When one compares oneself to Michelangelo, one is bound to feel more than slightly ridiculous. But I understand what he said when he said, of his sculptures, that the angel was trapped in the marble, and he merely set it free.
That’s what it is to pursue physical beauty – it is first to see the angel trapped within, and then to free it.
Some bits of freeing are easier than others! Another quote that comes to mind is Heinlein, in Stranger in a Strange Land, where he said that no woman really ever ages past 18 in her heart, and that the ravages of years piled on broke all of our hearts. (Again, speaking of sculpture – Rodin this time).
When I look at myself in the mirror, I can look past some (not all) of the marble and see who is inside. When I look at a photo, I am confronted with the marble – extra weight, the drag lines it puts on me, the skin-fading that has come with age, poor posture, tan lines, etc. – and that marble breaks my heart.
But what I want to reveal is not merely the thinner, younger me… it is my heart. The me of my heart is thinner – because she’s more active, and more feminine – but she’s no super model. Her clothes flow with her and she is laughing or smiling, and her beauty definitely comes from the inside. It always disappoints me when I see the woman in the pictures, because she doesn’t look like “me” at all!!
I can achieve some of that without chipping away the marble of extra weight. There is some marble (of years passing by) that I will never be able to remove, and I have to accept that, and work with it. That’s okay, “me” can age gracefully – I don’t mind getting older. Less beautiful I mind. Ugly I really mind. Fat, yes I mind, though fat I am.
It goes so slowly, and the battle is so hard… but it’s worth it in the end.
Remember – your walk to beauty is a walk to showing the world the angel trapped in YOUR marble – whether that marble be colors that make you look ill, clothing that doesn’t fit, lines that don’t flatter, or extra pounds. It’s all about revealing who is inside, and that’s why when we do get there, we shouldn’t feel sad about taking it to the next level and *really* showing who we are, and being different than the rest of the crowd, having our own style, and embracing it.
Let us reveal what God has made us to be.