Joyful Noise: Beauty is Real

(c) 2016 || www.studiomathewes.com

(c) 2016 || www.studiomathewes.com

Our culture has forgotten that Beauty is not a singular, outward thing. What is beautiful is not all appearance or something in the material world. It is also not a pursuit or an achievement. I cannot seek to become more truly beautiful than I already am (pureveyors of cosmetic surgery will tell you otherwise).

You see, I’m not talking about the other beauty–the one we are told is real in order to sell, shame, manipulate. That beauty is not Real. It’s about external factors, about performing and behaving in a particular expected way. It is often celebrated because it is attention-grabbing.

Beauty is the fruit of something–of long hours, of many hands, of mysterious forces, of a unique convergeance. It’s also something inherent that lies dormant and must be cultivated. True beauty is being or authentic selves in Christ.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

— Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

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