My site is pretty much dedicated to helping people find things that contribute to their outward beauty. For some reason, today, I feel compelled to talk about beauty that doesn’t come from anything associated with Pennywise Panache or the bargains you find among the sample sales. This post is not about the beauty that comes from adorning that killer dress at a bargain and accessorizing it with the perfect designer pumps at half off. It’s not about the knock-out jewelry that completes the look and says you paid a bundle even though you know you got it for 75% off retail. It’s not even about the concocted skin care regimens or cosmetics that we look to for helping us keep that youthful appearance. This post is about inner beauty . . . the thing inside each of us that makes us who we really are.
As a child, I loved to sing–still do. I was one of those little girls with a soft, sweet voice and I picked up a lot of songs from my mother–songs she sang around the house as she puttered about cleaning and cooking. Other songs, I picked up from my aunts who all have beautiful voices.
I remember my first solo in church . . . it was during a Christmas play, and while I don’t remember the song, I have a vivid picture in my mind still. I must have been four or five, and I can see myself standing at the front of the left side of pews in the little country church. There was a Christmas tree in the middle and to the right, there was a huge oil heater.
My hair was long and dark with just a hint of a flip at the ends. For my part in the holiday pageant, I wore pajamas. They were white with pink flowers–the kind with the feet in them. And I held a teddy bear in my chubby, little arms. It’s funny how that picture in my head has always had a strong resemblance to my granddaughter. When I look at her now, the memory of myself that Christmas often comes to mind.
I do not remember being afraid or bashful, although I was pretty shy in those days. But I remember the people in the congregation smiling. Big smiles! I don’t remember seeing anyone in my family among the crowd. I know they were there, but I suppose Mama was running around in the back somewhere making things happen as was her habit. As my Aunt Mary would say, Mama was “a doer.”
Most of my later stage appearances happened at Floyd Dale Elementary School. As a second grader, one of our favorite activities during recess was playing beauty pageant. Miss America was a really big deal in those days and since the girls outnumbered the boys, we won out and the boys were the judges. One of the low tables that served as desks for us wee ones was our make-shift stage, and the child-sized chairs were positioned–one on each end–to enable us to step onto the runway.
Of course, the only segments of the pageant that we did were the interview portion and the talent competition. To this day, I am kidded about my selection for the talent portion . . . I always chose to sing “Moon River!” Always!
This song I learned from my cousin who is a couple of years older than I am. Her parents lived “in the city (Florence)”, and were much younger than my parents. So the songs she heard were a little more current than my repertoire. I still remember her sitting in the front porch swing at our grandparents’ house singing “Moon River.” I didn’t have a clue what the words meant, but I was completely enchanted with the song. And I had no idea there was a movie called “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or that Audrey Hepburn sang the famous song as part of her role. Heck, I didn’t even know there was anybody named Audrey Hepburn! The only person I had ever heard sing the song–other than my cousin–was Andy Williams. Still, I loved the song–and I do to this day.
Today, I came across a quote from Audrey Hepburn. Her advice was so wise that I felt it needed to be shared . . .
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
Like little girls in a beauty pageant, we often judge ourselves–and others–by how they look or what they accomplish. As for me, I’d like to be judged for my kindness. I’d like to be known as someone who looks for the good in people. I want to be remembered as a woman who shared her blessings with those less fortunate–not a woman who carried around extra pounds for a big part of her adult life.
Aaaahh, to have children run their fingers through my hair every day is one thing that I know makes me feel beautiful. Who cares how my hair looks when they’re done twirling and mussing it? I know that their little eyes see beauty.
And now, more than 40 years after playing make believe as a contender for a crown, I have the poise of a queen. I have the knowledge that I never walk alone because my God walks beside me.
Just wondering . . . are we after the same rainbow’s end, my friends? What’s your definition of beauty?
Leave a comment below telling me how you define beauty. I’ll choose a comment and the winner will receive a FREE 16×20 rolled Canvas Print from Digital Room. Must be a U.S. Resident to win and be at least 18 years old.
Contest ends Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM ET! Winner will be announced Monday, August 2nd!