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Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

10 simple but not easy ways to attain true beauty:

1. Stop enabling the commercial beauty machine. Toss your fashion mags, cancel your botox injections, give the money you were saving for that boob job to the poor.

2. Retire the committee. Buy ’em a gold watch, a condo in Sun City, and send them on their way. They’ve helped enough.

3. Let the light of your true self shine. Jen Lemen says “your soul is the most artful thing you create.”

4. Cultivate joy in the present. There’s nothing more beautiful than a face beaming with joy. No wrinkles, prominent noses, double chins, zits, blotches, squinty eyes, or outright deformities can dim the brilliance of pure unadulterated joy.

5. Get all your fashion advice from Amelia – wear what makes you feel beautiful.

6. Gather kindred spirits to support you in your transformation.

7. Find some new mirrors, and say to the old, “you don’t know the score. I’m a knock-out.” The eyes of those who love you are the best mirrors of all.

8. Do your passion. Don’t hold back. Half-assed is so very unattractive.

9. Get off the treadmill. Slow down. Sip. Chew slowly. Hang out and waste time. Smell the roses. Loosen up for once. Let the tension seep out of your body. Relax.

10. Shake what your mama gave you. Dance is the most basic expression of your state of being. If you can’t dance, you’re not letting your true self shine. Come on, get up offa that thing, and dance till you feel better.

Yep. That’ll do it.

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I’ve not seen the movie Shallow Hal. After seeing the trailer I calculated the cost-to-benefit ratio of having my¬† values validated while forcing myself to endure a thousand and one fat gags from the likes of Jason Alexander and Jack Black. The math didn’t work for me, so I skipped it. The story, I hear, is all about fixing the eye of the beholder.

(Or is it making fun of fat people? Or maybe how funny it might be to watch Gwynneth Paltrow act like a fat person… I don’t know…okay, I’m a little bitter)

Here’s a You Tuber’s version of a the lessons of Shallow Hal:

When it comes to personal beauty, we too often lose our way.

We reduce beauty down to its visual elements: hair, teeth, skin, boobs, legs, butt.

We objectify beauty, separating it from the soul, leaving us with mere image.

We rank and compare beauty, as if there could be a MOST beautiful anything.

We infuse beauty with power and then use it as currency.

We’ve sold beauty to the highest bidder.

Just because the price is high, doesn’t make it any less cheap.

We need a new way of seeing.

Human beauty is a gestalt – a magic combination of spirit, soul, and body. Beauty is a presence, an essense, a scent of the divine in the flesh. Mirrors can’t capture beauty.

One day as I stood before the mirror, frowning, my husband pulled me away and said, you’ll never see what I see in that mirror. A mirror can never reflect what happens when your spirit shows. When you’re being yourself, your beauty comes out and radiates something beautiful. You need a better set of mirrors.

I need a better pair of glasses.

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I’m still pondering beauty – observing it, listening to it resonate in my soul. I’m wondering what constitutes beauty, and am fascinated by what seems to be the sheer necessity of beauty in our lives. As well, I’m stunned by the power feminine beauty in particular.

The difficulty comes for some of us when this power is paired with beauty. None of us begrudges beauty that is unattached to persons. We appreciate it, treasure it, spend money to obtain it, and enjoy it – for the most part. In fact, beauty in nature, art, fabric, movement, the beauty of an idea, or an elegant solution to a problem, a poem – all of these things we can enjoy without complication.

But when it comes to the beauty of the female form, we’re scarcely aware of being under a spell. KT Tunstall says it most profoundly in her song, Suddenly I see:

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she’s a beautiful girl
She’s a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she’s a beautiful girl
She’s a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white
Makes you feel warmer when you’re trying to remember
What you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on her word

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

And she’s taller than most
And she’s looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

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BETTE MIDLER LYRICS

“I’m Beautiful”

“That’s it, baby! When you got it, flaunt it, flaunt it!”

“This is the Divine Miss M
and I’m here to share with you some rare
and stimulating insight into my cosmic fabulosity.
It’s really very simple. I smiply believe with all my heart:”

I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, dammit!
I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, dammit!
I’m beautiful, so beautiful, I’m beautiful, dammit!
I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, dammit!

“Go away, little girl,” they used to say.
“Hey, you’re too fat, baby, you can’t play.”
“Hold on, miss thing, what you trying to do?
You know you’re too wack to be in our school.”

Too wack, too smart, too fast, too fine,
too loud, too tough, too too divine.
I said you don’t belong. You don’t belong.
Too loud, too big, too much to bear,
too bold, too brash, too prone to swear.
I heard that song for much too long.

Ain’t this my sun? Ain’t this my moon?
Ain’t this my world to be who I choose?
Ain’t this my song? Ain’t this my movie?
Ain’t this my world? I know I can do it.

I’m not too short, I’m not too tall,
I’m not too big, I’m not too small.
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
I’m not too white, I’m not too black,
I’m not too this, I’m not too that.
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!

I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, dammit!
I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, dammit!

It’s time to call it what it is. Don’t play the naming game.
Become what you were born to be and be it unashamed.
“Go away, little boy,” I can hear them say,
“Everybody on the block says they think you’re gay.
Hold on, my friend, do you think we’re blind?
Take a look at yourself. You’re not our kind.”

Too black, too white, too short, too tall,
too big, too green, too red, too small.
I said you don’t belong. You don’t belong.
Too black, too white, too short, too tall,
too blue, too green, too red, too small.
I heard that song for much to long.

Ain’t this my sun? Ain’t this my moon?
Ain’t this my world to be who I choose?
Ain’t this my song? Ain’t this my movie?
Ain’t this my world? I know I can do it.

People always ask me,
“Miss M, how did you get so far
on so little?” Shut up!
Well, I woke up one morning,
flossed my teeth and decided,
“Damn, I’m fierce!” You look good!
You can be just like me! A goddess? Yeah!
Don’t just pussy foot around and sit on your assets.
Unleash your ferocity upon an unsuspecting world.
Rise up and repeat after me: “I’m beautiful!”

I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful!
Can you say that?
I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful!
I don’t hear you!
I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful!
Louder!
I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful!
Hey!

That’s it, baby, when you got it, flaunt it, flaunt it!

Aaaaaah!
Ain’t this my sun? My sun! Ain’t this my moon? My moon!
Ain’t this my world to be who I choose?
Ain’t this our song? Ain’t this our song?
Ain’t this our movie? Ain’t this our movie?
Ain’t this our world to be who we choose?

I’m not too short, I’m not too tall,
I’m not too big, I’m not too small.
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
I’m not too white, I’m not too black,
I’m not too this, I’m not too that.
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
Ooh, don’t lemme start lovin’ myself!
I’m beautiful, dammit!

[ http://www.azlyrics.com ]

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Friday night Ted and I had dinner at Earl’s in downtown Denver, before we took in 3 Mo’ Divas at the Stage Theater, in celebration of our 32nd anniversary.

Earl’s is a popular place with good food and plenty of atmosphere. Noisy, but noise seems to be one of the requirements of a successful restaurant, don’t ask me why. At Earl’s, I noticed, all the servers were women, and most of them were wearing the same uniform: a swingy little black dress with spaghetti straps and no small amount of visible cleavage. They were all in the vicinity of 21, all very beautiful, all tottering around in strappy sandals with spiked heels, looking like high school girls primping in the bathroom at the homecoming dance.

The vibe of the place was not what I’m used to, but then, I’m not used to eating in trendy downtown restaurants. We were demographically segregated, seated in the back of the second floor where it was quieter. I was grateful for this consideration. On the other hand as I looked around, we were definitely in the geezer zone.

Our server was not only pretty, she was very nice. I got the feeling that when she smiled at us and complimented us on our menu selections, we were supposed to be pleased with ourselves. Proud that we’d scored a smile and a cheer from such a lovely person.

No doubt this blessing of loveliness is an important part of Earl’s business plan. Earl knows the precise dollar value of the loveliness he offers, the thin line between loveliness and sleaze. Earl’s was way on the side of wholesome, despite the abundance of skin showing. No piercings, no tattoos, no frizz in the hair, no sneer, no smoking, no pissed-off looks. Keep it lovely, girls.

It creeped us out. Both of us.

It reminds me of a story I’ll have to tell you tomorrow, about the summer I spent as a bat girl for a local baseball team.

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I’ve spent the better part of four days observing the phenomenon of beauty, wondering whether to start a thoughtful series on the subject. Then I turn to Karen over at Cheerio Road and she’s already there with an encouraging word and a couple of great videos to share. It must be a sign, I think. So here goes.

I’ve become a rabid fan of Stephen White, writer of some pretty great psychological/crime fiction. His main character is a psychologist in private practice in Boulder. This is a treat because I get to peek at the therapeutic challenges of another practitioner, as well as follow his adventures in one of my favorite places in the world, the People’s Republic of Boulder. I’ve now read my library’s entire collection of Stephen White, which is sadly short of what’s required.

It’s Stephen White that got me started thinking about beauty, while reading his 2004 bestseller, Blinded. Here’s how one of his characters describes another character named Gibbs Storey, in several passages:

Gibbs Storey was gorgeous, okay? I mean make-me-nervous, shift-my-weight, avert-my-eyes kind of gorgeous. The girls-guys-like-me-don’t-even-get-to-talk-to kind of gorgeous.

Not pretty.

Gibbs was movie-star stuff.

If she hadn’t been so pretty, or maybe if I had just been constitutionally more adept at being around someone so pretty, I might not have blurted out what I blurted out next. But she was, and I wasn’t.

then later:

What I didn’t say was, “My God, woman, your options are limitless. I know twenty men who would bow down and lick clean the ground you walk on.”

I took a moment to look away from her and give myself a pep talk. I told myself that I could look her in the eye and not be weakened by her beauty. That my resolve wouldn’t dissolve in her loveliness.

When I looked back up at her, I was pretty sure that I’d been wrong.

White weaves the theme of female beauty throughout this novel in a way that rubs the sore spot on the psyche of many an unresolved high school wannabe. It made me cranky, I admit.

The sheer power of a certain kind of feminine beauty, as described here, is stunning to me. What can it mean, I wonder? Beyond the obvious factors: our sex-infused culture, the media, inadequately socialized boys, improperly socialized girls?

What does it mean? What does it represent?

I’ll be wondering this all week. Stay tuned.

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Phyllis George, Miss America, 1971 Phyllis George, Miss America, 1971.

I was there, cheering her on. Well, not there in Atlantic City, but there in our living room, caught up in all the excitement. I was riveted to the pageant that year, fascinated that such a lovely creature could be named Phyllis, same as me. It was inspiring, I think. Or not. I didn’t really know what to feel. I knew I could never be as beautiful as Phyllis George, but I was relieved that someone not my grandmother’s age could represent the name Phyllis with style. I struggled with my name, too, in case you didn’t pick that up. (Why couldn’t I be a Debbie, or a Julie? I really liked the name Julie.)

I was mesmerized by Phyllis George. Another perfect creature, and I couldn’t help feeling envious as well as a little proud.

Sometime during her reign, I read a mini-interview with her in a magazine. During the interview she admitted she often felt awkward about her appearance, saying she really hated her nose, and often wished it were different.

I was stunned. Incredulous. Phyllis George had just been crowned the most beautiful woman in the country, and she couldn’t be satisfied with her appearance.

I knew then that if Phyllis George couldn’t feel beautiful, there was very little hope for the rest of us.

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