Yesterday after church, I put on my Shopper Hat and went to the grocery store. I was still dressed in slacks and a nice sweater. My hair was done and my face was well covered in makeup. Yet, despite looking my "Sunday best," a lady approached me in the fruit/veggie section to give me a advertisement for her business, which involves botanical wraps of some sort that magically--err...naturally--reduce cellulite and surface fat. When she'd walked away, I asked the air, "Do you look like I need this?"
My prompt book is starting to be a staple for this blog. I found the following question intriguing: Would you rather be less attractive and extremely intelligent or extremely attractive and less intelligent? This, plus my Sunday afternoon encounter, motivated me to put on my Research (Google) Hat and search for how the definition of beauty has changed.
For one thing, being voluptuous used to be an attractive quality. Nowadays, a mere inch of excess fat is forbidden. Makeup, which was once a product exclusively for prostitutes and showgirls, is now a daily obligation. Nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Models that have obtained this "perfection" are a tiny percentage of the female population, yet we see them EVERYWHERE. Oh, and if their flaws are showing, there's always Photoshop.
I've often said that I'd like to hurt the person who decided women should have to shave. Apparently I need to injure the whole razor industry. The razor manufacturers pushed the idea through ads beginning in 1915 (armpits first, then legs later) until women were sufficiently brainwashed. Now it's practically a rite of passage. What exactly is wrong with hair? The stuff grows for a reason!
I'm such a hypocrite. Even as I write these words, I plan to shave during today's shower.
Paleness used to be a sign of the elite. The rich stayed inside while the working class baked in the sun. Soon enough, the roles were reversed. The wealthy could sit out and enjoy the sun while the poor were stuck inside factories and the like. With all the warnings of skin cancer, you'd think paleness would be popular again. But no, we now have chemicals that temporarily change our skin tone. I've tried them...and I prefer white over orange.
Here's a question with no easy answer: What's the point of beauty? Being beautiful is useful in gaining a husband. God used Esther's beauty to put her in the right place at the right time to save her people. To a point, beauty is used to gain employment. A good first impression can go far. There's value in professionalism (which includes clean clothes, tamed hair, and often times makeup). A certain amount of personal care is expected in the workplace.
But why should I attempt to retain my beauty? According to Proverbs 31:30, it won't last anyway. I'm married, and I work at home, so can I just let myself go? I mean, unless an event calls for a little dolling up, why should I bother? I know I still need to be healthy. Therefore exercising is still a must. Likewise, I can't go crazy with junk food. This prompt question challenged me to look deep within and ask myself, "How enslaved to society's opinion and my own insecurities have I allowed myself to become?"
So, would I rather have extreme beauty or intelligence? My answer is no to both. Either usually leads to a over-sized ego, and some of the smartest people are the dumbest. Average is best, I think, so I'll stay the way I am. I might, however, consider wearing makeup less often as a way to fight against my insecurities. What do you think? Which would you choose? Let me know by commenting below.
Hats off to you, my friend. I will write again, but until then...
hang on to your hat! ;-)