Saturday, June 23, 2012
MIRROR, MIRROR: HOW DO YOU DEFINE BEAUTY?
An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writers: Jason Keller (screenplay), Marc Klein (screenplay),and 3 more credits »
Stars: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer
I haven’t seen the PG-13 movie yet, but I’d been thinking of writing a blog on beauty and this caught my attention. In the adventure/ comedy/drama released in March, 2012, “the Snow White Legend comes alive.”
So now I remember the wicked queen from the Disney version standing in front of the magic mirror pleading for a compliment, “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?”
How do you define beauty?
Well, I learned something about beauty one day traveling on a tour bus with quite a few folks I didn’t know. I watched faces as I waited in my seat for others to come and go after we’d stopped.
Our average age probably was 65, but an awareness struck me that every woman on the bus was beautiful! How could that be so, in this era when perpetual youth and sexiness seem to be the criteria for beauty?
Their faces showed something beyond the flattering fashions most wore, a quality greater than their makeup and coiffures. Wrinkles etched most faces where smiles left tracks. Some ladies might have been overweight.
One woman stood out from the rest. As far as I could tell, she wore no makeup. Threads of white highlighted her undyed dark brown hair, pulled back into an old-fashioned bun. But her skin literally glowed. Her smile showed a healthy cared-for set of teeth.
Not quite the person we’d expect to be beautiful, but she was. The more I got acquainted with her, I could see evidence of the gentle, loving spirit within her.
It was a long trip. If remember right, that was the tour where the air conditioning went out on the bus. Or, perhaps it was the one where one couple was attacked by bedbugs in the “nice” motel where we stayed. Whatever the case, this woman was a steady person in control of her life and emotions. You didn’t hear complaining from her.
Nope. I overheard her talking to various members of her large family who contacted her periodically on her cell phone to see how she was doing. Laughter, love and contentment marked her end of the conversation.
I asked her what she used on her skin. She looked so healthy, I asked if she had a special diet.
“I don’t use anything special on my face,” she said with a smile, obviously stunned at my comment about her beauty. “We eat regular food like anybody else, except we have lots of fruits and vegetables from the garden.”
“It must be from serving the Lord,” I said. “I’ve noticed before that most Christians don’t age as fast as others. Sin has a way of showing up on people’s faces.”
She agreed. She also agreed the senior citizen ladies on the bus were, indeed, beautiful—including me.
I’ve never felt like a beauty queen or wanted to be one. A freckled-faced redhead usually doesn’t qualify. But when I was about 50, I compared different home decorating styles. We saw many of them one year during the tour of homes. Each decorating style was unique—with some on the edge of strange, like the rustic one with an old horse collar as a wall decoration—but yet each was attractive. I’ve always said if you keep your house clean and use dramatic color in your accents, you can have a beautiful home, no matter what your style or your income.
The same thing is true with beauty. We don’t all have to be long-haired blondes with flawless skin. It matters how we not only take care of our bodies, but how we mold our spirits.
Who is the fairest of us all?
I imagine it’s the women who have the peace of God abiding in their hearts; who have the joy unspeakable and full of glory the Bible talks about, compassion for others, and contentment because they know God loves them, adopted them, and died so they could live forever.
No rebellious attitude on those faces.
It’s been said beauty may be skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. One of the amazing things about Hollywood’s beautiful women is that few can keep a husband for life. If outward beauty matters that much, you’d think Hollywood’s marriages would last forever.
Truth is, beauty goes to the heart of who we are. Sometimes fame and fortune only bring heartbreak.
Who is he fairest of us all? The Bible is our mirror. We’re told, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 2:22-23).
Solomon wrote, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but the woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30-31).