Beauty is a Many-Splendored Thing

How do you define beauty? By this I mean, what makes a person beautiful?

When I look at our two granddaughters, Ava and Juliette (whom we all call “Juju B”), this is what I see: Ava at five years old, strong and sturdy, with her own *fashion sense, her dad’s deep dimples and her mother’s amazing smile.

Juju B at six months old, wide eyed and gummy-grinned, is happy about life in general and is trying to skip the whole crawling thing; she wants to walk first. To the Crankee Yankee and me, they are breathtakingly gorgeous and perfect in every way.

But for non-family people, how do we define beauty? Oh, it’s easy enough to pick up the latest glossy fashion magazine and view all the gorgeous people in them wearing fabulous clothes and jewelry. But how about the rest of us?

What exactly makes someone beautiful? Is it perfectly symmetrical features, perfect hair, smooth skin, a “triple zero” figure, the “right” clothes? Looking back over the different decades, my own standards of fashion and beauty have changed.

Fashion changes quickly, as do makeup trends. Somewhere along the way, we find our own look; we find what works for us.

At my age, I have to laugh to see “new trends” evolve; often they are just a rehash of fashions past. I have lived through platform shoes, “granny” gowns and square tinted glasses, the Carnaby look popular during the “British invasion,” mini skirts and midi skirts, fishnet stockings and knee socks, active wear and yoga pants, heavy jewelry and minimalist jewelry, and so much more.

Let me say at this point that being this age is amazing  in that I no longer slavishly follow fashion trends the way I used to. I’ve mentioned this incredible woman before; Iris Apfel, 93 year old fashion maven. I love this quote of hers:

“When you don’t dress like everyone else you don’t have to think like everyone else.”

Image result for iris apfel

Fashion is one thing, and beauty is another. I love it that commercials now feature “normal” people; that is, small size whatever to large size whatever. What a beautiful mix we all are; different skin tones, different hair types, individual fashion trends, and so on.

At this stage of the game, we ought not to be so hard on ourselves for not being “perfect.” Beauty comes in many ‘flavors;’ there isn’t one standard of beauty any longer, which is great.

We are who we are, and it’s high time we were glad about it.

*For Ava, the more colors, the better. A typical outfit for her is flowered leggings turned up an inch at the bottom, a striped top with the same sort of colors, light-up sneakers, at least two headbands, and her unicorn purse. She adores anything pink and purple, but she is kindly to yellow, blue and green as well.

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