“Will you still love me,
when I’m no longer
young and beautiful?”
~Lana Del Rey
(I’m not touching what the “beauty standard” does to males in this one)
A dear one of mine wrote yesterday about the fear of “losing beauty” that plagues women in regards to moving from maiden to adult woman (we’re not all mothers, y’all) to crone in a saccharine society that praises young looks and rejects the rest of a woman’s life as spent and useless once the wrinkles start to come.
FUCK THAT SHIT.
I was an “ugly duckling” until I was 17, and then seemingly overnight I became “beautiful.”
suddenly, males started to pay attention to me.
Someone brought me flowers at work and asked me on a date. Never happened before. They started to talk to me everywhere I went. Hold doors open for me. Give me discounts at stores. Flirt with me. Harass me.
It took me a while to grok what was going on.
I stepped into what I came to refer to as “beauty privilege.”
It was not altogether beneficial.
I was not cooked enough to hold with any kind of grace, wisdom, or skill the sudden influx of power and influence that afforded me.
Or it’s dangers.
It figured prominently in the central trauma of my adult life.
To be considered desirable by a predatory world is not an innocent blessing.
Then when I was 35 I experienced a debilitating collapse of my health. I didn’t sleep for 2 and a half years. The degree of stress that brought into my life utterly transformed ”my looks.”
Where my face had been smooth with youthful chi and carved by dynamic athleticism, I suddenly developed dark hollows, small pouches, and a huge lattice of wrinkles around my eyes. My skin got pallid. Exhaustion and angst dominated my features.
As fast as it had come, that youthful "beauty" that had caused the world to sit up and notice me - frequently to my detriment and endangerment, but still I counted on it for so much - was suddenly irrevocably transformed by the rigors of my journey.
I was no longer “young and beautiful.”
Oh, how I cried.
How I thought no one would ever see me again, love me again, want me again. I thought I was ugly now. I thought I was done.
What. The. FUCK.
What has been done to the precious and crucial understanding of true beauty that it has been reduced so entirely to the physical and aligned so detrimentally to the sexually provocative, impoverishing us so completely from our true inheritance in regards to this vast and profound power?
The modern societal standard of “beauty“ that has 14 year-old girls who look like spaced-out drug addicts decked out in $10,000 dresses hung from their emaciated shoulders on magazine covers is a form of predatory psychosis and dissociation from nature and truth.
THAT‘S NOT BEAUTY.
That’s fetishization of the young.
That’s fear of the wisdom, depth, accountability, and challenge brought forth by the aged, and a straight forward fear of death.
Beauty is not about how things look.
Beauty is a spiritual frequency.
Beauty is one of the old powers.
True beauty enlivens and sanctifies that which it flows through. It reaches through all the layers of disconnect and distraction to touch the soul and enervate the depths of our beings with wonder, awe, and awakening.
When true beauty is present, things are aesthetically appealing, but it’s because of the energy flowing through them, not because of the edifice.
In the course of my life the redemptive, transformative, and healing magic of the spiritual power of beauty has lifted me out of the deepest hells and exalted me into rapture more times than I can remember, especially the beauty of nature.
How the light of dawn makes the petals of the flowers it touches luminous and radiant with a soul-stirring vibrancy that brings me into complete alignment with the mystery itself and my place in it:
When I gasp and swoon over the contours of my beloveds face it’s not because of the arrangement of the features, it’s because of the radiance of soul that shines through them:
When a well-crafted poem renders me speechless and engenders a feeling of being understood and belonging to the world, that’s beauty.
To be aesthetically pleasing to a soulless society is one thing (and not one to aspire to), to be beauty is a function of the mystery.
And that function of the mystery is one of the most important rememberances we can endeavor into in our lives.
So, my beloved, let us reclaim the word beauty and our understanding of beauty from the lords of profit and the machine that seeks to turn us all into consumers chasing the one thing that is sure to leave us: the physical and biological blushes of youth.
Let’s remember that to age is an opportunity to ripen into wisdom and power if we choose that for ourselves, and that there is no greater gift to give to a world in crisis.
We are more and greater than all of the reductionist and materialistic nonsense that we are conditioned to align to in the banal and neurotic stupidity of modern society.
Let's remember that, embrace it, and course correct towards that.
When the wrinkles come, honor each one as the track of a great bird whose wings have spread over your life and whose feet have written their medicine into your skin for all to see.
When your hair starts going grey have a ceremony. Better still, have a party.
Make the world meet you there.
It could change everything for the better.
All the love....
(Photo credit and subject unknown)