauty Is Overrated

In the Eye of the Beholder

 What is it about beauty that can fill a person with hope or despair? 

Why do people search in vain for remedies for signs of aging?

What makes people attractive? 

Why are some people ugly ducklings who turn into swans?

Is it worth it to spend money to look beautiful?

Such are the many questions surrounding beauty, love, relationships, society trends, and happiness.  Being beautiful is nothing new.  Even in biblical times, people took care of their bodies and made sure to look their best.  Women underwent special treatments in order to be ready for their wedding day.  Their beauty was something that only their husbands would most likely be the only ones to ever see - considering women of those times were always covered up and veiled in the presence of other men.

What makes beauty so elusive is the fact that there are many traits in a person that can attract attention from a suitor.  Accordingly, women have created cosmetics to enhance features such as the eyes, lips, cheeks, and the skin overall.  There are creams, powders, glosses, and accessories to use to spruce up your hair, extend your eyelashes, or make you look like you just had a tan.  You can have sleek and smooth legs that are stubble-free, nails that shine, and botox shots to make the wrinkles disappear around your face.  Letting oneself "go" is not an option for those women who want to continue to "play the game" or let others know that they like themselves.

Beauty is something that everyone can appreciate.  But just like a work of art or a book, there are many critics, and many tastes.  Not everyone will take the time to understand a Monet, or read through a Shakespear play.  It is the same thing with people.  Unfortunately, mankind is competitive.  That means that when we look at other people, it is easy to dismiss those who we can't compare to ourselves, or envy or try to replicate the looks of those who seem to be more put together than us. 

But getting to really know someone takes time, and the more you do that, the more you discover non-physical traits that attract you more than just the outward appearance.  But again, since we are all wired to love beauty, there are many people in this world who will never have the patience or selflessness to learn that. 

Beauty and the Beast is a classic example of this.  Looks can be deceiving, and love can be completely blind.  But it's when people can identify themselves as being imperfect, broken souls that they can see past scars and flaws in another person and love them regardless.  When that happens, that person becomes truly beautiful to the one in love.  And something magical happens to the recipient of that love, too - he or she then becomes more beautiful because of being given unselfish love in return.

Looking good boosts the self-esteem.  There is definitely no question about that.  But other than taking care of the body and performing practical tasks to ensure health and wellness, doing more than ones' fair share of this can lead to narcissism and the ever-great fear of "looking ones age" or haggard.  It is more important to keep a youthful mind than a youthful body - it helps you live longer, instead of competing with others.

Who says being pegged for your actual age is always a bad thing?  Everyone ages, everyone develops wrinkles over time.  You can only do so much to prevent looking old, despite tummy tucks and face lifts.  Everyone eventually looks old in their eyes - so at that point you just look like an old body stretched over new(er) skin.  That's not really so attractive, is it???  To me, it looks more creepy than anything.  I would much rather have a grandma who looks her age and has a radiance about her from having lived a full and loving life, rather than one who has the same beauty treatments and who uses the same products as I do!  I would hope that once one gets to a certain age, and if he/she has taken good care of him/herself through the years, then extra maintenance would not be required.

 

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