The guy was hot. Every night at camp, he and another guy kicked off the evening program with a skit, in which they wore ridiculously tight clothes and romance-novel wigs while bantering back and forth with fake accents until the audience roared with laughter. The hot one was named Daniel, but on stage he was known as Tito. “Tito!!!” the girls would scream. Click-click went their disposable cameras. He was a regular craze that summer. And when he was just Daniel, sans the wig and stage clothes, the girls would still follow him around camp, huddled in clusters at a safe distance and giggling. They even waited for him outside the bathroom, just to get a candid glimpse of him.
Now I’ll tell you that Tito was my husband, or rather my fiancé at the time. The campers didn’t know this, though, for public display of affection was not allowed, and so they had no idea they were swooning over my fiancé.
Honestly, they might not have believed me if I’d told them. Absolutely no one suspected I was “Tito’s” fiancé. Surely a guy that good-looking would have a perfect-10 for a girlfriend.
Not necessarily, my friends.
What is beauty, anyway? I asked Daniel the other day what beauty was to him, and do you know what he said? Character. He said the most gorgeous woman in the world becomes the worst kind of ugly when her heart is black. Bitterness, selfishness, and malice disfigure a person in the same way that kindness, joy, and selflessness beautify.
Which means that I am literally stunning to him – the amber color in my eyes, my long straight hair, my freckled skin – all beautiful to behold because of the glow of my character.
How’s that for a take on beauty.
It’s hard, though, living in an Asian country where every woman I see is smaller than a size 4 with skin like chocolate milk and hair as shiny and black as the patent leather pumps on her feet. How in the world can I compete with beauty like that?
The answer is I can’t, but neither could I compete with an Olympic middle-distance runner in a mile race. Does that bother me? No. Why then does it bother me to be less svelte, less brown, less smooth, less defined, etc? We women are so hung up on whether or not we appear beautiful, when in actuality appearing beautiful and being beautiful are two different things. If we spent as much effort working on being beautiful as we do on appearing beautiful, the world would be a different place entirely.
That said, our husbands do deserve someone pretty to come home to. It would be downright cruel of me to just let myself go, and still expect Daniel to find me attractive. But girls I’m convinced a pair of good-fitting jeans and a heart of gold are all any of us need to be absolutely gorgeous.
Wresting with beauty isn’t related to a marital status. What are the messages related to beauty in the country you live in?
Photo Credit : Steven Spassov via Unsplash