Beauty – an Inside Job

A detail from “The Birth Of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli.

I’ve been thinking about beauty lately. The other night while I was watching the Golden Globes I saw Frances McDormand with nary a trace of makeup. She looked strong and authentic… and beautiful.


Beauty, it seems, comes from a far deeper place than winning the genetic lottery and being blessed with chiselled features and high cheekbones. Look at Jane Goodall, an eighty-three year old who has been following her passion for primates her whole life – beautiful.

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And Malala Yousefi who has a face radiating love and kindness… and bone deep beauty.


I am not an advocate of criticizing people for their appearance. Maybe because I know how hurtful it can be and how we look is not something that can be changed, at least quickly or easily. I believe that if we have a problem with someone, talking about their words and behaviours and actions are all fair game but denigrating people for their appearance is not. That is why I never share or retweet unflattering or embarrassing photos of anyone. This doesn’t stop me, however, from being intrigued by appearances and especially radical changes in appearance.

I think about this when I see old footage of Donald Trump. He is a good looking man with a nice smile and he sounds rational in some of the clips I have seen. Which begs the question, what happened between then and now? His facial expressions and body language seem to suggest an awkward, uncomfortable, and angry man.  He looks unhappy and many of his actions and words come from a mean spirited and defensive place. What happened to Donald to make him seem such a caricature of his former physical self? Is it that the farther away we get from our true genius (the purpose for which we have come here) the more distorted everything becomes, even our physical appearance? Or is it something else?

I don’t have the answers, but this I do know. Each of us has something genuine and true to our inner nature to offer. And this just happens to be what also makes us beautiful.


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