Open Door

Open Door

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

True Beauty

For the past few weeks, I've been helping a group of friends plan our twenty-year high school reunion.  What an amazing experience!  I am so grateful for this opportunity, simply because of the re-connection with peers who have been missing from my life since graduation. But with every positive experience, there is also a dark side in which I would like to address - an issue with popularity and body image.  Interesting, considering the novel I am currently working on highlights a similar issue.  

In D-Brie, my heroin, Adrienne Morris, is so gorgeous men become preoccupied with the thought of owning her like a possession rather than seeing her as a person.  Blinded by the desire to win their prize, they fall prey to a serial killer's deadly trap.  There are so many twists in this plot that I have been left reeling and truly considering the meaning of beauty.  It is no wonder I am stuck on the coloration between obsession and loveliness when I am faced with the effects in every aspect of my life, both in the real world and fictitiously.  Finally, I had to ask myself; why are we all so preoccupied with obtaining society's definition of perfection? I decided to post my thoughts publicly, where I can reach so many of my classmates at once, because my description of beauty varies so drastically from social perception. 

To explain my view, I must first share a secret.  For as long as I can remember, I have  people-watched.  Looking beyond social and physical masks, I try to see into their true nature. Through many years of observation, I've discovered authenticity to be the most appealing trait in others.  My definition of beauty has little to do with physical attributes, but a glimpse of true-self reflected in another when they are unaware of my notice.  A photographer would call it a candid snap-shot of how they love, and are loved in return.  

In my opinion, true beauty cannot be purchased from a store.  Attractiveness has to be earned through battle scars of stretch marks, receding hairlines, laugh lines, beer bellies, and grey hair. One of the most fascinating discoveries in my never-ending social experiment is how a truly beautiful person grows even more so with age. Some spirits just have a light shining through every fiber of their being.  Their laughter and excitement are so contagious I find myself looking for ways to make them a permanent part of my life.  Through my eyes, they will always be radiant - regardless of their outward appearance.  

Well, there you have it. All of this time, you have been watched and probably didn't even know.  Right now, you should be asking yourself, why would I share my stalker-like behavior and risk restraining orders?  The reason is this - I want every last one of you to know that I think you are beautiful!  There is no one in the world exactly like you, perfectly flawed in every way.  All of us have certain things we don't like about ourselves, but you can't let them stop you from living.  Please don't allow your insecurities to stand in the way of something as important as your twenty-year reunion.  You will regret it for the rest of your life, I promise you.  I am making a plea to the class of '92 to attend at least one of the events.

I moved away from home nearly seventeen years ago.  If I passed most of you on the street, you wouldn't even recognize me, but we were a big part of each other's lives for four years.  We need to honor that time, because those years shaped and molded us into who we are today.  I will be there, with my gigantic thighs and scarred neck.  You'll have to come and hear that story.  You see, I was attacked by this mountain lion... :)

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