Natural Beauty

If I could give my adult daughters something precious today, it would be an understanding of their own unique beauty. I’m so thankful Dove soap provides an objective voice to the ongoing discussion of beauty. We can all learn from it!

Were a forensic artist seeking to paint your portrait based only on your verbal description, what features would you mention?

Do you feel the inevitable ravages of age? Fighting the onset of crow’s feet? Bags under your eyes? Do you notice dark liver spots beginning to cloud your once-clear skin? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and didn’t scowl? [The affects of age always seem most prominent in my face.]

If I were sitting for the forensic artist’s sketch, I’d mention the obvious facts (color of my hair, eyes, etc.), but then I’d probably focus immediately on the downturn of my mouth. It distresses me! Whether from gravity, tiredness (or unconscious habit?), when my mind is engaged in thought, the corners of my mouth relax into a natural downward grimace! Horribly unbecoming, so I try to compensate by remembering to smile often.Grandma Edith Stricker 1

Because she smiled a lot, my grandmother’s mouth was seemingly punctuated by multiple parentheses, the redundant folds formed by smile wrinkles. To me, her face seemed so serene, utterly peaceful and content. (When I became an adult, I learned she’d undergone electroshock treatments.) She died when I was only 12, but I’ve never forgotten her loveliness.

Looking now at this picture of her, I’m struck by the facial similarities between her and my dad (in his later years). No question she was his mother and he her son!

I’ve always aspired to reflect a measure of that sweet serenity I saw in my grandmother’s countenance. She radiated the love and joy of the Lord, an inner beauty quietly communicated with every smile and gentle touch. Would she have seen it herself or be thinking only of wrinkles and crow’s feet?

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