Beauty is a hot button topic to be sure. If you were to travel the world, asking people of various cultures to define beauty, you’d likely compile answers that range from being quite similar to staunchly opposed, depending on where you were and whom you asked at the time. There are some versions of beauty that are basic and overall, such as those conventionally identified in physical, human terms. There aren’t many people who would dispute the fact that a muscular, tanned, dark hair, dark eyed, six-foot tall male model is beautiful as well as a female who has similar features and is curvaceous and fit.
I don’t think the problem lies in saying such people are beautiful. They are. It’s that simple. I believe the problem lies in trying to convince people that those who do not possess these attributes are not beautiful. See the difference? It’s one thing to say that a particular supermodel is beautiful. It’s quite another to suggest that anyone who doesn’t look like that, is not.
God created a beautiful world and filled it with beautiful people. We dare not limit or even try to define beauty in finite terms, for the author of beauty itself is infinite and undefinable. Beauty is so much more than fashion-centered-sex-marketing-product-selling advertisers might have you believe.
Think of beauty and write down the first five images that come to your mind. Did you happen to write Cindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley or David Gandy? Likely, not. Are they beautiful? Absolutely; however, that doesn’t mean that in order to imagine beauty, an evoked image must look like them or one of their modeling colleagues.
The New Year is soon upon us and as always, many people will be making resolutions. If you’re one of them, I challenge you to expand your thinking on beauty. Open your mind and heart to a broader definition of the word. Place it in the context of its Creator and try to look at the world through His eyes.
If we do this, beauty may surprise us in ways we do not expect. We may find beauty in the wrinkles and laugh lines of an elderly face who has lived long, worked hard, overcome suffering and survived many challenges through the years. The scarred face and body of a someone who survived a terrible accident and rose above adversity to go on in life and share the love of God with others may strike us as beautiful.
Beauty may be found in the diverse features of people of all sizes, shapes and colors. From the woman who dons a babushka and works her fingers to the bone to make homemade pasta and bread for her loved ones in a small, Italian village to a tribal warrior in a place not many Western eyes have seen, beauty exists far beyond the runways of New York.
It’s in the eyes of a husband who kisses his wife’s forehead as he leaves for work before dawn. It’s in the first coos and gurgles of a newborn child, no matter what language he or she will speak one day. It’s in two hands, held together that have been joined in marriage for more than 50 years.
Life is beautiful. Every person God creates in His own image is beautiful, too. You are beautiful, no matter what your hair color happens to be, how much you weigh or what you have been through in life. Our nation has faced unspeakable tragedies in recent times. As 2017 nears its end, let us remember that God is the author of all beauty and beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
As you set goals for the New Year, let one of them be that you will learn to see yourself as beautiful and to seek and find beauty in those you meet and the places you go that transcends the close-minded, confined, limited, finite, commercialized view of the word and lets your heart soar to new heights and new blessings in the One through whom all beauty exists.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.