It might be cliche to say, “Beauty is only skin deep” or “It’s what’s inside that counts,” but there’s a reason why we have these expressions.
Years ago, when I was a teen, a girl I had recently met was talking to me about boys who were flirting with her. She told me — as if she were annoyed — “I know they’re only interested in me because of my looks!”
I wasn’t able to relate. At that point in life, I had never suspected a guy of being interested in me based solely on my looks, and it also appeared to me that she was a little overconfident and on the verge of bragging. She was rather an attractive girl with bright greenish-blue eyes and curly blonde hair.
Years later, I had more of an understanding for how she was thinking. Some years back, I spent some time on an online dating site, and the majority of men who contacted me initiated contact in a way I did not prefer. They complimented my photo — which might not sound too awful — but they also said little else.
I had made out a profile filled with interesting information about me, and, in many cases, it seemed apparent that these gentlemen had not bothered to read any of it. The photo was all that mattered. The girl I met as a teen wanted to be appreciated for reasons other than her appearance, and, at that time, I understood her feelings. I did end up speaking to a couple of guys who did connect to me through mutual interests.
Our appearance is, perhaps, the least important aspect of our being. I’m not saying we should not dress nicely, beautify ourselves, take care of our health or any of these things, but, comparatively, it is far less important than our character and inner qualities.
The Bible says in I Samuel 16:7, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” Character is certainly more important where God is concerned.
It does feel at times that we live in a world where people are consumed with appearances. Shallow people exist, and perhaps some women would love to be adored for their beauty and nothing more. Still, it seems beautiful and average people alike, on some deeper level, want more of a meaningful connection.
Appearances are also something over which we have little control. We can change our weight up or down, but we can’t change our height. We can learn cosmetic and hairstyling techniques, but we can’t change our actual features short of plastic surgery.
I read once that it is better to compliment a guy on his sense of style (something he’s wearing) than on something more personal like his features. I think the same is true for women. It’s more of a true compliment to show appreciation for someone’s personal tastes and style, their creative expression put into their appearance, than to compliment them on aspects of themselves over which they have no control.
I think beauty can be seen in all sorts of people when they’re good people. Do you ever find that an attractive person, who is arrogant or shows poor character, begins to look less attractive and an average person, who is full of kindness and personality, begins to look more attractive?
So, compliment and appreciate people on their choices of jewelry, ties, shoes. It’s a great opener. (I just complimented a stranger in the grocery store on an interesting floral jacket she wore.) And let’s look beyond appearances and appreciate others for the strength of their character.
This was from a prompt on Writer’s Quote Wednesdays from Marsha Ingrao. The theme was beauty, and bloggers were asked to respond with any form of post on that theme but had to include a quote.
What are your thoughts?