Seeing has a lot to do with beauty. If you’ve ever watched Next Top Model, whether it’s set in Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, or America, one of the main challenges put to the aspiring models is using their eyes to make their faces and poses look interesting. When their photographs are revealed, it’s easy to see that some look vacant, as if they aren’t really focused on anything.
This lesson comes alive for me in that when I lived in the small town I grew up in, I was “too tall”. In grade school I was routinely labeled “Fat!” in the most unkind tones, and unrelentingly. Then a girl came to our school whose weight was well above mine. It was so great, because for several days the tormentors were all silent. I would guess they were confronted with the fact they didn’t have their terminology down pat when they called me fat. I think they wanted to keep tormenting me as they had for years, but they couldn’t without looking a bit foolish. It strikes me now that it’s peculiar that simply tormenting someone wasn’t viewed as a fool’s activity.
After college, when I moved away, I found that artists wanted to paint me and photographers often asked my permission to use my image in a newspaper piece of booklet they were involved in. I said no to the artists because coming from a Catholic school background I was sure it wasn’t anything to do with my beauty, but rather with trying to get me to take my clothes off.
Often I never saw the photographs because I wasn’t a big newspaper reader, but when I did, I noticed that I looked interested in something. That reminds me of when we used to sneak into music concerts in Monterey, California. A friend and I were backstage, sneaking in backstage was often the easiest entrance, at a Jazz Festival. The staging backdrop had these holes in it, so that you could go up to one and see what was going on, onstage.
My friend either knew the conga drum player from one of the bands, or he came over to talk to us, I can’t remember, but in any case he sticks in my mind as someone who gave off a sense of enthusiasm. What really sticks in my mind, is that each time he went to one of the holes and began to watch, a photographer would want him to move so they could use that viewpoint. Over and over his viewpoint looked as if it must be the most interesting, and over and over he moved to a new viewpoint, only to be asked once again to give it up.
I don’t know if you’ve ever lit a large candle, not a taper, but a wide candle, and noticed how the wick burns for a bit, then all of a sudden light travels through the candle, making it glow. It’s such an impressive sight that I’m tempted to buy a video camera so that I can take a video of it happening and post it here for you to see.
If a candle can “come alive” like that, when it’s lit, isn’t it possible that we come alive when our eyes “alight” on something?
That said, if you’re worried about not being pretty enough, or beautiful at all, start looking at beautiful things or interesting things that make you come alive, and glow from the inside out.