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Deep Beauty

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I loved reading a recent post on The Beauty Paradox by Stephanie, a Mormon blogger. She addresses the fallacy that a woman’s beauty is tied solely to her physical or sensual appeal.

When I tried to find a picture to go here, I found all the wrong things. All the skin-deep, UNDEEP beauty that the world is so obsessed with.

So I used this picture instead. This my only daughter and her new baby boy — her first. Turns out, it’s the perfect picture, because Rebecca is a great example of deep beauty.

She never felt obligated to follow the world’s recipe for beauty. She spends very little time or money on clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry, or an endless collections of accessories. Part of that might be because, like me, she hates to shop, but it’s much more than that. Rebecca knows that while the world would define her merely in terms of her outward appearance, that’s not who she is.

Okay, so she’s a very pretty girl. But to those who know her well, that’s not what makes her beautiful. Rebecca is beautiful because:

she cares about people
she goes out of her way to help them and make them feel good about themselves
she’s almost always happy
she’s content
she stays close to the Spirit
she loves being a mom
 

And speaking of being a mom, Rebecca quit her job before her son was born so she could stay home in a tiny apartment while her husband finishes school and works part time.  By any common definition, it’s not a beautiful apartment. Their bathroom contains the remnants of four kinds of faded wallpaper, and is so small you can hardly turn around in it. There are 3 different colors of carpet — forest green, turquoise, and mauve. The windows are thin and screenless, and most of them don’t open. There’s a floor-to-ceiling heater right in the middle of their living area that is so loud you have to raise your voice when it comes on. They affectionately call the heater Bruce. Their furniture is a combination of garage sale specials and hand-me-downs. They don’t have a lot of stuff that most people consider necessities, like cable TV, a dishwasher, a second car, or a washer and dryer.

But to Rebecca, the apartment is beautiful, because that’s where her family is. She bathes the baby in that old bathroom. She lays him on the worn denim love seat to dress him. She rocks him to sleep in the room with the mauve carpet. She reads and sings to him, and does it a little louder whenever Bruce comes on. She’s not distracted by television or Facebook or shopping or comparing or keeping up with anybody.

She’s just content spending all the time there is in the day with her baby. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.

Shawna

4 Comments

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  1. John

    Great post — Becca stands for all that is great in the youth of today. She is definitely her mother.

  2. Jimmer

    Beautifully written. Becca is my hero. Thanks for being her example.

  3. Emily T

    Thanks for the reminder of what’s important and what’s not. Mothers need that every once in a while.

  4. Kim

    I found your message on the Mormon Women website. I hope the word spreads and that many women can find your inspiring words. The world has worked so hard to define beauty (and that definition is in a constant state of flux) that many women have gotten so wrapped up into morphing themselves into what they think others want to see.

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  1. "Deep Beauty" by Shawna Edwards | Mormon Women - About LDS Life and Belief - [...] Deep Beauty I loved reading a recent post on The Beauty Paradox by Stephanie, a Mormon blogger. She addresses …

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