Beauty

By | April 21, 2016

So back in 3rd grade, Philip Reed was in my class. Oh my goodness, his smoky grey eyes, John Travolta dimple chin (we’re talking ‘80s here), curly hair, button nose. A few months later, James Kolb walks in and I was blown away by his half Korean half Caucasian features and his spiky hair! I started looking in the mirror and wondering why I wasn’t so beautiful. I would spend minutes in front of the mirror moving my eyes this way or that, pulling my nose here and there, sucking in my lips, etc. trying to see how I could make myself look beautiful. The more I distorted my face, the more I realized—it wasn’t happening. Beauty and me, we didn’t go together. How unfair is that!?

I started asking myself and God, “Why are some people so beautiful? What makes this happen? ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’” yadda yadda yadda, but isn’t it obvious that generally we all agree that Ryan Phillippe is beautiful and so is Angelina Jolie? What makes them so special? We all have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, etc. But why does it work so well on some and not so well on others!? Thus began the journey of a young woman’s search for beauty.

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When I was in 5th grade, I told my bestie SungHee that I wanted to get some plastic surgery done so that I could finally be beautiful. To my dismay, she told me that back in Korea, lots of people had surgery and unfortunately, if you’re ugly, even after surgery, you’re still ugly—only the ones who are good looking got better looking. Full of self-pity, I decided that if this got any worse, who knew how grotesque I would be?! So, I had to keep what God gave me.

In high school, I learned that babies and people are more attracted to symmetrical faces. The more symmetrical your eyes are, the more easy you are to look at?! Oh boy…. Seriously?? So there really was no hope? That’s why plastic surgery can’t help?? I’m doomed…

I also started to notice that people were just generally nice to good-looking people. It dawned on me the day I took my little sister to the makeup counter at Nordstrom. After helping her find her perfect powder, the beautician gave her a lipstick! Just gave it to her!!!! Like that!! After we left the store, I blurted out “Is this what happens to good looking people? I’ve never gotten free anything unless it’s the little envelopes of sample face cream!!!” She laughed and said that wasn’t true, but I knew. I knew that good-looking people just got better treatment. All the time. Just because they were better looking. So I started kind of resenting good-looking people. They don’t know what real life is. They don’t get treated like normal. That’s why they can be so happy all the darn time!

On a side note, although beauty was something I thought of, I didn’t actually do anything to help make myself look beautiful on a regular basis. I just thought about it. I have always been too lazy to take the time to put on make up and do my hair. Ponytail, eyeliner and mascara is about as far as I go. Maybe a little eye shadow when I’m having lunch with my husband. I actually even tattooed my eyeliner in order to save time with getting ready for the day! Probably not putting on sunscreen in the Southern California sun for years didn’t help either. Oops! Anyway….

One day I read an article on Facebook about 7 things good-looking people do. I don’t remember all 7, but the first one stood out. It said that good-looking people smile more often. I kind of smiled to test the theory and then felt goofy so I went back to my neutral look. Most of the time I’m concentrating and just don’t want to look goofy so I don’t smile, but you know what? That little sister of mine? She does smile a lot. Hmmmm… that’s something to think about.

Well, one weekend I was at a conference learning about how to run a church scout program. It seemed like everyone had an idea generally about how to run the program, even though it was supposed to be for new leaders. It seemed like everyone had been a part of the scout program when they were younger, so they had some idea of what it was supposed to be like. I, on the other hand, had zero clue. So I kept raising my hand and asking questions and it was beginning to be obvious that I was asking “stupid” questions. I was getting frustrated. The speaker was getting frustrated. I was starting to feel like I was wasting my whole weekend being there. And then I had the thought that I always have when I think people aren’t being very nice to me. “I bet you if I was beautiful like my little sister, they’d be answering my questions and happily with a smile too!” As I sat moping and irritated, the Facebook article popped into my head.

Hmmmmmm…. Let’s see if this is true… So sheepishly, I started smiling at the presenter. He started kind of looking at me more during the presentation. I felt really silly with this stupid grin on my face, but I kept saying to myself, “People feel comfortable when you smile at them. Just keep smiling.” With gritted teeth, I pressed on—smiling away. By the end of the evening when I asked my last question, the speaker not only answered my questions with a smile, but he and his wife actually came over to help me look through my binder and understand it! Wow!!! It works! A smile!!!? Did a smile just make me beautiful????

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Did I just trick these people into treating me like a beautiful person!!?? That’s it! I’m smiling ALL the time!!!!!!

And would you believe it? People are just nicer to me now! Ha!!! And my face isn’t even symmetrical!!!

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