A couple of years ago, dear friends of ours bought a beautiful, corner plot home in Chicago. It was a gorgeous home. No sooner had they moved in and they started having plumbing problems. It was a really bad, smelly, toilet issue. How many things seem to be one thing on the outside but turn out to be discrepant on the inside? This is an analogy for a beauty problem that I think is endemic. It’s a question that’s been asked in a myriad of ways over the years. What’s under the hood? Are you getting an orange or a lemon? Did you find what you were looking for? U2 gave expression to this dilemma in their 1987 hit “ I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.
It’s the question of true beauty, perhaps more accurately described as Lasting Beauty.
There are 2 types of Beauty, Outer Beauty and Inner Beauty.
I had asked a couple of my female colleagues which they would rather have inner or outer beauty without even defining it they all said Inner Beauty. When I asked which they spent more time on they all sheepishly said Outer beauty. At least they were honest right? I doubt I would have gotten a different result if they were male colleagues.
Inner Beauty refers to those character traits that we love to have in our friends. Positivity, a Joyful/funny disposition, an Infective Enthusiasm, Generosity, Kindness, Diligence, Integrity, the list goes on and on. We can’t “see” these qualities in a literal sense but we do know how it feels to be without them and so we want them around us.
THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THE WORLD CANNOT BE SEEN OR EVEN TOUCHED – THEY MUST BE FELT WITH THE HEART – HELEN KELLER
Outer Beauty refers to those physical traits that attract us to the opposite sex. An enthralling smile, striking eyes, long legs, a tall frame, an appealing, gorgeous body and the list goes on. We can see these literally and often desire to be associated with or at least acquainted with these beauties. They are stunning to behold and take our breath away. Outer beauty is a gift. We can try to improve on what we have but never have a say in what we get.
THERE IS NO PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN BEING BORN BEAUTIFUL – LORETTA YOUNG
Its January and everyone’s back in the gym. We are back on impossible diets in order to get our “outer beauty” back on track but not much is done for our “inner beauty”. Why is that?
It can’t be about the cost because everyone knows that the former costs more. An article on InStyle stated that women spend an average of $15000 on Makeup in their lifetimes. Marketwatch.com stated that Americans spent $33 billion on cosmetics and other beauty products in 2010. That is more money than was spent on education or even buying foreign cars.
It can’t be because it’s easier, anyone who has had to get into shape knows it takes extreme discipline and a lot of sacrifice. You have to watch what you eat, exercise consistently, commit to good weight choices. Yes you have to sacrifice. This type of sacrifice dates back medieval times when nobles are reported to have swallowed arsenic and dabbed in bats blood to improve skin tones in trying to achieve this outer beauty.
There are 3 things that come to mind though as to why we prefer to work on Outer Beauty
1. Faster Appearance of Results.
Its much easier to see the qualities of Outer Beauty than it’s invisible counterpart. You will have to take the time to get to know someone, you have to experience life with them in other find out who they really are. Nobody has that kind of time anymore. Are you kidding? In a Microwave society, why take time to find out who you are getting into bed with (no pun intended). Why risk getting hurt if its not the real deal.
2. Societal Pressure
The ugly person is an outcast in today’s society. We are shun them and don’t want to be associated with them. They are too fat.. too short.. too dark…their eyes are too big…too small. It might be contagious and so I don’t want to have anything to do with you. It doesn’t matter what kind of person they are, we don’t want to know or take the time to find out. No one wants to be that outcast and so we do all that we can to hide our physical flaws, we use make-up, wigs, mascara and girdles. We cover up, deflect or distract all we need to do is make a good first impression. Don’t worry about the 2nd impression there won’t be any, we’ll be long go to the next contender by then.
3. The Media
Global estimates put the beauty industry at about $190 billion. If you stood to loose that type of cash wouldn’t you be telling the public what is beautiful? We have a media telling us what beauty is? What’s in and what’s not. If we could take a step back and look at the big picture its insane how the pendulum swings from one extreme to another. From the skinny in the 1920’s to the curvy in the 1930 and back and forth and back again.
THE FACES THAT HAVE CHARMED US THE MOST ESCAPE US THE SOONEST – WALTER SCOTT
Outer beauty is great but it can’t last forever. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so temporary. Outer beauty is a thing of youth by the time you realize what you really have it’s gone. So you have 3 decades or so to enjoy it, if you really take care of yourself (and 1 decade if you don’t) but who wants to be done with growing more beauty at 40? When your skin starts to wrinkle and your appealing body starts to appall all.
Here’s my argument for Inner Beauty. While Outer Beauty “grinds down” with wear and tear Inner Beauty ages like a “good wine”. What type of capitalist invests for the short term? How can we spend so much money, will power and time on a short term gain. It makes so sense right? Yet that’s what a lot of us are doing.
BECAUSE BEAUTY ISN’T ENOUGH, THERE MUST BE SOMETHING MORE – EVA HERZIGOVA
What we really want is not the short term Outer Beauty but the long lasting Inner Beauty. There is a verse for this in an ancient text
DON’T BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE OUTWARD BEAUTY OF FANCY HAIRSTYLES, EXPENSIVE JEWELRY….
YOU SHOULD CLOTHE YOURSELVES INSTEAD WITH THE BEAUTY THAT COMES FROM WITHIN, THE UNFADING BEAUTY OF A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT, WHICH IS SO PRECIOUS TO GOD. (NLT 1 PETER 3:3-4)
DON’T TY TO MAKE YOURSELVES BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE, WITH STYLISH HAIR OR BY WEARING GOLD JEWELRY…..
INSTEAD, MAKE YOURSELVES BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE, IN YOUR HEARTS, WITH THE ENDURING QUALITY OF A GENTLE, PEACEFUL SPIRIT. THIS TYPE OF BEAUTY IS VERY PRECIOUS IN GOD’S EYES (CEB 1 PETER 3:3-4)
This Inner Beauty is what will keep a marriage strong long after the lure of youthful beauty has faded. It will keep a son’s love for his father after the latter’s strength has waned. It will weather the storm of any disappointment, any betrayal. It will help you forgive. It will strengthen you in ways you never knew.
BEAUTY HAS A LOT TO DO WITH CHARACTER – KEVYN AUCOIN.
INTEGRITY REVEALS BEAUTY – THOMAS LEONARD
Inner Beauty is the true beauty. It’s the real you that even you would like. If you tend to it, it will only get brighter, stronger. It will draw others to its heat and brilliance, especially in such a dark time that we live in, where people are only interested in themselves and how they can look better at your expense. Inner beauty is the substance in Aesop’s fables where Outer beauty is the shadow.
BEWARE LEST YOU LOSE THE SUBSTANCE BY GRASPING AT THE SHADOW – AESOP
Inner Beauty’s quest starts with a Man called Jesus. He saw through our outer shams to the true beauty inside us. He’s waiting to show you the way. Are you ready for lasting beauty?