Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beauty and blessing

Two movies today!

First, John sent me the May You Be Blessed movie yesterday, it was just what I needed. When you have a quiet five minutes, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Next is a controversial ad from Dove.

This ad, as you may have heard, has been banned in several cities, including my nearby metropolis, Boston. I cannot figure that one out. The ad, from a skin care company, celebrates beautiful women of a certain age, making the point that “anti-aging” is not the point. They’re calling their new line of products “pro∙age.”

And, is it just me, or do all these women look fantastic?

As I experience the time of my life known as the mid-forties, I genuinely think I look better than I ever have. My smile is more knowing, my eyes are more expressive, my stature more established, my carriage more confident. The five to ten pounds I’d like to lose don’t inhibit that feeling of beauty and joy at all. I expect this feeling only to grow as the years proceed, not diminish, because it has up until now. Am I nuts?

One of my favorite things to do when I find myself sitting in a public place waiting for someone is it watch faces. Especially older female faces. I love the curves and creases and bones and folds. I see a whole life there in those faces, the wisdom and joys and triumphs. These faces radiate to me stories that are precious in their uniqueness yet tell of a universal strength that is womanhood.

Certainly there are so-called effects of aging that we should combat heartily. No slowing down, no exhaustion, no deterioration. These things are as unnecessary as a fish with a bicycle (with apologies to Gloria Steinem).

But the signs of growth in wisdom and grace don’t trouble me. I’ll take years of laughter over a wrinkle-free face any day. I’ll take triumphing through adversity over hair with no silver (although I may color a lock or two!). I’ll take a lifetime of basking in the sun over skin that has never been colored by its rays.

I ask again, am I nuts?

Celebrate your beauty today.

Some beauty tips from Science and Health:

The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material, the transient sense of beauty fades, the radiance of Spirit should dawn upon the enraptured sense with bright and imperishable glories. p. 246

Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness. p. 246

Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness. p. 247

Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. p. 516

The beautiful in character is also the good, welding indissolubly the links of affection. p. 60

One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful. p. 248

Man is God's reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete. p. 527

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 4/10/2007 08:11:00 AM, Blogger FatCharlatan said...

Oooh. Thanks for the link to Dove. I agree with everything you say about that--celebrate your beauty! :)

(I can't believe this ad has been banned...I'll be talking about this with my students today.)

At 4/10/2007 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

Who's banning the Dove ad? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

NOW sent me a great calendar last year when I joined. It's their "Love Your Body" calendar, and every month has one of the entries from the "Love Your Body" poster contest. So far, my favorite is the March entry, which has a picture of a woman's torso made out of all these words that describe truly beautiful women (including a few of Mrs. Eddy's synonyms for God!) and the words "What is the measure of a woman?" in yellow, wrapped around the waist like a tape measure.

Always fun to find little doses of Science in unexpected places. :)

And for the record, some of the most strikingly beautiful women in the world are over 50. I run around with a pack of fiftysomethings (and up!) who have a wonderful time walking into restaurants and rattling shy young waiters. The poor boys don't know what hit 'em -- all of a sudden this herd of gorgeous women old enough to be their mamas (or in at least one case, their grandma!) will descend on the place and proceed to tease, giggle, and flirt outrageously just to throw them off their game.

Of course there's always a big tip on the table at the end of the evening, and it's all good-natured fun ... but so funny to watch the conflict in these young men's thoughts when they are confronted by a group of bright, funny, beautiful women who defy all their stereotypes about aging.

At 4/10/2007 01:22:00 PM, Anonymous Dennis R. said...

These comments are great. My wife is 54 and she looks better than she did in her twenties. She works out, and she tells me there are 70 and 80 year olds pumping iron.

At 4/10/2007 06:38:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

me and my white locks love you....and this post...I hope you can hear my heartily offered, over 50 "Brava" for this beautiful piece. From where I stand, or run, the key to beauty as we "grow in grace" is LOVE....loving eyes, loving hands, loving backs bent in the care of others...makes us absolutely, irresistibly love-ly...
hugs honey...Kate

At 4/11/2007 05:53:00 PM, Blogger peggylenox said...

I loved this! As a "woman of a certain age" I'm grateful that so many of the stereotypes of age are fading away and we can now be energetic, creative and individual at any age. My current project is to have a long grey braid down the back! It's coming along and I love it. I'm very sorry to hear that Boston is so stuffy about those ads -- I saw the women on television and they were beatiful.

Thanks for this lovely blog,
peggy from lenox


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