So after hearing about it from several friends I finally watched True Beauty and now feel the need to step up onto my soapbox.
For those that haven’t heard of the show or don’t know what it’s about, check out this link:
Basically, it’s a contest to see who is beautiful on the inside and out. Contestants are weeded out not only by typical challenges, but also by secret tests. Given the opportunity will they steal? Will they stop to help someone when they think no one is looking? Can they keep a secret? How much do they bag on the other competitors?
I love it. Beauty is not something on the outside. The more I watch, the uglier many of the people on this show become. Much like real life. Someone may be knockout, drop dead, breathtakingly gorgeous, but if they aren’t a nice person that beauty fades pretty quickly as you get to know them. And conversely, someone who doesn’t strike you as pretty right away can become amazingly beautiful as you get to see who they really are if they are a sincerely good person. Then there are the gorgeous people you want to hate, but can’t because when you get to know them you realize they have it all…..brains, beauty, kindness. As much as I want to dislike you and begrudge you for your perfect body, face, hair, style, and grace I can’t…you are just too nice! And, I have to add that the handful of people I’ve met like that are truly humble and oblivious to their good looks.
The entire time I watch this show, I hear my Grandmother’s voice. I grew up hearing pearls of wisdom from her and my parents such as “Beauty is only skin deep” and “Pretty is as pretty does”. These lessons were taught on a daily basis along with table manners and phone etiquette. I remember getting dressed up for various occasions and hearing, “You look so pretty, but remember pretty is as pretty does!”
Personally, I don’t view myself as being physically attractive. That is not an attempt to get compliments, either. In the mirror, I see someone who is short with an oddly shaped body, too flat of a chest (even when breastfeeding!), an awkward smile, Toucan Sam nose, way too large of a forehead and funny knees. It may sound like I dwell on it, but I really don’t. I prefer to focus on being a nice person. I want to be remembered like people remember my Grandmother. Someone with class. Someone who goes out of their way to help others.
More importantly, I want my daughters to be genuinely beautiful people. Although I think both of my girls are gorgeous, I’m more concerned about them being nice. I want people in the community to say, “Wow, those girls have such great manners and are so sweet!”. I inwardly cringe when people compliment them on their looks. I’d rather they comment on their personalities and odd quirks that make them special. I want them to be that rare person that is gorgeous inside and out and totally unaware of how special they are.
Which brings us back to the show. I really hope that parents are watching this with their kids. More than that, I hope parents are discussing this show with their kids. Telling them that even when they think no one is watching, they still need to make the right decisions. Someone is always watching be it God, Buddha, Allah, or your next employer. Use this show to teach them that although pounds of makeup and hair products may help them glitter on the outside, it is what is on the inside that makes a person shine.
Take the show and ask your children what they would do in those scenarios. Granted it’s easy to come up with the right answer when shown the wrong answer, but explain why it was wrong of Liz to steal the dress even if she won the contest because of it. Talk about how letting someone you don’t know get behind the wheel drunk does affect them. It may not hurt you, but that person might crash headfirst into someone you know and love. If your boss tells you to keep something under your hat, your job very well could hinge on your ability to not leak that info. Use not only this show, but current events and things happening around you to talk about good and not so good ways to handle situations. You never know when they will look back and use that conversation to make the right decision.
Make the most of this and all opportunities to teach some life lessons to your kids…..and I’ll now step down from my soapbox!