Define “Natural Beauty”

Over the weekend, I saw a news story on the Miss Universe pageant and its contestants.  Turns out, it’s estimated nearly 30% of these women have had some kind of surgical enhancements.  Not only that, but the contestants aren’t discouraged from having the occasional nip or tuck.  In fact, in a very passive manner, the head honchos associated with these events actually encourage it. 

At first, I though, “Eh.  So what?”  Then, it occurred to me the number of girls who watch these competitions with hopes of becoming a beauty queen must be getting some mighty big disillusions.  I wondered about what kind of message they were taking away from these events.  We spend so much time telling our daughters, nieces and other young girls that they’re beautiful just the way they are.  We encourage them to celebrate their differences and to look at their unique facial structures, skin tones and even their body shapes as something to be proud of.  We use Cindy Crawford’s trademark mole and Jewel’s beautiful smile as our justifications.  It’s what sets them apart in the entertainment industry.  We then discover there are organizations – designed to empower girls- that send the message that they should aim for a different face that stares back from the mirror.

I’m not opposed to plastic surgery; not at all.  But I believe these procedures can only be successful when the patient approaches it with the right intentions.  I don’t think it’s healthy when a woman (or man) seeks out changes to their physical appearances when the problems are coming from within.  There’s an old saying, “It’s like throwing new paint on a peeling barn – it might look great now, but sooner or later, that old paint’s going to flake through.”

At any rate, the new Miss Universe will be selected tonight and hopefully, all the attention will be on these beautiful women and the differences that make them who they are and less attention placed on who they wish they were.

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