Over the weekend, I saw a friend of a friend that I have not seen in some time. In fact, I have not seen her since my birthday back in August. Since then, she has become pregnant. Her due date is in a few weeks. Needless to say, she didn’t take me too seriously when, after we hugged, I touched her cheek and said, “How beautiful you are!”
Exactly, what is beauty? Now, I have thought long and hard about this. I even posted the question on my Facebook wall. However, it would appear to me that the cliché of “Beauty is in the beholder” is true.
To a Roman Catholic, perhaps the ultimate form of feminine beauty is the Virgin Mary herself. My personal favorite is the image of Mary as the Virgin of Guadalupe; an olive-skinned young girl, dressed in robes covered in stars, outshining the sun. “Blessed are You among women,” we pray, echoing the arch-angel Gabriel’s address to her when he asked her to bear Jesus. Yes, as many of you may recall from your elementary religion class, he asked her. She could have easily said no. But she didn’t.
It would be my guestemation that if you were to ask your standard-issue post-1960’s feminist what is a beautiful women, she would say someone who was strong, or educated, or courageous. They would perhaps even name some female iconoclast in a math or science field. I would agree. Someone who is strong and courageous enough to pursue their dreams, no matter what they are. Someone who can rise above the criticism, even if the criticism is yet to come. A beautiful women is someone who is walking down to the isle to receive their diploma, or sitting behind a teacher’s desk, or a ceo’s desk. A beautiful women is a lawyer in her final trimester of pregnancy, gathering up the courage to begin a new way of life in Jacksonville, a way of life that I am willing to bet no class in law school prepared her for.
A beautiful women is an engaged young women who was able to look into the face of an angel and say, “Yes.”