Thursday, September 21, 2006

Underneath the Wrapping

I stumbled onto this very interesting blog post by Brant Hansen this morning, in which a father laments the fact that his young daughter is drop-dead gorgeous…and already knows it. He makes the point that outer-beauty can actually be a deterrent to developing inner-beauty. That is to say that because our culture is constantly awarding pretty people just for being pretty, the constant doting can act as a retardant to the growth of that person’s character.

It raises an interesting question for us Americans who seem to be rather obsessed with external beauty. The movies we produce are often cast with good-looking, but rather untalented people. Honestly, I think that’s why I find British films so refreshing. They are cast with people that look like…well…normal people! And the actors are really talented! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every gorgeous American actor doesn’t possess talent. I am saying, though, that one of the reasons I liked Little Miss Sunshine so much was because the emphasis was much more on telling a story about everyday people I can relate to, and not so much about eye candy.

Reading Brant’s article made me think back to my elementary school years. Cliques formed and there was definitely an "in" crowd that I was not a part of. I remember coming home from school and talking through tears to my mom about how it hurt my feelings not to be accepted by that group. She used to tell me over and over that God loves me just the way that I am. I remember thinking that I wasn’t quite sure that God’s love had much to do with it. But I can see now how very much it did. He loves and accepts me for the Tracy that I am on the inside. He’s much more concerned with what’s inside the package than how pretty the wrapping paper is. Looking back, I am actually thankful for the struggle of not being "popular" way back then, because I grew into the me that God wanted me to be. As I got older and started high school, I still wasn’t in the "in" crowd, but I was friends with people in different groups. I was marching to a different beat, for sure, but I started to like it! I don’t know that I would have ever discovered the beauty of being unique without the struggle of not fitting in.

Outer beauty is fine, but it doesn’t last. What lasts is a beautiful heart. I’m thankful for a mother who pointed me toward God’s love and acceptance when I didn’t feel loved and accepted by my peers. And I’m thankful to my loving God, Who is much more concerned with the strength of my character than the length of my lashes.


Ally Bean said...

good post. as a lifelong plain jane i relate to what you're saying. inside beauty lasts. looks fade-- and then what?

Autumn's Mom said...

Same here. I'm trying to work on my inner beauty. It's been a little tarnished as of late.

J said...

1. You're gorgeous.

2. You're right, it's more important to be beautiful inside. The dad will be able to convey that, I hope, by modeling good, loving, caring behavior to his beautiful child.

3. I have heard that the pressure inside those cliques is horrid, so it's probably just as well that most of us 'plain janes' are excluded anyway.

Cherry said...

As I often say... Freakin Society!

Becky said...

i love this post and i too agree that outter beauty can hinder you from being truly beautiful inside. people fawn over hannah all the time and just at 3 years old she thinks she's beautiful. and i love that she has that confidence at such a young age. but i will always work with her in knowing that yes she's beautiful but thats not all that matters in life. i feel sorry for kids that have moms that only focus on things like that. great post.

Anonymous said...

Tracy, I just saw Little Miss Sunshine this weekend, and I think it's fantastic, and has a wonderfully strong message, too, about inner beauty. I identified so much with the little girl character. I remember being that kid--so earnest and not quite getting that the other kids are swans and you're a duckling. And then the pain of figuring it out. That said, I LOVED the speech the grandfather gives her. That he doesn't just love her because she's "beautiful on the inside," but also because she's gorgeous! Every girl needs to hear that. Rambling, but you get the gist.