I dislike magic.
Not the magic we create in our daily lives by aligning thought with action. I LOVE that kind of magic!
No, I’m referring to smoke and mirrors. You know — a poof of smoke and someone’s head disappears type of stuff.
To my husband’s dismay, if someone’s illusions are being shown on TV, live onstage or in film — I will not be in attendance.
Because it’s not real and therefore I see no point.
I don’t care if it appears you made a building disappear. I know the building’s still there.
Why would I want to spend my time and energy on watching a lie?
Maybe I’m a cynic. Oh well.
Unfortunately illusions don’t stop at the magician’s stage. They’re all around us and when we don’t realize it we can feel real pain over it.
By now most of us know about photoshopped magazine covers and photo spreads. If not, check out this YouTube video. You’ll see that even celebrities don’t look like the photos in the magazines.
But there’s so much more.
Occasionally I watch classic television. Family Ties, Murder She Wrote, etc..
One day I realized, the people in classic television look different than today’s celebs.
Live action can’t be photoshopped — so what was it?
Of course clothing and hairstyles have changed. But it was something else.
Slowly I realized yesteryear’s celebrities looked relatively normal on TV. You know — they looked like the rest of society.
So how is it that today’s celebs (even in live action) look almost ethereal?
It Takes a Village
Soon I had my answer. (Hint: It involves a little smoke and a lot of mirrors.)
There’s a female host I watch pretty regularly who one day shared her secrets about what she does to look the way she does on air. It was a lengthy list!
- artificial nails
- hair extensions
- artificial eyelashes
- daily killer workouts
- artificial tan
- teeth bleaching
- perfect lighting
- beauty pageant makeup tricks
- and (although she didn’t mentioned it) I suspect some well-placed facial injections
In other words, if the before-she-became-famous version of her walked right past me I’d probably never know.
I quickly realized, looking the way she does takes literally hours per day. That kind of time investment isn’t a reality for me and I bet it’s not for you either.
Some celebs go even further than that, undergoing plastic surgery and replacing their teeth with veneers.
Meanwhile you and I compare ourselves with those people.
Is it any wonder we don’t measure up?
More importantly — why are we trying to be someone else’s version of beauty?
Theodore Roosevelt (wisely) once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Glow of Real Beauty
I have no plans to spend that much of my life trying to look a certain way. Although I have no issue with those who do, it’s not for me.
That said, I still like to look good. In fact, I love a brilliant makeup trick. Sometimes my body craves a killer workout. I’ve even been known to add in a few hair extensions on occasion.
But none of these things happen daily. They don’t have to because I don’t feel an obligation to conform to someone else’s idea of beauty.
Sometimes my body just wants a light workout. Some days I run errands with just a little mascara and lip gloss. You get the picture.
I know my true beauty goes way beyond how I look. Yours does too.
We are enough right now.
Why do we keep comparing ourselves to the images we see on screen?
Too much attention to the media and we can forget that beauty is deeper than eyelash fullness or nail length. Real beauty has nothing to do with those last 5 pounds.
In fact, when attention to outer beauty becomes nearly obsessive it’s often because we’ve forgotten our true, inner beauty. We start buying into the belief that we are our face and our body.
My dear, that belief is a lie — an illusion.
The funny thing is, when we redirect our focus inward to start discovering and feeding our passions — doing the things that make us happiest — we often get that gorgeous lit from within look. It’s a quality even others can recognize in us, sometimes prompting the “you’re glowing” comments. (But don’t do it for them.)
That’s the beauty I’m after. An inner joy that shines so brightly it can light up the outside as well.
That’s true beauty in my book. It’s available to all of us. No smoke and mirrors necessary.
Your turn: What passions spark your inner glow?