Monday, January 12, 2009

Ordinary Beauty

“Real women have curves.”

“Thin women get all the guys.”

“Gentlemen prefer blondes.”

“Tall women are stately and elegant.”

“A girl shouldn’t be taller than the guy she is in a relationship with.”

The world tells us that if you are not beautiful, you are worthless. It tells one girl to lose weight or she’ll never find a man to love her. It tells another that because she lacks the typical ‘womanly’ figure, that she isn’t a ‘real woman.’ Blondes are ditzy, but they still get the guys – or so says the world.

The world plays with our insecurities and tells us, taunts us that we’ll never be beautiful unless we fix ourselves. Actresses and celebrities on the television, on the covers of magazines at the grocery store, on the internet are held up as examples of feminine ideal: curvaceous, slender and perfect…and airbrushed.

How can an ordinary girl ever measure up?

We are convinced of our ugliness, certain the world sees the flaws that we see. We want to be beautiful, but we just…aren’t.

In the world, there is such a palette, such an array of different people. Tall people. Short people. Women who are slender, women who have curves. Brown hair, black hair, blonde hair, red hair. Skin with different pigments. Girls with freckles, girls with curls. Women with dimples, women with small ankles. Women with thick ankles and no dimples.

There is no one look that defines beauty – God created each and every one of us to be different. To look different. Does that mean that I, with freckles and big feet, am ugly in comparison to my sister with an olive complexion and elfin ears?

In a word, no.

No. No. No.

God created us to grow up into godly women. We may never feel entirely comfortable with how we look. We may never feel like Cinderella at the ball. But…we are, each and every one of us, beautiful.

We are beautiful because we are different. We are beautiful because we are not all the same.

There is a fairy tale by M.M. Kaye that I have loved since I first discovered it on the corner shelf at our library, tucked behind newer, more popular paperback novels. The Ordinary Princess. In this story, Amethyst, the heroine, is born the seventh princess in a royal family. Her older sisters are the ideal of princess beauty: tall, slender, regal, blonde and beautiful. Amethyst is a beautiful baby, and so it is that on her christening, all the fairies bestow wonderful gifts on her: wisdom, grace, charm, wit…

And then a forgotten fairy shows up, with a special gift of her own. “You will be ordinary,” she tells the beautiful princess.

With that one gift, the princess turns from blonde, blue eyed and rosy complexioned, to a very ordinary baby who grows up to be a very ordinary-looking princess: gawky, with mouse-colored hair and freckles. Just plain out ordinary. At the same time, her other gifts stuck around: wisdom, grace, charm, wit and all the rest. Yet, in spite of these, not a prince in the land wants to marry her.

Amy doesn’t mind, however. She is comfortable with herself and doesn’t mind being ordinary. She lives her life, not caring that every prince in the land, upon meeting her, remembers an appointment he needs to attend far away from her. She climbs trees, reads books and lives.

I don’t want to give away any more of the story, but let’s just say it ends quite happily.

Most of us don’t fit into the ideal of the fairy tale princess. But…that’s okay.

We’re not Sleeping Beauty or Rose Red or Snow White.

We're Ordinary Princesses. We don’t stand out. We have our flaws. We…are…ordinary.

In the story, Amy is said to be ordinary and her sisters are said to be beautiful. But from the very moment I first discovered this story up until this very day, I have always thought Amy to be beautiful. She is – but not in a glamorous, princess-like way.

She is beautiful because she is ordinary.

It’s true. She’s not like the other princesses. She is unique and that – that is beautiful.

Ordinary princesses, don’t listen to the world that tells you a certain body shape or look or color is ideal. God has created us to be different, to be unique and to be beautiful according to His ideal. Crooked teeth, straight teeth, blue eyes or brown…whatever.

Yes, YOU are beautiful. Ordinary princesses are beautiful.


Sunshine January 12, 2009 at 9:57 AM  

That is very encouraging! Thank you!

Mimi January 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM  

Thanks Krista. A very encouraging post! I read that book when I was little and could not remember the name for the life of me.

Pam H. January 13, 2009 at 5:50 PM  

The older I get, the more the men about my age seem to prefer women who are just themselves, not made over into the same thing as everyone else.

I wonder why they don't get to that point sooner?

Elizabeth January 15, 2009 at 4:03 AM  

This is so encouraging and lovely - thank you, Krista! :) *Hug!*

godsprincess15 January 16, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

Wow! This couldn't have come at a better time for me, Krista! :) And not only for me, I've had two friends lately who've been struggling with viewing themselves as beautiful. Thanks for writing this Krista, and great job! :D

Victoria January 16, 2009 at 11:26 PM  

Aw, this makes me smile my own flawed smile. :D

Asiat Averas February 22, 2009 at 10:57 PM  

thanks. sometimes it hurts to be yourself, but you're encouraging us to be those ordinary princesses. I needed to hear that.

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