Skin Deep?

I saw something yesterday that set me to thinking. It was something I really did not ask to see. Well, let’s put it this way: it was something I would rather not have seen. It was something that having seen it, I still do not understand. I was in the dressing room of our local health club when I saw it. What “it” was- was thong underwear. The wearer was a woman of perhaps 45. The scene was not pretty. I mean, if she had had a mirror at home that could have shown her a back view, it is clear to me that she would not have worn them in the privacy of her home let alone to the health club. And what is the point of them? They have got to be uncomfortable. A cleavage is one thing… if you are the type who has one and wants to use it for some sort of advantage. After all, one can see a cleavage from a distance. It might be what attracts a man to a woman and ultimately what enables him to learn what a fascinating, educated person she is. But thong underwear??? The only person who is likely to see it is one who’s already pretty committed to the process and by then it really shouldn’t matter.

And then I started to think of all of the dumb things that women do to make themselves “attractive.” They style and color their hair, they buy expensive clothing, they get tummy tucks and facelifts and breast augmentation. They put on makeup and perfume. They learn how to be “beautiful” by reading magazines like “Glamour,” “In Style,” “Shape,” “Vanity Fair,” and “Allure.”

And then they complain that men only want one thing! That no one appreciates them for their brain!

Well, people, I have a proposal. Let’s start over again. Let’s revalue women in a different way. Let’s talk about real human values. How about kindness? compassion? caring? creativity? How about understanding? concern, selflessness, optimism? Why shouldn’t women develop their ability to understand, to teach, to experiment, to invent? How come we don’t emphasize that our daughters learn to nurture, support, encourage, and achieve? And… why can’t we teach these things to our sons?

Why aren’t there magazines that tout the values that are the least susceptible to the ravages of time and accidents of nature, those that reflect the essence of the human being? Can a disabled person act in a beautiful manner? Can an old person have charisma? Can a terminally ill person give the gift of kindness?

In the realm of real values, worth is timeless and non-contingent. In a place where there is humanity to be shared, those with character can share it. In a place where comfort is needed, it can come from old and young, wise and slow. Beauty, then is much much more than skin deep. Beauty is taking our Divinely given soul and developing it in ways that will help others and improve the world

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  1. frank spigel says

    Let me suggest another important lesson and that is supportiveness.

    Allow me to give examples: Several years ago a classmate of mine who I had taken class with at my synagogue celebrated her son’s Bar Mitzvah. I told her I planned to attend the service. She was delighted but was sorry she couldn’t invite all her classmates to dinner. My response to her was I am here to be supportive and I am not concerned about a party.

    Also a couple of weeks ago some friends were invited to another friend’s son’s Bar Mitzvah. They didn’t attend but her best friend’s in-laws drove from New Jersey to celebrate with her in Washington. The other friends lived nearby.

    Also for men, reading GQ, to me, is absurd.

    One of the best ways for any person to prove inner beauty in my opinion is be supportive of our friends
    and neighbors.

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