Do you find yourself doubting your beauty? A recent Dove documentary shows an artist sketching with his back to women as they describe themselves. After first completion of the first sketch the artist draws the women as an acquaintance describes them. The second rendering is strikingly more attractive than the first; participants recognize they see themselves far more negatively than others. They are more beautiful than they think.
Not Good Looking By Far
My great grandmother, Nora Ellen (1862-1945) was a large woman with big hands and somewhat masculine features. When referring to her appearance, she good naturally quoted Ogden Nash’s popular limerick:
I am not good looking, by gar,
Others are handsomer far,
But my face I don’t mind it
For I am behind it;
It’s the fellow in front that I jar.”
What Is Behind Your Face?
How do you feel about your self? Are you constantly worried about what the fellow in front thinks?
Susan Tanner, who served as president of a young women organization wrote,
“I remember well the insecurities I felt as a teenager with a bad case of acne. I tried to care for my skin properly. My parents helped me get medical attention. For years I even went without eating chocolate and all the greasy fast foods around which teens often socialize, but with no obvious healing consequences. It was difficult for me at that time to fully appreciate this body, which was giving me so much grief. But over and over again my good mother said to me, “You must do everything you can to make your appearance pleasing, but the minute you walk out the door, forget yourself and start concentrating on others.” Susan learned to forget the outside appearance and focus on others.
Get Up Every Morning With A Smile
Carole King, the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century, describes her experience in writing the song, “Beautiful.” Carole never had much confidence in herself and her appearance. Early in her career, she let others sing her songs and take the spotlight. One day, she was sitting on a subway in New York and realized that how she felt about others reflected how she was feeling about herself. The song came to her in an instant and didn’t contain the usual rhyming and stanzas..
The chorus of the song “Beautiful”:
You’ve got to get up every morning With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
The people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel
A current successful Broadway musical, entitled, “Beautiful” describes King’s life struggles and eventual success.
You Are Beautiful As You Feel
Your body language can affect how others see us and influence how we see ourselves. Social scientist, Amy Cuddy has researched the impact of “power posing.” Cuddy states, “Standing in a posture of confidence can makes us more confident even when we don’t feel confident.” Cuddy recommends the “Wonder Woman” pose for maximum effect.
How Do We Keep A Smile In Our Face?
Give compliments. Compliments are a double blessing because both the giver and the receiver receive a positive emotional bounce. We add to each other’s storehouse of self-esteem by giving sincere, well-deserved commendation. Research shows compliments are as psychologically as rewarding as getting cash.
The more we compliment, the happier we are.
In Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Great grandma, Nora Ellen may not be remembered for her good looks but her 30 year correspondence was recently donated to a national university collection. The letters contain family and daily routine of the Ream family ranch in Dingle, Idaho and provide insight into 19th century Western life. Many of the letters are love notes from her husband, Will, who loved her dearly.
Because Nora Ellen had sense of humor and saw beyond herself, we have a lasting legacy. YOU ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN YOU THINK!
(Nora Ellen and family are pictured on the right. The Victorian Home in the photo was built by her husband and sons and is on the Historical Register. )
Camille Foster/801.472.7134/ firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Thanks to the Sherwood Hills ladies for their help and insights which contributed to the article.)
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