Tag Archives: beauty

Beauty Is Only Soul Deep

When I was a child I received many messages about my physical appearance. Some were good. Little old ladies (hey, they were probably my age now, but I was a kid and that is how I remember it) would stop my mom in the store to go on and on about how beautiful my big eyes were and how lovely my curly, brown hair was. Some were bad. My peers told me my big eyes made me look like a frog and straight hair was way prettier than frizzy, curly hair ever would be. It was confusing and being beautiful seemed like a lot of work and possibly impossible to achieve since there were so many different opinions and people to please.

As I got older I realized I was probably never going to be beautiful (and by older I mean age ten). I was obviously an acquired taste. Some people thought I was pretty. Some didn’t. Some thought I’d be pretty if I only brushed my hair more, stood up straighter, smiled more, had designer jeans, wore makeup, lost a few pounds, gained a few pounds, got a face transplant. You know, the usual.

At some point I just stopped trying to be beautiful and focused on trying to be smart. Somehow that seemed more achievable. It seemed more controllable. If I got an A I was smart and nobody could deny it. It was so much easier than trying to be beautiful. Being beautiful was so arbitrary. Beauty was in the eye of the beholder. A 4.0 grade point average wasn’t as refuteable.  Plus, nobody would openly debate whether you were smart or not right in front of you. That would be rude. For some reason people have always thought it was acceptable and appropriate to discuss a persons beauty or lack of beauty right in front of them. I’ve had my body parts discussed and rated by all sorts of people. How is that not considered rude? I found that confusing as I grew up too. I never asked for opinions about my appearance, but people were always happy to offer them anyway.

Besides being smart, I also tried out some other attributes like being funny, kind, and good with little kids. I aced them all. Well, the being funny part is up for debate, but since I laugh at my own jokes so much I figure I must be somewhat funny, right? Being kind was easy for the most part because I’ve never liked to hurt people’s feelings or make them uncomfortable because I knew what that felt like. Little kids always liked me. Probably because I was funny or at least kind. Actually, they mostly liked me because I wasn’t worried about being pretty and was content to roll around in the mud and grass with them and run around with sticks stuck in my hair. There is a certain freedom when you give up on being beautiful.

Anyway, people are always saying beauty is only skin deep, but I disagree. Beauty doesn’t have anything to do with skin at all. Beauty is only soul deep and I can prove it. Have you ever met someone with average looks or someone the masses would claim to be downright unattractive, but when they smile it lights up the whole room? Their eyes sparkle so much it feels like you are staring into the universe filled with moons and stars? Have you ever met someone that is so gentle, so patient, so kind that they radiate beauty? Have you ever met someone who loves what they are doing so much that they actually glow when they talk about it? Have you ever been loved by a love so strong that you can barely even see the physicality of the person loving you? That’s soul beauty. That’s pure love. That’s the kind of stuff that makes people truly beautiful. It’s also the only beauty that truly matters.

When I was a preteen there was a woman my parents were friends with. One night I heard them talking about how beautiful she was. When she smiled she became so gorgeous. People were immediately drawn to her. It was true. I had seen it happen with my own eyes. It felt like magic. One day I happened to see her sitting at the table thinking. Her face was drawn into a deep frown. I studied her features because I wanted to be beautiful and gorgeous too. I was trying to figure out what her secret was. She looked very plain. Her eyes were ordinary. Her hairy was mousy and the most boring light brown. Her nose was long and pointy. She wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful in any sense of the word. I couldn’t figure out what made her so attractive. As I was staring she looked up and saw me and smiled. She was radiant. She was beautiful. I could have basked in her warmth all day. I learned a very important lesson about beauty that day. Of course, it took me quite a few more years to really understand the lesson I had learned. I went through my twenties trying to feel beautiful and act beautiful while secretly believing I was probably ugly. I didn’t realize how little beauty had to do with what was on the outside. I was too busy trying to keep up with my peers to stop and think about it too much.

Now I worry much less about my hair, my makeup, or my clothes. I notice less and less of that about other people too. I’m more focused on big, contagious smiles, enthusiasm, sparkling eyes, and love. Mostly love. People who love life, love themselves, and love you are always going to be the most attractive people in the room. They have the kind of beauty that is going to matter most to you because they have soul beauty and it is deeper than any other kind.

Beauty Is Only Soul Deep: A contribution to the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest IV
Art logo design by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson (copyright belongs to the artist).

I am participating in August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest IV today. To read more about beauty from other participants please visit the official Beauty of a Woman page. You can win prizes for reading, commenting, and sharing posts so please check it out!

 


5 Things Having Curly Hair Has Taught Me

1. Give up trying to control things. Go with the flow more. Curly hair has a mind of it’s own just like people. Sometimes it’s curlier one day and not so curly the next. It’s got it’s own personality. Let it. Don’t try to tame it or to change it. Just go with it! Acceptance is good.

2. Embrace what you have to work with and do the best you can. We all have strengths and short comings. Sometimes those strengths or weaknesses  are what make us unique individuals. Embrace your talents and what you excel at. Let the rest go. Curly hair excels at being curly. I’m letting it do what it’s best at. Sometimes we have to celebrate our strengths.

3. Sometimes the thing you dislike the most about yourself is what someone else loves the most about you. I don’t know how many times people have told me they would kill to have my curls. Usually they tell me this right after I have been fuming at my hair wishing it would just lie flat in one place! So, have gratitude for what you do have and remember there is always someone out there envious of you in some way.

5 Things Having Curly Hair Has Taught Me

4. Sometimes you are going to have a bad day. You might wake up with bed-head that you can’t get rid of…or frizz. Learn to move through those moments. Get a hat…don’t be afraid to accessorize. It’s OK to walk around with imperfections and have a bad hair day once in a while. Just don’t let that crazy, curly mess stop you from getting things done.

5. If you go to a hairstylist and ask them to cut your hair in a way that complements your curls they will probably still blow your hair straight before they let you walk out the door. Sometimes people don’t get you or don’t listen to you and you really have to stand up for yourself. You may have to find a new stylist. Don’t be afraid to get what you want or to stay true to yourself.

Those are the 5 things having curly hair has taught me. Have you learned any lessons dealing with something you can’t control?

 

Beauty Routines Of The Not So Rich And Almost Famous

Tiny-Small blow drying her hair.
Tiny-Small won’t be a beauty school drop out, unlike her mother totally would have been if she ever attended beauty school. Also, it’s blurry because this kid does not sit still for anything anymore.

Tiny-Small insists on looking fabulous. It’s just her inner beauty queen speaking. She was born to sparkle, apparently. So, I wasn’t surprised when she begged me to let her use the hair dryer. I set it on low and hoped for the best. Since I subscribe to the “hands on” theory of learning I figured why not?

Drying her right foot.
First one foot…

I was kind of surprised that she thought it was important to dry her socks, but hey, I am no expert on the beauty routines of the not so rich and almost famous. Tiny-Small knows more about that at the ripe old age of three than I do at the nice young age of 38. I mean, she’s got the shiny, glitter gene and I’ve got the “I brushed my hair yesterday (I think)” gene so maybe sock drying is the latest fad in beauty culture. Maybe she is just starting a new trend.

Drying her left foot.
Then the other.

Either way, after my trip to the salon and looking great for 12 hours I am back to my usual ways. I can’t tame this curly mess of mine no matter how many YouTube hair tutorials I watch or how many hair slicking-down styling products I purchase. I am a lost cause, at least until I win the lottery (I don’t play), or invent some gadget that goes viral and makes me rich (doubtful given my track record with mechanical objects), or grow another set of arms (probably the most likely).

Beauty routines of the not so rich and almost famous.

This is what the beauty routines of the not so rich and almost famous look like. I use the word “almost” very loosely here, obviously. I mean, Tiny-Small is more almost famous than I am, probably because she is cute and I am more like an artist with no personal style or time to care. Fame is so hard to come by these days, especially when you are a practicing hermit covered in acrylic paint and seven types of glue pretty much every moment of your life. I probably should admit to using the term “beauty” pretty loosely here too. I mean, let’s be real, right?

If one more person over 65 tells me how lucky I am to have naturally curly hair I just might cry.