Today’s post is part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest.
To check out August’s blog and see links to other entries in this blogfest, go to http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com
Okay, I’ll admit it. Like most red-blooded men, I like the sight of long, slender legs, slim hips, flat tummies, and nice bosoms. But . . . I don’t consider that to be the real essence of beauty in a woman.
To me, the real marks of beauty in a woman are courage, character, kindness, and personality. As we age, even the most beautiful—or handsome—of us find the physical beauty fading a bit. Oh, I know, every now and then we see a photo of some actress in her eighties still looking good, but that’s not most of us. And I wonder how much they spend on beauty products and plastic surgery to look the way they do.
Courage, character, kindness, and personality, however, don’t fade with age. If anything, they deepen and improve as we go through the decades.
Let’s talk about lack of courage for a minute. Back before most of you were born, there was a movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly called High Noon. Grace Kelly was a truly beautiful woman, but her character in the movie, Amy Fowler Kane, was a whiny nag. On the day she and Gary Cooper’s character, Marshal Will Kane, get married, he must face an outlaw who has sworn to kill him.
Totally devoid of integrity, courage or much else, she whines and begs him to slink away and not face the man. Her lack of courage and character completely overshadow her physical beauty and make her someone very difficult to like.
We’ve got a couple of examples of great courage and character in our midst whom most of you know. Last spring, Susie Lindau was diagnosed with breast cancer. About the time she had a double mastectomy, another writer friend, Renee Shuls-Jacobson, realized she had become addicted to medications a doctor had put her on.
Both of these women had a legitimate complaint. They didn’t deserve what happened to them. Either could have lain around and whined “poor me.” But they didn’t.
Each of them had the courage to face her situation head-on and do something about it. Susie had her double mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery. Renee took herself off the offending medication. Neither had an easy time, but both faced their ordeals.
It took courage for either of them to do this, but they didn’t stop with courage alone. Having exercised the courage to face their problems, they could have done so quietly, and we would never have known about it, but that’s not what they did.
Going beyond courage, they exercised character. That character told each of them to share her experience with friends in cyberspace. I’m sure they were motivated by the hope of helping others face and deal with similar situations. Both have been very open in their sharing, and I admire them for that. By the way, if you click Renee’s link, you won’t find any recent posts. She’s still fighting the after-effects of withdrawal and hasn’t been posting.
Kindness is a trait I’ve come to value more and more. My 97-year-old mother has two caregivers whose pictures could be in the dictionary beside the definition of this word. Erica runs the group home where Mother lives. She dresses, feeds, pampers and talks to anywhere from four to eight people, depending on the home’s current occupancy. In addition, she cooks, cleans house, does laundry and other such things for these ladies who can basically do nothing for themselves. And I’ve never heard her complain about her job.
Crystal is Mother’s home health aide. She comes by five days a week to help Erica dress and bathe Mother. Then she sits and visits with her, although Mother has little of any intelligence to say these days. She also stays and visits with me if I’m there. When she enters the house, her smile lights up the place.
There are others on the staffs of both the house and the healthcare agency whose kindness is exemplary, but this post is already a bit long.
Personality may be a little more difficult to define, since it’s largely subjective. I may find a personality delightful that you don’t care for so much. That’s part of the differences that define human beings. But whatever kind of personality you like, you tend to bond with someone who has it.
The personalities, kindness, courage and characters of these ladies are the sorts of things I consider true, lasting beauty. Oh, I’ll probably still turn my head when a woman in a short skirt with long slender legs or one with an ample bosom walks by, but only for a moment. Their beauty is fleeting. Long after their bodies begin to show the ravages of time, courage, character, kindness, and personality will carry those who have it through whatever aging processes they may face.
How do you define the beauty of a woman? We love to hear your comments.
To keep from competing with the BOAW blogfest, I will not post my regular Friday blog this week. Back on track next week.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.