Saturday, January 02, 2016
If Looks Could Kill
Society makes a big deal about physical beauty. The following, from April 21, 2006, is about my lovely student aides at the time, their views on men and women, and families.
I am not Hispanic but my student aides are. On questions dealing with Latino culture, I turn to Beverly and Viri for insight. Beverly and I have debated the past two years over the attractiveness of Hispanic celebrities. I maintain that Penelope Cruz is better looking than Jennifer Lopez and Beverly vehemently thinks J Lo is prettier. This year, the argument is over film star Salma Hayek and Shakira, the Colombian pop sensation. My vote is cast for Salma, a classic beauty. Beverly, the #1 Shakira fan in Houston, contends that Shakira is much more natural and deserves the edge. The truth is, all four of the singers/actresses are gorgeous. It's like the difference between a millionaire in oil and a millionaire in real estate. Both are rich. How they obtained their wealth is circumstantial.
I was flipping through the TV channels tonight as I ate supper. NBC was running the Miss USA Pageant. I didn't see much. Usually, I look for Miss Nebraska and Miss Texas but that is the extent of my interest. (In my opinion, the cutest contestant was Miss Utah.) The field was quickly narrowed to fifteen from the fifty-plus state and district winners. How do you determine the winner? I know talent and poise are considered but none of the young ladies would have made it to that level without ample amounts of both. All were beautiful. In fact, the hostess was gorgeous and the female judge I saw was as well. The price of admission to a participant's role was sharp features coupled with good hair and a nice figure. At the same time NBC was airing the pageant, ABC was broadcasting a Prime Time With Diane Sawyer special on blended families in crisis. Cameras were allowed in several homes for hundreds of hours over three years as step-mothers, step-fathers, and step-children battled. Relationship therapists and psychologists were brought in to work with these families who have not experienced The Brady Bunch rearranged family euphoria. What a contrast to the pageant! These families were comprised of normal, average looking people who rarely smiled and constantly screamed. The kids were angry, the adults were angry, and I was angry that God's sacred institution of marriage had been so trampled on, at least on the surface. But which was more realistic, the Miss USA extravaganza or the out of control family units? One was staged, the other unfolded from dilemma to dilemma. Most of us would go with the families at war as the more real life situation BUT I also feel the majority would rather live in the beauty pageant universe, where we would be showered daily with praise for our appearance. We covet attractiveness even though we realize it can't last. We spend fortunes to improve ourselves in the eyes of the mirror. I wish we weren't so enamored with physical characteristics, myself included. I cannot find a scripture tie-in between righteousness and winsomeness. We all know some Godly brothers and sisters who are considered good looking and some that aren't by the world's standards. Not one New Testament character is described, as far as I can tell, in terms of physical attractiveness. Was Peter handsome or homely? Was Lydia a knockout or a wallflower? It didn't matter in the telling of the narrative, did it? That might be a good lesson for the rest of us. Beauty was never listed as one of the fruits of the spirit. We might be less than stunning in this world but perfection waits us in the next!
Postscript: Last year, I had a young lady, Jennifer, in my Bible 10 class. Girls use quizzes to communicate and express individuality. Veronica draws bumble bees while Meg writes notes in Dutch and French. Weekly, Jennifer would come out with her updated list, The Ten Best Looking Guys In The World. Guess who always ended up #1, ahead of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt? Coach Hawley! I must have let on there MIGHT be a correlation between my fragile emotions, my ranking, and her grade. I can't imagine where she got that idea.
Applicable quote of the day:
"People see you as an object, not as a person, and they project a set of expectations on you. People who don't have it think beauty is a blessing but it actually sets you apart."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:26 PM