The Body Beautiful

This Model, pictured at right, doctored up to look freakishly thin for the Magazine Cover. What? She wasn't Gorgeous ENOUGH???

This Model, pictured at right, doctored up to look freakishly thin for the Magazine Cover. What? She wasn’t Gorgeous ENOUGH???

Wow!
With all of the things I have posted about and all of the Controversial Topics I have touched upon, this last post seems to have set off the most negative response.

I asked my HairDresser about it.
I told her that I had written a post about our Ability to see ourselves and our bodies as Beautiful, even as we Age.
She is an Absolutely Beautiful Korean-American Woman,
and the Best HairDresser in Show Business!
She stopped what she was doing,
Stood,
And Glared at me.
Then she spoke, “You’re on your own with that one.”
She shook her head and lamented, “Bodies…”

How has the Media been So Successful in Making us Feel that our Bodies are “Less Than?”
Have you ever been on those model shoots?
I have.
Even on the most attractive models, they take those Paper Clamps, like the ones you have in your desk drawer, and clamp the shirts in the back so that clothing hugs more tightly and the body looks unnaturally pronounced.
BRUCE WEBER was an Expert at lighting — Every Nipple had a shadow!
(That’s IT! I just Need Better Lighting! J )
And now, with PhotoShop Technology, we can just slim KATIE COURIC down 20 pounds, and Smooth out KATY PERRY’s skin, thin her down even more, and push up her Boobs.
NewsFlash: The KATIEs are BEAUTIFUL, just as They Are!
They don’t Need your Damn PhotoShop!
And You are BEAUTIFUL, just as You Are!

KATIE COURIC (2006)

KATIE COURIC (2006)

KATIE PERRY 2010

KATIE PERRY 2010

BETTY WHITE...BEAUTIFUL!

BETTY WHITE…BEAUTIFUL!

A friend told me some years ago that she was Reading a Bedtime Story to her 6-year old niece, “The Little Mermaid”
As she turned the page, the child ran her small hand over the picture, and cried with envy and longing, “Ohhh, her Legs are Sooo Thin…”
Shocked, my friend exclaimed to the child, “You’re Six Years Old! You’re Beautiful!”
Even children receive the Message of Body Shame that saturates our Media.

MOTHER HALE...BEAUTIFUL!

MOTHER HALE…BEAUTIFUL!

Guess What?
It’s all to sell a product!
That’s the formula, and it has been used for Generations!
Show you pictures of Hot Models to make you feel “Less Than” and then hit you with the Product image or name so that you feel if you go out and give them money for that Car or that SmartPhone or that Brand of Underwear — or whatever it is,
You can be Somehow Valid Again.
Guess What?
You are VALID.

CLEMENTINE HUNTER......BEAUTIFUL!

CLEMENTINE HUNTER……BEAUTIFUL!

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Just as God Made You!
And Even without their Product!
Moreso without their Product!

A Particularly Fabulous BiSexual Pastor of my Church once talked about giving up Make-Up for Lent — Just Letting her Face Show the Way God Made Her.
I thought that was the Most Awesome “Give Something Up For Lent” Story I’d Ever Heard! She talked about how it brought her in touch with what she had been doing to herself all this time — Just the names of the Make-Up:
“Concealer”
“Erase”
“Cover-Up”

BARBRA STREISAND...BEAUTIFUL!

BARBRA STREISAND…BEAUTIFUL!

… What was it she needed to Conceal, Erase, and Cover-Up?
Her Face???
Why? Who decided that she was Not Beautiful just as she was?

Perhaps I am alone in this.
And that’s fine — it doesn’t change my Opinion.
But…
BETTY WHITE…BEAUTIFUL!
MOTHER HALE… BEAUTIFUL!
CLEMENTINE HUNTER… BEAUTIFUL!
BARBRA STREISAND… BEAUTIFUL!
BRENT CARVER… BEAUTIFUL!

BRENT CARVER...BEAUTIFUL!

BRENT CARVER…BEAUTIFUL!

AMY TAN… BEAUTIFUL!
DONALD TRUMP… ASSHOLE!
QUEEN LATIFAH… BEAUTIFUL!
KIRSTIE ALLEY… BEAUTIFUL!
JILL SCOTT… BEAUTIFUL!
SAKINA JAFFREY…BEAUTIFUL!
JIMMY CARTER…BEAUTIFUL!
BARBARA WALTERS… BEAUTIFUL!
ME…BEAUTIFUL!
YOU… BEAUTIFUL!

AMY TAN...BEAUTIFUL!

AMY TAN…BEAUTIFUL!

DONALD TRUMP...ASSHOLE!

DONALD TRUMP…ASSHOLE!

QUEEN LATIFAH...BEAUTIFUL!

QUEEN LATIFAH…BEAUTIFUL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KIRSTIE ALLEY...BEAUTIFUL!

KIRSTIE ALLEY…BEAUTIFUL!

And this takes Nothing Away from the Twenty-Something Olympic Divers Referenced in my Previous Post
Nor from CHRIS PINE
Nor from JENNIFER LAWRENCE
Nor from MICHAEL B. JORDAN
Nor All those Pretty People on THE BACHELOR…
Their Physical Beauty may be Fresher and More Immediately Apparent. That’s All.

JILL SCOTT...BEAUTIFUL!

JILL SCOTT…BEAUTIFUL!

But What Message are we sending to our Children if our Belief is that there is only One Kind of Beauty?
What does the Future Hold for them if they Learn that the only way a Body Can ever be Beautiful is when it’s Twenty-Something and Perfect?
Are they to receive the Lesson that they themselves are No Longer Beautiful from the Moment they hit their Stride?
If we do not Learn to Love ourselves as we Age, our Children will not.
JAMES BALDWIN said it best:
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

SAKINA JAFFREY...BEAUTIFUL!

SAKINA JAFFREY…BEAUTIFUL!

Is there not Something Beautiful in the Simple Truth of Who We Are?
And How We’ve Lived?
And the Physical Body Manifested through our Life Experience?
If we can find the Courage to stand Naked in the Mirror
Even if it requires getting past tears,
Can we not find even One Thing about our own Bodies we Find Beautiful?
Or Maybe Two?
Or Even Three?

JIMMY CARTER...BEAUTIFUL!

JIMMY CARTER…BEAUTIFUL!

Does Living not Offer Rewards in Beauty?
Is Life not the Greatest Gift of All?
If our Body has Lived, isn’t that to its Credit?
Doesn’t that make it More Beautiful?
Its Triumphs as well as the Defeats it has Survived?

BARBARA WALTERS...BEAUTIFUL!

BARBARA WALTERS…BEAUTIFUL!

Oh, I understand a passion for Youthful Beauty.
I am as subject to it as any man.
I often feel like the same melancholy about it as Astrov in UNCLE VANYA.
And there is no denying that as we age, there is Loss, and even a grieving for the Youthful Bodies we no longer possess, that have slipped away from us like a diaphanous gossamer we are not even sure was really ever there.
But is there only one age for Human Beauty?
Is No One over 50 Beautiful?
No One over 30?
No One over 70?
Or, perhaps, are we all BEAUTIFUL?
Is the Human Body not Beautiful at Every Stage of Life?

Hamlet Act II, scene ii

Hamlet Act II, scene ii

“What a piece of work is a man…in form and moving how express and
admirable…the beauty of the world…what is this quintessence of dust?”
Hamlet Act II, scene ii, 303–308

I refuse to Believe that Shakespeare wrote those words just about Men and Women (“Man” being the term for both at the time), under a certain Age.
OK, so maybe in his day, people only lived to around 50 or 60, and he never had to think about it. But this Beauty, “express and admirable” does not diminish with time.
Sure, things are traded off, but while some is lost, more is gained, and who is to say that only what is Lost has Beauty?

JENNIFER LAWRENCE...ALSO BEAUTIFUL

JENNIFER LAWRENCE…ALSO BEAUTIFUL

MICHAEL B. JORDAN…ALSO BEAUTIFUL

You know that “Sexy” is different from “Pretty,” Right?
I understand that I’m not “Pretty.” I never have been.
But that doesn’t mean I cannot be BEAUTIFUL.
And SEXY has Everything to do with how We Live in our Bodies and Nothing to do with the Bodies we happen to be Living in.

When I was in my Twenties, my Mother would tell me I was Beautiful.
I was confused by this, and asked, “I am?”
She would reply, “Of course you are! All Young People are Beautiful! Don’t you know that?”
Now, as she approaches 90, she teaches me by example that All Old People are Beautiful too!”

And the Two Most BEAUTIFUL Women in the World... My MOM and my new GRANDNIECE

And the Two Most BEAUTIFUL Women in the World… My MOM and my new GRANDNIECE

LOVE YOUR BODY!
Look at All You’ve Survived Together!
Give it Some Credit!
Perhaps take a Moment Today
Just a Moment
Stand Naked
Look in the Mirror
And say the Words,
“I AM BEAUTFUL!”
“MY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL”
Say it over and Over Again
Until you can see it…

One of my Favorite Scenes:
(You can start this at 1:20 if you like, though the whole 3 minutes is worthwhile.)

And the Final Word, goes to the Divine Ms. M:

# # #

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2 Comments

  1. andreawd2014

     /  August 23, 2015

    Hits home HARD! Thank you. I hope you are embracing YOURSELF right now!

    Reply
    • And YOU are one of the the MOST BEAUTIFUL Woman I have ever known!
      I am working on it — It is a Journey for me, as well! Certainly made Easier being by the Ocean…
      Sending LOVE…

      Reply

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