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Do You Worship Physical Beauty?

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Do You Worship Physical Beauty?

Let me make a confession right up front. I have a little streak of vanity.

Put a nicer way, I take pride in my appearance. I never leave the house without some makeup and I practice a morning ritual of styling my hair. I file my nails and moisturize my skin. I shave and tweeze and primp. I check myself in the mirror before heading out into the world. I’ve always been that way and suspect I always will.

A streak of vanity? Guilty as charged. Foolishly attempting to live up to the narrow standard of beauty set by our culture? Not on your life. Not when I was 20 years old, and certainly not now that I am 50.

Do you ever get the feeling that somewhere out there is a mold of what a woman should look like… and that what you see in the mirror bears no resemblance to that mold? However our standards of beauty have come together, I’m not falling for it.

The lure of beauty is strong, and we’ve got ample tools at our disposal to achieve it. Some even jeopardize our health. Tanning beds, teeth whiteners, Botoxģ injections, nose jobs, facelifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, breast augmentation, self-starvation, expensive designer clothing… it boggles the mind.

What is it that we hope to achieve by worshiping at this altar of physical beauty? Perhaps self-esteem… attention… happiness… success? There are far better ways to achieve those.

Physical beauty, even the ultimate shining example of it, changes as we age. Time and gravity serve no master. They do what they do regardless of how much we are willing to suffer to slow them down.

In the end, it’s all about you. YOU — the human being who resides within that slightly less than perfect and continually aging body. Then again, who gets to decide what is perfect? Nobody but you.

Next: Taking a good, long look in the mirror.

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Read more: Beauty, Blogs, Body Image, Conditions, Fashion, Health, Living with MS, Mental Wellness, Multiple Sclerosis, News & Issues, , , , , ,

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172 comments

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5:49AM PDT on Oct 8, 2013

We must be careful not to disrespect that a healthy body that has been made so - notwithstanding the limits of real physical illnesses that impose some limits - by our choices to exercise and to turn our backs upon society whenever society tries to sell us junk food instead of the kind of food we should eat produces beauty in its own right. Obesity is a disease caused by dietary perversions and there is nothing wrong with a man refusing to tolerate a lifestyle that causes a pot belly. Appropriate exercise even if one trains hard for a limited session does not so much as worship beauty as it does to respect and appreciate our bodies and others who might not like to see beer bellies hanging over the belt line.

2:11PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

I think it's very hard to shrug off these expectations completely - but I'm trying to! I avoid glossy magazines, and 'fat talk' as much as possible. For the most part, though, I'm reasonably happy with my character and don't think about my appearance too much.

10:41AM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it's hard not to look at the typical mold of beauty and feel inadequate.

11:26AM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

I have been with not so physically beautiful men who were smart, funny, kind, generous, and grand listeners and also physically beautiful men who were slobs, inconsiderate, self-centered and petty....Guess which ones were my favorites?

3:34PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

no

12:19AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

Thank you for posting.

6:54AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

just here for points for the animals ...

7:08PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

I wrote the previous post (past member). I am 29yrs old and my body is my temple and the only approval of beauty I need is my own. that is what makes someone beautiful. Inner Beauty.

7:03PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

here, here! the only standard of beauty is the one youre born with. NOBODY has set any standards for beauty. Ignorance and stupidity in the media influence the fragile minds (& it has nothing to do with age) the young are most gullible but some girls age but their brains dont grow.

6:56PM PST on Nov 23, 2010

Thank you for posting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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