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Fleeting Beauty

Photo of a winding mountain highway headed towards a golden sunset with a blue sky with puffy white clouds by Joshua Sortino
Image by Joshua Sortino from Unsplash

Narrator: Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, a beautiful princess was born…

Me: Wait, hold up, what’s this princess nonsense? Get on with the post.

Narrator: Well, I thought with the title being Fleeting Beauty the story was about a princess…

Me: Nevermind, you ninny. Geesh, when you want something done right (voice trails off). Okay where was I? Right, on with the post…

What a week I’ve had! It began with severe allergy attacks that totally incapacitated me with intense flu-like symptoms. From the annoyingly repetitive sneezing bouts, hoarse/itchy throat, severe coughing jags, wheezing, to extreme fatigue and body aches, its grip on me was relentless. Then the weekend ushered in excruciating eye pain (iritis) to the point that I had to medicate with steroid and dilating drops then patch the affected eye for two days because any amount of light nearly sent me over the edge. But there is good news – spring has finally arrived YAY!!

The Anti Perfect Body Campaign

Do you remember last fall the Victoria’s Secret “Perfect Body” campaign that unleashed a firestorm of criticism? Well last week Good Morning America aired a segment I refer to as the ‘anti Perfect Body’ on Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign.

Just in case this is the first time you heard about the campaign that started it all, you can read the post that I did back in November HERE. The #ImNoAngel response to the “Perfect Body” advertisement wasn’t a surprise to me because it seems lately no matter where I turn there is some conversation disputing society’s long held view on women, beauty, and what it all means.

Though the theme of Lane Bryant’s advertisement supposedly embraces women of all sizes when I saw their ad displaying six full-figured women the first thing that I noticed was the lack of women who weren’t full-figured. Now I’m not suggesting that yet another company go back to the drawing board and come up with a campaign that encompasses women of all sizes rather I really wish we could change the conversation to one of substance versus shallow fluff.

Photo of Two Doves in flight by Oliver Berghold
Image by Oliver Berghold from Unsplash

To deny that there is an aspect of beauty that involves physical attraction would be silly however I’ve always believed that real beauty goes much deeper than mere looks. Long ago my grandmother taught me that a person can be ever so beautiful on the outside yet be horrid on the inside. Likewise a physically unattractive person can be so beautiful on the inside that it transcends their outward appearance making them so appealing one can’t help but want to be around them.

My grandmother’s philosophy became all too real when I began dating. I’ve dated some frogs and I’ve dated some princes. The frogs were the “good looking” guys who eventually wound up giving me heartburn and in the long run weren’t worth the effort. Although if you were to ask those same guys perhaps they would say the same thing about me but such is life.

What Comes First? Looking Or Feeling?

For me, beauty has alway been an internal thing which is one of the reasons I am always saying “when you feel good, you look good.” The reason being, when I’m in a blase kind of mood though I attempt to lift my spirits by getting all dolled up, even so I just don’t have the energy to pretend otherwise. But, when I am feeling good, look out – I can put on just about anything and it doesn’t matter because that sparkling feeling on the inside emits powerful vibes that others respond to in a positive way.

While I do not subscribe to the belief that beauty equals perfection and vice versa, as none of us are perfect, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we are all perfectly imperfect. I mean after all we are human and as such are flawed beings but in my search for measuring beauty I stumbled upon a fascinating, if not entertaining tool Anaface, that was featured in the Daily Mail.

Photo of a group of palm trees against a blue sky background by Thomas Lefebvre
Image by Thomas Lefebvre from Unsplash

The way Anaface works is you upload a full frontal photo view of your face, then you are guided to place 17 dots in precise locations on your photo. Once this is done the software measures the symmetry of your face and zaps out a numerical score from 1 to 10. Included with the score is a written summary explaining the results.

Of course my curiosity was piqued and I had to find out how I would rate. I’ve attached the image of my 7.59 score and following is the summary with my comments in parenthesis:

  1. 7.59Your face has great horizontal symmetry (yippee! this is great news! one less thing to worry about)
  2. The ratio of your nose length to ear length is nearly ideal (really?? my ex- hubby said my ears are the smallest he’s ever seen, what was that about? hmmmm)
  3. You innerocular distance is too big for your eyes (could it be I was a tad bit off in placing my dots? Plus I have real beady eyes is it possible my eyes are just too small?)
  4. Your nose is too wide for your face width (No duh! Tell me something I don’t know)
  5. Your face is too narrow/too long (OH NO, TELL ME IT ISN’T SO. Okay now this is just wrong on so many levels. What they’re not saying is my forehead is too high – ugh)
  6. The ratio of your mouth width to nose width is nearly ideal (I’m sobbing hysterically now because what they’re really saying here is that my mouth is way too big (see item #4) <sigh>)

As you can tell I didn’t take the results of this analysis too seriously and I’m well aware of my challenges. Though I’m not disputing that there could be something to the whole symmetry thing, beauty really is subjective. What may be considered beautiful to one person may not necessarily be agreeable to another person and that’s okay. As long as the focus is on building one another up instead of tearing each other down we’re headed in the right direction.

Regarding the #ImNoAngel, #iamperfect, and other like campaigns – well campaigns come and campaigns go and I think this is a good thing as it keeps the discussion going. Hopefully one day soon we can arrive at a point where we are totally inclusive. It would be so totally fabulous if these ads would also begin to include people with physical disabilities.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” ~Ashley Smith

2 thoughts on “Fleeting Beauty

  1. I get so sick and tired of it all. I can’t possibly keep up with society’s expectations. It’s hard enough finding love and acceptance. Blogs like yours really help break it down a little for me. Thanks.

    1. I know Kerry I’m so with you. It’s difficult sometimes remaining true to oneself with so much noise in today’s world. But being part of the whole is what makes a society. A single thread by itself is just a thread but a single thread intertwined with other threads becomes fabric.

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