Lesson of the Week
Beautiful: I cherish my body
Do you believe that true beauty is defined by being geometrically perfect – including facial symmetry and leg to torso length ratio? There are people called the “iPhone” generation who get plastic surgery to achieve symmetry and look “beautiful” online.
Dr. Kendra Schmid, et. al., describe the beautiful face. They explain that the face must be about 1½ times longer than it is wide. The numbers must be equal from the forehead hairline to a spot between the eyes, from between the eyes to the bottom of the nose and from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin. The ratios don’t stop there. Beauty is also dependent on the length of ear, nose, and eye proportions. Seriously, is this true beauty? In what culture? In what era?
There is another criterion for beauty — the expression of the human spirit. The proof is people who are beautiful because their kind, generous, helpful spirit shines through their physical body. Can you think of such a person? This could be someone who taught you an important lesson, someone who helped you when you needed help, or someone who loved you unconditionally.
There was a woman who had big floppy ears, small eyes, chubby torso, and a short stature – all body parts that could have defined her as ugly, the object of ridicule, and a caricature of herself. Can you imagine her entering a “beauty” contest that required symmetry? She would have been laughed to scorn. However, to look at her was to see something extraordinary – a beautiful radiating love that transcended physical form. She was beautiful!
Your spirit is the essence of your beauty. As you work on your mission, your beauty will be known in proportion to the good you do for yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and thus for the world. (This good for some might be just being – unable to move, but just being. Those who know beauty will see this stationary, still, beautiful being.) This beauty is the light that will shine through you and draw people to your work and into your presence – the presence of a good spirit.
BUT beware of the thoughts that will present themselves – thoughts like, BUT I’m not pretty enough to find a partner”, “BUT I’m not handsome enough to get the sale”, “BUT I’m too fat to get the job”, or “BUT I’m not the right color to be accepted”. This is the time to get off your BUTS and get out and work towards your goals – regardless of your “looks”. Your spirit and your work will manifest your beauty. Take for instance, Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Was her work diminished by her looks? Nelson Mandela. Was his healing of a nation stymied by his physique? And yet when you look into their eyes and hear them speak, they are beautiful. Their work is the manifestation of their beauty and you can see this beauty in their eyes and hear it in their speech.
As rumor goes, a student asked philosopher Rene Descartes, “Do I exist?” Descartes was said to reply, “That depends. Who wants to know?” Now ask yourself the question, “Am I beautiful?” Descartes might have replied, “That depends. Who wants to know?” Helen Keller put it this way, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” For one woman, this means helping wheelchair bound people navigate the halls, pushing the open button for the front door, and greeting people with a smile – the penultimate beauty, a perfect 10 – just being and expressing the wholeness of her spirit. To be beautiful, express your spirit in a mission you love.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
- Audrey Hepburn, British Actress, Humanitarian (Paraphrased from a poem by Sam Levenson)
Activity: Symmetry or Spirit?
Materials: Paper and pen or pencil. A measuring tape or ruler.
Time: Ten minutes to write and ten minutes per person to discuss their findings.
1. Measure the length (top of head to bottom of chin) and width (right side of your cheek to left side of your cheek across the bridge of the nose) of your face. Now divide the length by the width. How do your measurements compare to the Golden Ratio – 1.6 meaning a beautiful person’s face is about 1½ times longer than it is wide?
2. Measure three parts of your face: a) from the upper forehead hairline to a spot between the eyes; b) from the spot between the eyes to the bottom of the nose; and c) from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin. How do your numbers compare to the Golden Ratio – if the numbers are equal, the person is supposed to be more beautiful?
3. Measure the length of your ear. Measure the length of your nose. How do your numbers compare to the Golden Ratio – if the numbers are equal, the person is supposed to be more beautiful?
4. Measure the width of the eye. Measure the distance between the eyes (do not include the length of the eyes, but only between the eyes across the bridge of the nose). How does your number compare to that of the Golden Ratio – if the numbers are equal, the person is supposed to be more beautiful?
5. List one person who you think is beautiful. List why you think this person is beautiful – other than physical features.
6. List ways you think you are beautiful – other than physical features.
7. Discuss your results with the others in the group.
a) The results of your Golden Ratio measurements. (Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 above.)
b) A person who is beautiful and why -- other than physical features. (Item 5 above.)
c) How you are beautiful -- other than physical features. (Item 6 above.)
8. What is the most important thing you learned from this activity and how will it help you on your mission?
If you are not in a group, do this work on your own and think about the results. If you do not have the facial features that enable you to do this activity, discuss or think about what the Golden Ratio means to you.
I am beautiful so I can …… We’d like to hear your story about cherishing your body. Write your story below.
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