As women, we are constantly being judged and appraised by our outward appearance - our beauty. People (men and women) determine our beauty based on outward appearance without ever speaking to us. They have no idea who we are only the way we look and yet, they make judgements based on only that.
Outward beauty can be deceptive. A woman can look beautiful on the outside and be ugly in her heart. Does that change our perception of her physical beauty? If she is beautiful on the outside, can we overlook or excuse her ugly heart?
Common traits of what the world sees as beauty in a woman are:
- a slim figure
- hourglass body shape
- clear skin, no wrinkles, stretch marks, flawless
- bright clear eyes
- full, plump lips
- soft flowing hair
It helps if she dresses in such a way to expose her "assets" to the world by wearing short skirts, short shorts, bikinis, low cut tops that reveal cleavage, etc. All of these physical attributes of beauty are temporal. If we live long enough, they will fade in time.
Inward beauty, on the other hand, is a lasting beauty:
- a kind heart
- even tempered
Here are some of my thoughts on true beauty:
As we age, out bodies change. We may, for example, gain weight, have scars, develop facial wrinkles, etc., but we should never give up on trying to look our best. God blessed us with our life, our bodies, our hearts, our minds, and our souls. It is ungrateful to God if we allow ourselves to not take care of our physical appearance at all stages of life. There is physical beauty at all ages of life...but it does look different at various times.
Inward beauty should be valued more than outward beauty. Inward beauty has the potential to remain beautiful for our whole lives and not subject to change. Inward beauty affects our outward beauty. It's the beauty that God sees - He loves us regardless of our physical beauty.
In my experience regarding romantic relationships (in and out of marriage), I have found that if someone really loves another person, the outward appearance becomes less valuable. They tend to overlook the flaws in the physical beauty of their loved one. This applies to men and women alike. However, this does not give us the license to let ourselves fall into the abyss and not try to maintain our appearance. We should try to always look our best for our mate and also for God. Also, if your outward appearance is more important to your loved one than your heart and personality, then you are probably in the wrong relationship (just a thought).
Another thought, my granddaughter told me once that I would always be her grandma and she loved me no matter what I looked like. This came after a discussion about how people sometimes get sick as they get older and may not always look like they do now or be able to do what they do now. I was explaining about loving people for their hearts not their physical bodies. She got it, she understood and she had her own words to express it. Love that in children, they see what adults can't see a lot of times – what's really important in life.
BOTTOM LINE: We should never give in to the number of birthdays we have had and use that as an excuse to can for our physical appearance We should try to always look our best no matter what that looks like. If you are living another day – you are blessed!
When was the last time you took a good long look in the mirror at yourself? What did you see? Where you happy with it? Do you do all you can to make your outward appearance to be the best it can be? What about your inward appearance? Do you cultivate a kind, compassionate, loving, caring, and beautiful heart? What do you see when you look at others? Are you more attracted to their physical appearance or their personality and heart? If a person's outward beauty has faded, does the inward beauty still shine?
SPECIAL QUESTION FOR YOUR COMMENTS:
How do you feel about what the world says is beautiful in a woman?
(NOTE: The person who is commonly credited with the original saying in its current form
is Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton).
She wrote many books, often under the pen name of 'The Duchess'.
In the 1878 Irish novel Molly Bawn, which was turned into a movie in 1916,
there's the line
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".)