Well, you know that I can’t do a week of posts regarding Outer Beauty without addressing the legitimate aspect of Beauty, which is, of course, the Inner part.
This will not be an overly long post (again, ha!), because there isn’t much to consider here; we should all know by now that Inner Beauty (or lack of) is what defines us more honestly than what we’re showing on the outside. I would like to believe that it is the inner beauty of a person with which we fall in love, but, unless you’re Beauty (a la “and the Beast”), there generally has to be an initial outer beauty attraction. I think it likely rare that a majority of us look past the outside “ugly” to even allow for the inner beauty to manifest. More commonly, I suspect that most go for the outer beauty, and either never get to the inner beauty part (because perhaps, it doesn’t exist), or it is a slow development over time.
It seems to me, that some of the most beautiful people I have met in my life tend to be ones who are not, to the unenlightened world, considered “beautiful” on the outside. Perhaps they’re even considered “ugly.” I have found that often, the un-beautiful people have something more on the inside (or maybe it’s something less? Like pride, conceit, judgmentalism?), and I wonder if it’s because they don’t give a hoot about their outside appearances. They have accepted their Outer Beauty for what it is (or isn’t), and have employed their energies elsewhere. I’m not saying that these people are perfect; they have their bad days, and, like the rest of us, may sometimes curse their imperfections. But that is human, and isn’t that what makes us?
I have a friend with an uncle who was born with cerebral palsy. He was limited, physically (not enough to keep him from dancing an Irish waltz now and then, though!), and he could be difficult to understand when he spoke. That did not prevent him from being one of the finest Men I have ever met. I’m not exaggerating. He was a gentleman, big-hearted, fun-loving, and an honest-to-God joy to be around. An on-line search with the question, “how can I learn to love Life?” should direct you to a link on Uncle Frank (as he was known to all of us). He may have been a little imperfect on the outside, but on the inside, he was Beauty, personified. No amount of expensive creams, injections, or surgeries can buy that kind of thing.
Of course, there are plenty of people who have the Outer and Inner Beauty contained in one fine package. Just because a person is attractive on the outside, doesn’t mean there is nothing on the inside. But, if we all recognized the inner beauty as the only standard, there would be no separation of groups here. Inner beauty really should be the standard by which we judge our fellow humans. Imagine all the time and money and mental anguish we would save if we didn’t care how people (we) looked on the outside?
I’m guessing that there are a million studies out there which discuss our natural instinct to stare longer at pictures of attractive people. There is probably something way down in our genes regarding survival of the species and picking the most attractive/fit mates for reproduction purposes. This isn’t about picking mates, this is just about recognizing real beauty when we see it. This is about rising above the standards of outer beauty which we have manipulated and adjusted according to whatever the Beauty Industry has deemed “in” for that month/season/year/decade.
I think we could all take a lesson from Uncle Frank, and others like him. Perhaps if more of us worked on our inner beauty, we would be more apt to recognize it in others. We would know that a perfect nose and big lips signify absolutely nothing, if the heart underneath is small. Regardless of what is on the outside, Inner Beauty, in my humble opinion, will always be “In.”