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We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?

The James River, changeable but always beautiful.

The James River, changeable but always beautiful.

It’s easy to agree on the beauty in nature, in its perfection, in its divine design. Even though (I believe) each of us is created by God, we are not equal in all respects. While we may all have the same parts, it’s amazing how the arrangement and size of these can make a big difference in physical beauty. Even among good-looking people, it is surprising how one man or woman will appeal to some, and not to others. I’ve commented to my husband on how beautiful I think an actress or TV personality is, and he’ll disagree — not sure why, but men do perceive beauty differently than women. My daughters and I also can disagree on someone’s beauty. Women can be great critics of another female’s appearance!

To be truthful, there are people I know who aren’t very attractive at all, but once you know them, seeing them does make them appealing because you know what’s inside. You like them and you like to SEE them. I know I’ve said to some people, “Wow, your face really lights up when you smile,” when I mean: “You really ought to smile more because it makes you look prettier.” I think most people have an attributes that makes them attractive, if not beautiful. I’ve seen handsome guys with girls and my evil mind says, “Surely he could do better!” I can think of one couple I know like that — and the more I know her, the more I like her and thus, she is more attractive to me.

It’s true that physical beauty is only skin deep. Some people are just plain beautiful and I wonder why they got it all, and being pleasant looking is the best I can do! Some things aren’t fair, but we are all endowed with qualities that make us special and give us the potential to be beautiful. Certainly how someone treats others, what he or she says, his or her reaction to adversity, makes them “ugly” or attractive.

That reminds me of an expression my grandmother used to use when I was being unpleasant, sassy, a brat: she’d say don’t be “ugly” with me. That’s so true. Unkindness and hatefulness don’t make the prettiest person in the world attractive.

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. The better you know someone — someone nice, kind, intelligent, witty — the more beautiful they become.

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