Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

November 16, 2010

True beauty will be seen

Diane Raver
The Herald-Tribune

--- — It seems like the world has an obsession with beauty and looking younger. All you have to do is turn on the TV or open a magazine to see hundreds of advertisements for products that promise to help you improve your looks or make you look 10, 20, 30, even 40 years younger. There are skin-care manufacturers that claim they have the No. 1 dermatologist recommended product. With hundreds of moisturizers and daily cleansers out there, how do you determine which is the right one for you? Then you come to the makeup. For the foundation, there are not only different kinds for different skin types, but every shade imaginable. The mascara is even worse, with different ones for volume, length, curves and definition. After you’re done with your face, you need to work on the hair. Some trust a favorite stylist to apply their favorite shade or highlights, while others choose to do it themselves at home. Whatever the case, most probably have the same outcome in mind – to cover up the grays. And what about all those commercials for weight-loss products? More than likely if you have the TV tuned in to any of the major networks, you’ve seen celebrities trying to get you hooked on Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Aging is a natural process and for as long as we live, we will all go through it. Most of us want to do what we can to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with having a regular exercise program if you’re trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. But what signifies true beauty? Is it someone who spends hours with makeup artists and hair stylists before appearing in front of the camera? Is it someone who is never satisfied with what he/she looks like so they keep going on crash diets to get smaller and smaller? And what about the before and after photos companies use to show us how effective their anti-aging formula, makeup or hair product is? Doesn’t it seem like the before picture always shows the person with a sad, gloomy face, while the after one shows the person smiling from ear to ear? Of course, they’re going to look nicer when they’re happy. I’ll be the first to admit that I need to exercise more and eat healthier to lose a few pounds, actually quite a few pounds. In addition, I do color my hair and should do it again soon because quite a few gray hairs are beginning to shine through. I know I’ll never look like those Victoria’s Secret models, and honestly, I don’t want to. Sure, they’re very pretty on the outside, but I believe true beauty is what’s on the inside. The most beautiful people I know are like that because they are kind to others and treat them with respect. Maybe if each of us took the time to look past the outward appearances and focus on what’s really important, we would become obsessed with true beauty and see it every time we look in the mirror.