In the darling 1989 film “Steel Magnolias,” (which I highly recommend, by the way), the beauty parlor owner, Truvy, comfortingly says, “there’s no such thing as natural beauty.”
Now that made me jump.
Natural beauty. I suppose that you win the medal for being “naturally” beautiful if you wake up after two hours of sleep with perfectly curled hair, a flawlessly clear face that doesn’t need any makeup and an 18-inch waist. If you feel that you fall into this category, I would love to know what planet you come from. If that is how we are defining “natural beauty,” then sure. There is no such thing.
Ladies, isn’t it funny that we give ourselves and our poor bodies such entirely unrealistic expectations? We put ourselves on diets, refusing our favorite chocolate cookies and vanilla cupcakes so that we can fit into size zero jeans (though healthiness is goodness. See this and this below). We spend hundreds of dollars on makeup to hide the lovely faces we hate to look at. We cut and dye and straighten and curl our hair until it’s falling out, and we still have those mornings of looking into the mirror and bursting into tears. We are killing ourselves, sisters! We are so pressured to be physically beautiful all of the time that we are literally making ourselves sick to try and fit into the paper-doll cut out image of “beauty” laid out. We are constantly barraged by the media to look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way. Sister Patricia Holland says, “you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to get these messages in today's world, and as a sex we are struggling, and our society struggles.”
No, there is no such thing as natural beauty the way the world defines it. But God did not send us to earth to sit in front of a mirror all day, trying to copy something the world created. He did not mean for us to be caught in the trap of our own strengths: to make and bring beauty to everything. But I absolutely believe that He sent YOU to earth to add a little something sweet to a rather bland cake. And you know what? That ‘something sweet,’ could be just being you! If we’re stuck trying to squeeze into a beauty image, satan has all the keys. But if we bring beauty from out of our hearts--and the heart of each and every women is oh, so beautiful--than the beauty overflows from everything we do, not just a pretty face. It flows from heartfelt music and lovingly made cookies and vibrant research papers and cheerful smiles and just-because-hugs and a love for life. If you know that you’re beautiful without your mirror--just naturally, because of your unique and individually wonderful heart, then all of that splendor and divinity within you begins to lighten everything about you and your spirit starts to feel at home in your body, because you’re inviting the beauty of heaven to stay there too.
Smile. There, you see? Sunshine. And you have to admit, that’s beautiful.