*Thanks to my friend Tim for posting this quote on Facebook.*
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” Kahlil Gibran
Yup, that’s a picture of me. My friend, photographer Mark Kelly, has been doing a portrait marathon over the past week. Actually they’re not really portraits, but anti-portraits. Instead of the typical (boring) smiling shots, Mark wanted to try doing pictures of people with a negative look, like anger, disdain, doubt, and suspicion. In the picture above, I’m trying to look neutral, after doing the other, (for me) more difficult poses. Like this one…
Kinda scary, huh?! My Darling Husband Blake was a little disturbed when he saw this picture of me. Not only don’t I usually look doubtful and suspicious, but because of the lighting, you can see every line on my face. Now, I’ll admit, it’s uncomfortable seeing this and especially sharing it with you and the rest of the world, but I want to illustrate a point.
As we get older, our outward appearance is going to change, but the light within our hearts and the contents of our character are going to grow and glow. Hollywood may try to convince us that in order to be beautiful, we have to have smooth skin and perfect hair, but the truth is real beauty reflects the presence of the a life fully lived.
I had a neighbor one time that had the most perfect skin you’ve ever seen. It was creamy, blemish free and as white as snow. A single, childless night nurse, she never went outside and didn’t have many people to worry about, besides the patients at work. Although she was a nice enough lady, she didn’t really have much in her life besides her work. She had perfect skin, but the price she paid for it was a really boring life.
Laugh lines, blemishes and crow’s feet are just the natural by-products of living. We’re not meant to live our lives holding onto our youth. That would be like a rosebud never blossoming or a caterpillar never turning into a butterfly. We become more beautiful when we live laughing, engaging and encouraging joy whenever we can.
So, if these pictures of me look disturbing, I’m sorry, but I’ve lived a real, fully engaged life. I’ve stayed up late, gotten drunk and sunburned, eaten sugar, smoked and laughed my ass off. I’ve really enjoyed my life and to be completely honest, I would do it all over again!
So what do you think, my friendly blog reader?
Do these pictures bother you?
What do you think makes a person really beautiful?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!