So, I just had lunch with one of the most beautiful young women I know. And she doesn’t think she’s beautiful. What’s that about?

I happen to love beautiful people and being around beautiful people. In fact, I think being attractive is just good manners and common sense. Here’s the thing, though — I happen to think everybody’s beautiful. I do. And I’m not having a 60’s kumbaya flash-back or anything. That whole “beauty comes from within” thing is true. Throw in a good moisturizer and you’re ten steps ahead of the game. So, in my book, everybody is beautiful in their own way…until they’re not. And the “not” comes from rudeness or ignorance or selfishness or extreme vanity or moral-and-ethical-weakness-that-represent-themselves-by-creating-and-re-inforcing-a-group-or-mob-mentality-that-is-exclusive-by-definition-thereby-setting-up-an-us-versus-them-mentality-which-is-psychologically-and-socially-damaging-to-the-individuals-involved-as-well-as-society-as-a-whole…but I digress.

So, back to this lovely young woman, who has a face like an Incan priestess, who has cheekbones you could cut granite with, who has energy that could power the Eastern Seaboard, who has originality that cannot be disguised or extinguished, who’s heart is open and generous — sometimes too open and generous for her own good. She’s curvy and vital and a life force, this young woman, and she says to me how she occasionally feels insecure when she compares herself to, let’s say, a Victoria’s Secret model. Insecure because you’re not a What?!

Not that there’s anything wrong with a Victoria’s Secret model, but, for the most part, they’re teenage girls who are genetically predisposed to be tall, extremely thin and narrow-hipped, then hand-painted, and put on display in controlled environments with very good lighting. I was in a room once with a group of VS models and they were take-your-breath-away spectacular for a couple of minutes, and then they started to talk and some of them were dumb as posts and others were simply young and adorable, and just like that, they were little girls playing dress up and the whole scene felt kind of wrong. These weren’t women…yet. These weren’t seductresses…yet. These weren’t dangerously enticing, sexually alluring femme fatales…yet. They were gawky little girls playing roles they didn’t understand. So, is that something to be jealous of? I think not.

There’s beauty of the moment based on trends, the press, advertising and the economy. And then there’s timeless beauty, memorable beauty, inspiring beauty based on personality and purpose and health and wholeness and originality and confidence and life.

So much better to be a force of nature than a cookie cutter anything, don’t you think?

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
– Marilyn Monroe

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