Thursday, April 09, 2009

If Inner Beauty is What Counts, Why Do I Own So Much Lip-Gloss?

The world is obsessed with beauty. I suppose that's natural. We've been this way from the beginning. Beauty equals health equals good stock equals descendants equals immortality. It's in our genetic makeup to seek out the beautiful people.

Perhaps that's why I see them everywhere I go: on television, in magazines, on billboards, in movies. I'm like Haley-Joel Osmet in The Sixth Sense.

"I see pretty people..."

I've tried my best to avoid becoming overly occupied with my appearance. It's hard though, when I feel compared to modern moms like Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie. Ok, so maybe no one outwardly compares me to Angelina Jolie, but I still feel it. I suppose if I had a gazillion dollars I could hire the trainers and food experts and make-up artists and stylists that Angelina has access to. But I don't, and I don't mind.

I'm a real woman and I have a real life to think about that doesn't include adding to a Children of the World Collection. I have laundry to do and floors to sweep and dinners to cook. Besides, I don't look that bad. I consider myself moderately attractive. I have some really good days where I look at myself in the mirror and think, "Heck yeah!"

Of course, there are days when I look at the mirror and think, "Oh crap."

I feel pretty good about myself most days. Especially when I compare how I look now to how I looked in Junior High. In those days I went through a rather unfortunate and unbearably lengthy "awkward phase." I had weird hair, bad skin, and absolutely no curves. I know what you're thinking. "What's changed?"

Anyhoo, I was very skinny, but very short. It would have been fine if I had been tall and skinny, but no. I looked like an anorexic munchkin. Not cute. My classmates took great pains to constantly remind me that I was an ugly duckling. That does bad stuff to your psyche. I have since had problems with low self-esteem, but I'm overcoming that. I'm almost there.

I've come to realize over time that even without outward beauty, I'm a worthwhile human being. I'm pretty smart, I have some talent, and I'm kind. (I'm also very humble as you can see from my shameless listing of attributes.) And now, I even think I'm kind of cute. I'm still short, but now I have some curves ( some good curves, some not.) My hair is still a bit weird, but people tell me all the time that my hair color is beautiful. You can't get this shade of red from a box, girls.

Outward beauty will fade. And while it's really no consolation that some day Angelina will look like a Sunsweet prune, it helps to know that I have things to fall back on. So, I'm not a super-model. Big deal. I'm a super mom. I have people in my life who love me even when I have no make-up on and my hair is pulled up into a frizzy ponytail. That makes me happier than having big pouty lips or flat abs.

Life is beautiful.