I’m a science geek at heart, so when August McLaughlin announced her Beauty of a Woman blogfest tour and invited us to participate, I had to get right down to the nitty gritty and start with the question: What exactly is the purpose of beauty?
The answer, as far as mother nature is concerned, is to attract a mate and propagate a species. There are evolutionary advantages to colorful feathers, bright petals, the right hip to waist to breast ratio.
But beyond that, I think we humans have evolved to appreciate beauty beyond just a way to choose a mate. I believe appreciating beauty is also a spiritual evolutionary advantage, a way to connect to the world around us. For example: I love my dogs, but I’ve never seen them stare at a sunset in awe. They have no need to grow flowers or hang paintings just to surround themselves with beautiful things. The sun sometimes glints off the lake in back of our house like a million diamonds and I am enraptured. My dogs only care if there’s a duck.
What do lakes and ducks have to do with the beauty of a woman? I believe this ability to appreciate beauty outside ourselves also allows us to appreciate beauty at a deeper level within each other.
When we learn to appreciate the beauty in our surroundings we learn to appreciate true beauty in a soul. The beauty of a woman has nothing to do with the size of her waist, what matters is the size of her heart. The most beautiful women I know of today are the ones who spill over with compassion and joy.
Women who treat every being they come across with empathy and dignity, who are at peace with themselves and passionate about peace.
Women who have a smile for all, whose eyes sparkle with loving kindness as bright as my back yard lake.
It has been argued that beauty and truth are one in the same. These women are the truth of beauty and the beauty in truth.
And the really fabulous news for us women, this kind of beauty doesn’t fade with age. If we feed it, it flowers, grows wings, spreads glittering seeds of light and sets the whole world aglow.
Beauty is not embodied in movie stars. It’s in every woman when we become stars, burning beyond our corporal bodies with the kind of love that is unique to each of us yet the same in all of us. Eternal love. Eternal light. Eternal beauty.
I’ll leave you with the words from the timeless words of Before the Throne of Beauty XXVI by Khalil Gibran:
“Beauty is that which attracts your soul, and that which loves to give and not to receive. When you meet Beauty, you feel that the hands deep within your inner self are stretched forth to bring her into the domain of your heart.”
* Visit August’s blog on Friday Feb. 10th to read all the contributions to this topic. Also there are prizes up for grabs! Including a Kindle!
Hi Shannon! I really love that image of hands deep within bringing Beauty to your soul. Lovely and inspiring post. Thank you.
Me too, Kecia! Just love his poetry.
I agree! Sparkly, beautiful souls never age!
Great post Shannon 🙂
Thanks, Coleen 🙂
True beauty certainly does grow with age. Both my grandmothers are in their 80s. They’re hunched and wrinkled and also two of the most beautiful women I know. My maternal grandmother would give you her last bite of food if you needed it and she has a smile for everyone. My paternal grandmother is patient and gentle and can always find something good to say no matter how difficult the situation.
You’re so lucky to still have your grandmothers, Marcy, and they sound like amazing women.
This line really struck me: “Beauty is not embodied in movie stars. It’s in every woman when we become stars, burning beyond our corporal bodies with the kind of love that is unique to each of us yet the same in all of us.” WOW. That needs to be on those famous author quotable sites. 😉
Beauty certainly does crystalize as we age. And the more beautiful we are on the inside, the less we care about society’s ideals and whether or not we match up. Thanks, Shannon!
LOL, well, maybe if I become a famous author one day it will be. A girl can dream, right?
Thanks for bringing such an important topic to light for us all to chew on, August! I hope you know you already glow 🙂
This is such a wonderful post, Shannon! I love that Gibran quote and your poetic metaphor about the stars we become. Mmm.
Reading Gibran always makes me poetic. Thanks for stopping by, Alicia!
You’ve captured it perfectly, Shannon, ‘a spiritual evolutionary advantage.’ I’ve never heard it put that way, but it absolutely makes sense.
Khali Gibran gets lost in the day to day living. Thanks for remindingg me that beauty is here to be appreciated.
BEautiful post, Shannon – I think you gave all of us and certainly me much food for thought. thank you so much
Wonderful post, Shannon. I love your definition of a woman’s beauty.
Lovely post Shannon! I love how you point out that part of beauty is being about to appreciate beauty in others. You put a lot ot thought into this post. I can really appreciate that. You are a beautiful woman.
Truly beautifully written. I love it, especially …
“… this kind of beauty doesn’t fade with age. If we feed it, it flowers, grows wings, spreads glittering seeds of light and sets the whole world aglow.”
This is a deeply moving post, Shannon. Appreciating the beauty in every-day things is truly a unique characteristic of being beautiful yourself. While physical beauty is appealing, inner strength and confidence will far outshine the physical features.
This has been such a motivating day of beauty blog posts! Thank you for sharing your insights! You are beautiful!
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Thanks for this post and the links, Shannon. ( Love Karen Maezen Miller’s blog.) Thanks, especially for this: “The most beautiful women I know of today are the ones who spill over with compassion and joy.” So true.
I love the line where you say it is not the size of her waist but the size of her heart!
Thanks for this post, Shannon. I enjoy waxing poetic as well, so I appreciated the Gibran quote as well as your own inspirations, like women becoming stars. This whole post is a sort of supernova of beauty-exploration. 🙂
Stunning post! “Burning beyond our corporal bodies with the kind of love that is unique to each of us yet the same in all of us.” My jaw just dropped. And this post took my breath away. Thank you.
Those words from Khalil Gibran are an absolutely perfect addition to an exquisitely written post. Wonderful job, Shannon!
“I believe this ability to appreciate beauty outside ourselves also allows us to appreciate beauty at a deeper level within each other.”
That’s my favourite line! I love your scientific approach to the concept of beauty and agree with your view that it’s come to mean more to us than just the duty of finding a mate. Great post!
I loved your comments about beauty. I think we become beautiful as we reflect our own responses to beauty. The more we appreciate beauty and goodness and truth, the more we absorb those qualities and project them on our faces.
Thanks for reminiding me of that.
So glad to see Aung San Suu Kyi. Doesn’t she project beauty? Thank you.
What an awesome post Shannon! You’re writing is superb! And the content is amazing!
I’m speechless. Truly.
I so wanted to come and read your post. I didn’t want to miss it even though I did miss the blogfest because of a family reunion. And I’m so glad I did.
I hope you keep this post in a safe place. Don’t ever lose it because it’s special Shannon.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what is means to you to be a beautiful woman. And you are! 🙂
Wow, thank you to everyone who responded with such warmth here. You are all beautiful! Yes, YOU!
Shannon, thank you so much for coming to see me today! It meant a lot girl!
It was good to see you. I was wondering what happened to you. Is everything okay? We’ve been missing you. Have you been busy with writing or is it just life? I know how that is. But you are such a good writer and we miss your blogs. Is there anything that I can do? Please let me know! 🙂
Hi Shannon! I’m finally making my way to the Beauty of a Woman posts that I missed back in February. My life’s been uber crazy for the past six months. I’m so glad I finally got to read this post. This is one of the best in August’s blog fest. You must write poetry, too, right? Your writing is beautiful. It flows. It’s calming, peaceful, and sprinkled with humor!
I especially love this line, “When we learn to appreciate the beauty in our surroundings we learn to appreciate true beauty in a soul.” Excellent post, Shannon.