Have you ever known to be “set-up” by God? Just this last week as I topped off the Wired series God pulled back the curtains on my next writing assignment. While reading Estee Lauder – A Success Story I was struck by one line that immediately gave me a rear-view mirror perspective on a story that God has been weaving into the background of my life for decades.
I am going to take the challenge to disclose the “set-up” in a book. I am going to take advantage of this blog to think out-loud with you as part of my research and my challenge to think outside the box of my own experiences. Beauty may at first seem like a subject for women only but it will not be balanced without the male voice. I believe restoring the purity and integrity of beauty on the earth also restores the image of God on the earth. Restoring the image of God on the earth belongs to both men and women. Please gentlemen, do not hesitate to add the width and breathe missing from the unfolding conversation.
So for “blog” starters …
I was attending a Fall Seminar for Estee Lauder last month. My co-worker and I were seated at a far back table with four other beauty advisors. The presenter began to tell a story of when she felt beautiful. She then gave a most terrifying assignment, “At your table take turns sharing about your first beautiful moment.”
You could feel the terror of insecurity race through the room. So many women frantically searching their memory banks for that “moment”, that one validating moment where they first sincerely felt beautiful. I am sure most of them could recall several occasions where someone told them they were beautiful. However, being told your beautiful does not always translate into feeling beautiful. Oh, and to make the challenge even greater, birthing babies and wedding days didn’t count.
Well, I was one of the women frantically searching for my “moment”. I never dated in high school. I didn’t have a prom or homecoming to brag about. Any opportunities for a beautiful moment as a young adult were clouded with frequent intoxication and self-hate. My “you’re so beautiful” wedding day moment is yet to come. Giving birth to the most beautiful daughter in the world moment was overshadowed with its less than ideal circumstances. Then, right before I was about to divert my sad truth for a beautifully sarcastic response, it came to me. My first beautiful moment was not your typical glamor shot moment, it happened to be a daring moment.
I was 29. I was a single mom and two years out from a meager financial independence that would give us the chance to finally move out of my parents home. I worked full-time. I had never completed a college education. I had grown up in the “fat-lane” where the shades of shame pull down and bury deep a girl’s esteem. I don’t know what had gotten into me that year. I had never been one for an audience but I dared to play a very small role in a Christmas play at our church. My only appearance came at the climatic end as angles and songs of glory flooded the final scene. Yes, I was a singing angel and no that was not my first beautiful moment. My first beautiful moment came afterwards when my dad approached me full of pride, looked me in the eye, and said in so many words, “You are beautiful.” That was a first for us.
I shared my moment with the other ladies at the table. My co-worker’s moment was a heroic one. When she was wrecked from chemotherapy and hairless, her father, impressed with her strength, told her she was beautiful. The young woman to my right said that her first beautiful moment was the “ah-ha” moment she had from her first Estee Lauder make-over. She had not realized her beauty potential before that moment. The next two young women were what the rest of us would consider the most photogenic, cosmetically artistic, and attracting with their beauty. With regret deeper than they would reveal they bravely confessed they could not retrieve one single beautiful moment. The two most “beautiful” women at the table were still waiting for their beautiful moment.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here is where the conversation begins: It has been my experience that regardless of the physical beauty one may or may not possess, no one “feels” they are beautiful until they “feel” their worth … Yes? No? Maybe? Add your thoughts, share the moment you first felt your worth, your beauty…