Tuesday, 25 August 2009

What is beauty?

I'm going to diverge from the grace theme for a bit to briefly look at something that is close to my heart. This will by no means be a complete discussion on the topic, and I'm liable to return to it at some point in time. Ladies, read carefully, and guys, take note ...

So, what is beauty? Is it the size-6 blonde smiling from the cover of the fashion magazine, who has perfect features and a perfect body? What if you get to know that blonde, and she is a shallow, conniving individual who has nothing good to say about anyone around her and thinks only of herself? Would you still consider her to be beautiful? I would argue not, because to be around her would be aggravating and draining.

A glance in a dictionary (the Random House Dictionary) provides this definition:

"the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)."

It is the last part of this definition that I wish to draw attention to. A few years ago I read the book 'Captivating' by John and Stasi Eldredge. I do not necessarily agree with the entire book, but it certainly made me sit up and think. Numerous conversations with friends have certainly validated much of what the book says - but those points weren't ones that I disagreed with anyway. One thing at least, however, has certainly rung true with me - and events of the last two years have convinced me 100% of this - the concept of beauty - which if you read the book is a very diverse concept.

I know many women who are insecure about who they are - and the list certainly includes myself! I am not talking about women who are unsuccessful - many of those on the list are very capable in their professions - or who do not have model-inspired looks. Instead, I am concerned with women who are either dominating, desolate, or indulging. Controlling and depressed can also be fitted into this list, but they tend to fall under one of the three already mentioned. In each of these cases, the women, in their insecurity, seek to find security in a number of ways, none of which fulfil the desire to be thought of as beautiful, and in fact which drive people away. To elaborate, this can include controlling relationships, lacking trust, being naive, bereft of a sense of self, accepting abuse, relying completely on others, timidity, addiction, creation of fantasy worlds, and numerous others.

Most often than not, the cause of such insecurity, and such results, is wounds that we as women have received as children - most often from parents who themselves are wounded by their own parents, and from other friends and adults. Wounds such as abuse (most often), rejection, or simply bad parenting methods.

I do not wish, here, to try to attempt to find a solution to such issues - that is better left to psychologists - but simply to recognise the problem, and convey that the world (and men in particular) NEEDS women to be beautiful. And by this, I mean inviting, vulnerable, tender, merciful, fierce, and devoted. This type of beauty speaks to people, saying that 'all will be well', it invites, nourishes, comforts, inspires, and finally, transcends time and space.


  1. wow! it is awesum!! each n every single word are directly from heart! i really needed to read it.. i bet every woman does.. thnx laurel! n thumbs up!

  2. Every woman in the word needs to read this! It's great!