|Ancient beauty in an English castle|
And then she turned around.
It wasn't a teenager, or even a twenty-ager. The strikingly beautiful woman with long shiny blond hair, stylish size 4 skinny jeans and awesome boots, was 50. I know this because I met her and her young daughter ten years ago.
Ah, her daughter. That's another story. Keri, as I'll call her, was chubby, nondescript, and shy from the day she was born. Now nearing twenty, she's still, well, chubby, nondescript, and shy.
How must it feel to grow up with a drop-dead gorgeous mother? I thought, pedaling my bicycle. Usually it's the other way around - we moms fade into the background as our lovely daughters come into full bloom. That's hard enough. But to be the plain-Jane daughter of someone who turns heads wherever she goes?
Gotta be rough.
But don't we all live on some sort of comparison hamster wheel? There's always someone prettier around to compare ourselves to and make us feel that we just don't measure up. A sister ... cousin ... neighbor ... co-worker. And it's rough.
Then I remembered something from my book, More Beauty, Less Beast. It was in the chapter called, "Not Just Plain Vanilla," about the tendency we women have to focus on the external rather than the internal to feel more beautiful. It can become an obsession if we're not careful.
"The real issue is our dependency upon augmentation of our God-given appearance for acceptance and self-esteem, whether through makeup, surgical alterations, or high fashion. How dependent are we on external fixes to feel that we fit in? Are accepted? Are attractive?
Papa God created us, each and every one a masterpiece - in our natural state, rough-hewn and raw. And He loves us lavishly, just that way.
Not one of us is plain vanilla! Our flavor comes through the creative passion of our Master Designer, not how we decorate ourselves."
I hope sweet, dear Keri realizes she can be mocha mint chocolate chip if she wants to be. Because her unique flavor comes from the inside out.
So what flavor are you?