I don't know if you've heard or not, but BeautyCounter has a line of products coming to Target. As I type, millennials everywhere are convulsing from excitement, and Gen X-ers are Googling "what is BeautyCounter." I'd know about those Gen X-ers and their Google-search habits because I am one and I had to look it up, too. Also, I'm officially old.
The other day my son asked me why I have "scoops" on my forehead. I explained that the "scoops" are scars from both a childhood battle with Chicken Pox and adolescent acne.
"They're ugly," he said.
"Yeah? Well, you're ugly," I retorted.
The truth is, in a society that prides itself on focusing on the important issues of today, things like world hunger and social justice, we're remarkably fascinated with superficial beauty.
We have more remedies for aging and more formulas for age-reversal than there are wrinkles on a Shar Pei puppy (that's a lot of wrinkles).
We have access to pink drinks that make you shrink, body wraps that slim and tone after one treatment (I mean, really?), and Spanx to wear under more Spanx so you look like Kourtney Kardashian when you show up for preschool pickup. We have hair dye and keratin treatments and gel nails, and the list goes on and on and on.
Don't get me wrong -- there is nothing wrong with dressing well and taking care of yourself and putting on makeup. Unless you look like Mimi from The Drew Carey show, in which case there is definitely something wrong.
This is never okay.
Back to my point (and I did have a point before I started thinking about terrible color-palette judgment and bedazzled tunics): We lose focus on what really matters so easily, and if we're not careful we'll find that we, too, have bought into the idea that beauty is directly linked to physical appearance. That's why I have written this guide for you, my dear readers. Don't say I never gave you anything.
BE KIND. You want to be attractive to other people? Don't be a jerk. Choose kindness, because it IS a choice. Not just sort of kind, and not fake kind. Be the for real, actual kind of KIND. Look for the best in others and then tell them what you see. Go out of your way to help someone in need, and do so without expecting anything in return. Speak words of life into those you meet. If you're someone who is genuinely nice to others, you will instantly be more attractive to them.
BE JOYFUL. No one likes a Debbie Downer, you know what I'm saying? The Word says to be joyful in all things, yet we tend to poo-poo the idea as unrealistic and unachievable. The thing is, I've met the person who is joyful in all things. Joyful in health AND joyful in sickness. Joyful in plenty AND joyful in want. It's an actual THING, and it does exist! To be joyful doesn't mean to feel happy all the time, which is good news considering we ALL know we won't feel happy all the time. It's simply an underlying sense of hope and peace that comes from knowing that all things work together for good, and it is contagious. Solidify where your hope and peace rest, and then share it with others. Joy spreads like wildfire, and THAT is beautiful to see.
BE GENEROUS. Hold everything you have with open hands, and loosely. I'm not just talking tangible things like money and possessions; I'm talking praise, platform, and power. Be generous at all times with the things entrusted to you, and don't join in the cutthroat competition. Share your finances when you feel led, and share your praise freely and often. Invite others into the things you're doing, and promote their unique gifts and abilities. Jealousy is hideous, but when others feel safe with and valued by you, they'll see you as someone whose beauty oozes from every pore.
BE HONEST. Be a truth teller, both when it's easy and when it's not. Tell the truth with grace and compassion, but ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH. Be a what-you-see-is-what-you-get person, and never leave those around you wondering how you really feel. Transparency is breathtakingly attractive, and it paves the way for others to be transparent, too.
BE UNEASILY OFFENDED. For the LOVE of Mother Teresa, stop taking yourself so seriously! Life's too short to be uptight, and the only one who suffers when you are too easily offended is YOU! Receive valid criticism well and graciously, and let everything else roll off your back. Keep short accounts and forgive often. Chances are good you've offended someone before too (that's right, I'm looking at YOU), so extend the grace you'd want to receive. Oversensitivity is not pretty, but thick-skinnedness is. Be thick-skinned.
BE AVAILABLE. It's tough to carve out time for others in the crazy-hectic lives we lead. That said, we are a relational people, and as my mother always says, "People matter before projects." Be willing to set aside your valuable time to love another well. Be a listener. Be an encourager. Be a helper, be a safe place for the ones you love, and a safe place for the ones who are HARD to love. Draw boundaries, for sure, but be reachable and present. Others will know they can rely on you and you'll be beautiful to them for it.
BE LOVE. Let love flow from the deepest parts of you in all you do and to all you meet. Love is the single most beautiful quality in heaven and on earth, and love is the only tool that builds an inroad to people's hearts. Love well, and love generously -- you'll never regret it.
Love from your pock-marked, frizzy-haired interwebz friend, and (as always) feel free to laugh!
PS -- what qualities do YOU think make a person most beautiful? Holler at me in the comment section below -- I want your input!