I don’t even know where to begin with this because it’s something that I’m pretty passionate about, I could speak on it for days and still feel like I haven’t said enough.
Okay, so I guess I should just start somewhere.
We live in a very vain world. It’s nothing new, really. People think this is a new concept since we now have to technology to really alter a person’s appearance. Want bigger boobs and lips? You can buy that. Want to lose weight without having to work for it? You can pay for that, too. The options are endless. But when you read up on history, you’ll see that people, mostly women, have been all about appearance since the beginning of time, really. The women of ancient Egypt were known for their beauty concoctions and rituals. So, it’s nothing new.
There are all kinds of studies done on the advantages of being beautiful. Beautiful people tend to get paid more, for one. Beautiful people are more persuasive so things tend to work in their favor. But this isn’t a superpower, this is all about the way people perceive these attractive people. Really, put a gorgeous blonde on a deserted island and tell her to use her looks to figure out a way to escape the island lol. Not happening. We give beautiful people their power by how we treat them, how we respond to them. I saw a lot of this when I was in school. The super pretty girls always had the most friends, all of the guys wanted them, they generally made good grades, they were involved in a lot of activities, they were favored. It was evident. I’m not bashing beautiful people at all. I have four absolutely gorgeous kids lol and i’m not just saying that because i’m biased. They’re lookers, for sure. But people who are beautiful tend to get treated better and so their lives are set up to run a little smoother.
This is not the case with everyone, I am not trying to lump everyone together and make harsh generalizations. It’s also a lot to do with confidence. No matter how attractive you are, if you lack self-esteem and confidence, you might as well be unattractive. But, usually, beautiful people have excellent self-esteem and confidence because they haven’t encountered as many things that would be damaging to those qualities. They’ve usually lead a life which fosters a healthy sense of self. I’m grateful to have been able to play on both sides of the field. I didn’t have a life where I got ahead by looks. I had to grind lol. I had to rely on actual skill. I’m not saying that attractive people lack skill, not at all. But when you’re not so attractive, you don’t have that extra edge. People aren’t as forgiving. You really have to pay your dues. I’d prefer it that way, really. I would hate to think I only obtained something because people thought I was nice to look at. That would be like the ultimate blow to my ego. But really, I have seen the difference in how people treat me now, as opposed to how people treated me when I was a train wreck. It’s different. I do think a lot of that has to do with my attitude, though. I smile a lot now, which makes me appear happier. People like to be around happy people. People who look sad and angry all the time don’t really have such great interactions with others.
I’m not saying appearance isn’t important. It is. But it is not as important as what is on the inside. At all. Think about gifts. I’m a sucker for cute packaging. It’s bad lol. Sure, on Christmas, I don’t feel like wrapping gifts for four kids in the cutest paper and bows. But if i’m giving a gift to someone, I typically like to make sure it’s packaged nicely. But when you receive a gift, how much time do you really spend admiring the wrap job? Honestly. And are you going to just set it up on the shelf, unwrapped? Sure you might feel a little bad ripping the paper to shreds after someone invested so much time into making it look special. You might gently peel back the paper, fold it, and set it aside. But you’re going to open it. You care more about what’s on the inside.
When you buy a car, do you just admire the way it looks without seeing how it runs? Do you just walk onto a lot and think, “Yes, I like that one. It’s a beautiful car. Where do I sign my name?”.
And what about Jesus? Don’t you think there is a reason that His appearance isn’t really mentioned?
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2
Nothing about his appearance or his possessions were alluring. There is no MTV Cribs: Nazareth Edition. Show me the verse that talks about his glowing tan skin, silky, sandy brown hair and piercing blue eyes.
The only things mentioned about Jesus in the Bible were the things that actually matter. His appearance was so unimportant, it isn’t even really mentioned. That should speak volumes.
But what have we done? lol. We couldn’t handle that. So we started painting this super attractive Jesus and hanging him in homes and hospitals across Europe and North America lol. Because, it’s important to people. Still. Even when all of the evidence tells us that it shouldn’t be.
Do we see God? Do we speak of God the way we speak of people? Think about when men are attracted to women. What do they typically say about her? She had long, beautiful, flowing hair. Stunning blue eyes. A beautiful, glowing face. Slender frame, big breasts, long legs, nice curves. Okay, maybe not, maybe they just say she’s smoking hot lol. But how often do they put her personality and accomplishments before her appearance? It isn’t very often. “Dude, I just got this chick’s number and she’s the smartest girl i’ve ever met. She’s got great taste in music, she’s funny, she’s talented, she’s kind, she’s…….” “okay, but what does she look like?” lol……. no. It’s usually, “Dude, I just got this chick’s number and she’s smokin’ hot.” Why do we do this? Why do these things matter so much?
The older I get, the more I see that appearance is so deceptive. It’s not a good indicator of what a person is actually like. The older I get, the less barriers I have between myself and other people. I see no reason as to why I couldn’t become great friends with someone 20 years older than me. Like, none. The older I get, the more I see people for who they are. Stripped away of their looks and the things that they have acquired in life. Just raw and real, down to the bones. No barriers. Just people. I see past all of the superficiality. I don’t see just the wrapping paper. I could put a pile of dog shit in a box and wrap it up nicely. Doesn’t matter how pretty the package is if there’s dog shit inside. I’ve never been very superficial but, even still, I feel like i’ve slowly taken off the blinders. It feels nice to be able to look at a person and see beyond the surface. To feel like a scruffy homeless guy is just as important as the guy in the suit with the briefcase. To see that the old lady in the disheveled clothing and messy hair is every bit as interesting and elegant as the young 20 something with the perfect figure and perfect hair. We tend to have our own classification system that we group people into, subconsciously. But as you begin to see people for who they really are, not just what they look like, how old they are, what their social status is, economic status, etc…… you start to see similarities between people that you didn’t see before. The classification gets a lot less complicated. You can see the commonalities between a doctor and a quiet, studious teenager. You can see a senior citizen which reminds you of a kid you know. Unlikely people become linked together. You focus less on the differences and more on the things people have in common. It’s nice.
I want my kids to care about their appearance, I don’t want them walking around looking like hell. But I don’t want them to become superficial and put more weight into appearance than they do into the things which really matter, like character, principles, virtue. Those things are timeless. They don’t age. I really focus on this subject with the kids, a LOT. Because I never want them to make the mistake of missing out on great people just because of their appearance. Missing out on good friends and partners because of how they look. I don’t want my daughters to end up with guys who won’t unwrap them. Guys who only see the pretty packaging and foolishly put them up on a shelf. Like a useless trophy. Something nice too look at but not very practical to use. I don’t want my boys to go chasing after the beautiful girls and end up with shitty life partners. I drill this into them. You can’t leave it up to the world to teach them. The world will deceive them. The world will tell my boys to get a trophy wife. The world will tell my girls that their appearance is all that really matters. I don’t want them waking up when they’re 30 and 40. I want their eyes to be wide open to the people around them, to see them for who they really are inside. I want them to have a full life and they can’t experience a full life when they are constantly distracted by things that aren’t that important.