The Question of Beauty
When I was a little girl, I realized early on that I did not fit into the Western standard of beauty. I was an immigrant from the Philippines and definitely not the blonde blue-eye girl, the girl next door or the glamorous siren that so many admire. I remember, when I was in grade school I wanted to be a blonde like one of my classmates. Of course some things have changed over the years but I still know that I am not a stunning beauty. Is beauty really important? What is the definition of beauty?
Women who have been hailed as beauties include: Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, and Jennifer Aniston. They are all quite different in their beauty. As for me, the way to become beautiful is to enhance the way I look physically through the magic of make-up, clothing, and hair. Or go through cosmetic surgery which I choose NOT to do. Instead, I need to dig deeper and go beyond artifice.
Over the years, I collected great sayings, poems and quotes which inspire me. The touching poem, Time Tested Beauty Tips crosses all levels of beauty and certainly timesless. It is attributed one of the most famous actresses and iconic fashion legends, Audrey Hepburn. We remember her glamor, her fabulous style, her distinctive beauty which she established in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and My Fair Lady. When she left to play less glamorous roles, she won more professional recognition. In The Nun's Story, she played a nurse who was also a nun for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. In Wait Until Dark , she played a blind woman defending herself from a man trying to kill her. For this film she won an Academy Award. Ms. Hepburn claimed she wasn't a great actress yet she is one of the few people who has won the Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy and a Tony Award.
In her later years she appeared in fewer films and devoted much of her life to help children through UNICEF. Her war-time struggles inspired her passion for humanitarian work. She worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Asia, South America and Africa. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Audrey Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses and fashion icons of the twentieth century. Her humanitarian work revealed the beauty of her heart and spirit. She is a perfect example of the common belief that people are beautiful inside and outside.
Although the poem, Time Tested Beauty Tips is attributed to Audrey Hepburn, it was actually written by Sam Levenson, a Jewish immigrant known as an American humorist, writer, television host and journalist. He wrote this beautiful poem for his grandchild and Audrey Hepburn read it to her children. This poem is so deep and sensitive that it is easier to imagine a glamorous actress and humanitarian like Audrey Hepburn as the author instead of a short and somewhat portly Jewish humorist like Sam Levenson. When your read it loudly or in a whisper, it has a prayer-like quality. Many may be familiar with this poem. I have chosen this poem to define beauty.
Time Tested Beauty Tips“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw out anybody.
Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!”
Thank you Sam Levenson for having the insight and sensitivity to write this poem and to Audrey Hepburn to give it world -wide recognition.
Finally, is beauty important and does it matter? For better or worse, beauty matters. How important, is a test of our values and ethics. Hopefully, the more we live and embrace the diversity of our world, the more generous and kind our definition becomes.