Would The Prince Be Just As Eager To Kiss Sleeping Good Personality?

Someday my prince will come...hey!  Get back here, bub!

Someday my prince will come…hey! Get back here, bub!

They say that beauty is only skin deep.  If so, that’s the kind of skin I want.

My mind was wandering a bit during church the other day.  Instead of putting much-needed effort into improving my spiritual life, I found myself examining the other worshipers.   As a group, We The People aren’t much to look at.   Some of us are downright dogs.

The unique gifts of youth – firm, unlined skin and the glow of health – hide our faults when we’re young. That mantle falls away as we get older and reality is revealed in the harsh light of age: chubby cheeks sag into wrinkly jowls, prominent noses become downright beaky, and a receding hairline keeps riding off into the sunset.

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but we only say that so ugly people won’t feel so bad. Babies instinctively recognize and respond to the same beautiful faces. Although there are obviously cultural and individual preferences, there are universal standards.

People once felt that beauty signaled goodness.  That attitude was reflected in movies like The Wizard of Oz.   The Good Witch was beautiful Glinda while the Wicked Witch was a homely crone.  Nowadays movie stereotypes often swing in the opposite direction, especially when a producer wants to lecture us.

Take the movie Shallow Hal.  Hal was hypnotized so he could see a person’s inner beauty. Every good, kind person was grossly obese or extremely unattractive in real life, but looked like a model to him.   One Peace Corp volunteer had such bad dandruff he could have hired on as a snow machine in Vail.  The only character who looked ugly to Hal was a nurse who everyone else saw as gorgeous.   She was so rotten she was even mean to sick kids.

The director spared no hammer to hit viewers over the head with his message:

beauty = shallow
ugly = noble

Of course neither stereotype is true. Just as Marie is a little bit country and Donny is a little bit rock ‘n roll, so most of us are a little good and a little bad. Which trait wins out doesn’t seem to have anything to do with our looks.

I got to thinking about all of this that day at church because I saw a vision.   It wasn’t a religious vision, which one might expect in that holy place.    In the midst of all the Ordinary that is the rest of us, Beauty glided down the aisle.  Lots of people are attractive and many deserve the adjectives pretty, cute, or sexy, but real Beauty with a capital “B” is rare.

The young woman’s face was a perfect oval, her complexion a clear and glowing coffee and cream touched with a blush of pink. Her lips were full and rose-red, her brown eyes large and sparkling, and her dark hair long and shining. She had the figure of a Barbie doll come to life; tall and slender, yet curvy.

I stared at her – gawked, really. I couldn’t help it. Such perfection of face and form is something you see in the movies, not everyday life.

As a society, we’re ambivalent about physical beauty. We worship at its altar, are awestruck by Beautiful People and lavish them with attention. On the other hand, we disdain those who pursue beauty as a goal, and sneer at its celebration. Witness the ridicule that many heap on those who participate in beauty pageants.

To me, physical beauty is a gift to be admired as much as a quick mind or the ability to compose music. Its possessor has a right to be proud of that gift.  It’s also a gift that most of us would love to have, if we’re being honest with ourselves.   And no matter how much we might like to think otherwise, it’s something to which we instinctively respond.

I suspect that if the Prince in the story had come upon Sleeping Good Personality instead of Sleeping Beauty, he might not have stopped to administer a wake-up kiss. That poor young woman would still be snoozing on her Posturepedic to this day.

 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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98 Responses to Would The Prince Be Just As Eager To Kiss Sleeping Good Personality?

  1. Al says:

    As one of the beautiful people, I want to thank you for telling our side of the story. Very few understand the burden of always looking flawless and suffering the jibes of jealous people. I’ll mention this blog in our next support group meeting.

    Liked by 14 people

  2. Lynn says:

    I think initially we are attracted to people in the physical sense, however I do think that when we start to get to know someone, they become more beautiful based on who they are, not how they look. I do admit I would love to be like Al, rolling out of bed with a mere fluff of the hair & go about my day, but alas, I need makeup!

    Liked by 2 people

    • pegoleg says:

      So true. The outer package is, of course, our first indication about someone, but then we get to know their gooey center.

      If I had a nickel for all the people who have said they’d like to be just like Al…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nurse Kelly says:

    Hi Peg – Loved this. Your perspective is so perfectly balanced. And the Donny & Marie reference was hilarious! Thank you for such an entertaining read as usual. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. susielindau says:

    This is true! I am an artist at heart and when I notice someone beautiful I can’t help but stare.

    I do believe there is a mysterious something, something that also attracts people. It’s usually in an engaging smile or the eyes. Even though they aren’t considered extraordinarily beautiful, they won’t spend their life on a Posturpedic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      You’re right. There’s beauty, and then there’s “it.” When the two are found together in the same person, that’s when we get superstars like Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AthenaC says:

    There’s definitely a lot of truth to this.

    Maybe because I was never very pretty (despite what my grandmother often told me), I developed an appreciation for people that goes beyond physical beauty. If you look at a person and see the fingerprint of God, then it is easy to perceive that person as truly beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. At least Ms. Nice Personality will get a good nights sleep without any interruptions. That’s what I call real “beauty sleep”.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. It’s very true – that conflict between us admiring beauty and yet sneering at those who go to great lengths to achieve it and show it off. I heard an interview on the radio with Joan Rivers, I think it was recorded just a few months before she died and she said that she would have preferred to have been beautiful than anything else she had – I guess that’s one of the reasons she did all the plastic; forever trying to achieve beauty. She said that she enjoyed being funny because people like you if you can make them laugh but she would have much rather have been pretty than funny. Kinda sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. True dat. But as you said, age is the great equalizer. Eventually we will all wrinkle, sag and bag and we’re left with only our personalities. Sigh. I’m already there and I have to admit there’s a freedom to not really caring much about how I look anymore like I did when I was in my 30s. Of course, at the same time we all wish we were prettier and therefore desired by others.

    The good thing is once you really do get to know someone’s inner soul, that beauty takes over and you will only see that when you look at them. Same thing when you find out a gorgeous person is a jerk. They start to look very unappealing overall.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is: I miss Donny and Marie. Did you know I had their dolls once? They wore matchy purple sequin outfits and held microphones. Good stuff.

    Liked by 5 people

    • pegoleg says:

      Isn’t that funny – the desire to be desired by others, even if we don’t want to DO anything with that desire – still lingers to this day. I sometimes struggle with abandoning the trappings of youth.

      Were the matching purple outfits a little bit country AND a little bit rock and roll, or just Vegas style?

      Liked by 2 people

    • List of X says:

      This probably doesn’t help that some magazine just picked Sandra Bullock who is 50 or so as the most beautiful woman in the world or the U.S.. So here we are hoping that by 50, our looks won’t matter, and then someone like Sandra Bullock comes along and ruins it for everyone.

      Like

  9. Very astute points! And remember the Twilight Zone on beauty in the eye of be beholders?! My fave episode. All I can say is let’s see how well Sleeping Beauty snoozes when she hits menopause!

    Like

  10. When I was in high school and against my will became a captain of our debate team I found myself one day depending brain against beauty unprepared. While I will choose brain over beauty any day, love and most relationships are first and foremost based on looks. People are visual creatures. There is no love at first sight but attraction at first sight. When a wo/man of your preference passes by you often say: wow! s/he’s gorgeous etc. You would not say: Wow! s/he’s good hearted, intelligent, honest etc. While beauty is only skin deep and fades over time, it can also moves mountains so to speak. On the other hand, pretty face with rotten character can quickly lose its novelty overtime. Good character is a solid foundation of any long lasting relationship. You stay with the person you can live with not the one you can stare at.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I really thought you were going to say that the beautiful woman you were staring at was Mary. Then I read again where you said it was not a religious vision. Phew. I was not sure how I felt about you describing Mary as barbie-doll figure. 🙂 This is hilarious, Peg. You are a brilliant comic! 🙂

    This is also a very thought provoking post that reminds me of a post I have in my draft file about going through life fending off unwelcome and inappropriate attention I received as a child and even now. Not trying to be vain in any way whatsoever but with beauty can come serious and problematic side effects and consequences. Maybe I’ll post it sometime!

    Like

  12. Once upon a time I did the drawing exercises in Betty Edwards fabulous book which consisted of drawing exercises for people who thought they were limited to stick figures. Much to my surprise I wound up drawing pretty well (for me). Now I come to the point. When an exercise had me draw a face by focusing on the way the line and angles fit, and the spaces around the lines, I discovered there can be a beauty in a structure that I didn’t see before. In this world it is far easier to slide through if one is moderately attractive. But in a sense beauty can be in the eye of the beholder if you adjust your way of looking.

    Like

  13. Carrie Rubin says:

    As you point out, as much as we like to think beauty doesn’t affect us, it does. It’s no mystery people prefer to watch beautiful people up on the movie screen. But you’re right, encountering that knock-your-socks-off beauty in real life is rare, probably because what we see on the screen and in the magazines isn’t real. So I imagine seeing it in your church probably was a bit mind-blowing. People probably went home and talked more about that woman than they did the sermon!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. In the real world – the prince would pull out his trusty Sharpie marker, and draw warts, glasses, maybe a goatee on Miss Awesome Personality – take lots of pictures, and post them on Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Others do judge us by our looks. True. Gravity is a bitch. True. Maybe that why eyesight is designed to fade as we get older. Something has to start working in our favor! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There is real science behind our being attracted to what we perceive as beauty, and it goes way back to picking a healthy and strong mate so our genes will carry on. That said, I’ve met some handsome people in my life who quickly appeared to be ugly to me as I got to know them. I am quite perceptive and pick up on a person’s true heart pretty quickly. Once I’ve seen a person’s heart, their physicality recedes into the background for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      There really IS science behind it. Like that most men are hard-wired to be attracted to a womanly figure – ie smaller waist and bigger hips. The bigger the hips, the better the chance she’ll be able to push a baby’s head as big as a melon out without it getting stuck, thereby continuing the gene pool.
      It’s design genius, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Elyse says:

    Damn, I’m sure glad he woke me!

    Like

  18. Yep, she’d still be snoozing with that great personality all under covers.
    No matter what people say, some beautiful girls have a hard time: people all think they are only pretty and stupid – never considered smart. Some women are so mean to others who they feel are more attractive and a “threat” or rival for dates. Some pretty girls don’t get asked out by “nice” guys who feel they aren’t in her “league”.
    Oddly, most people do have a time of being beautiful – some as infants, some toddlers, some in school or college, some as adults, some in old age. Wonder if it all depend on who’s around in the crowd at that point in time – all a relative comparison thing?
    Pass the sunblock, I’m going for ancient beauty group….haven’t given up hope of finding my time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m sure beautiful girls DO sometimes have it rough but it’s hard for me to fathom. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the mirror.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Realistically, no one gets a free pass. Everyone gets bullied by someone. Mean girls come in all shapes and sizes. (in school and adult life)
        I was appalled at the behavior of kids towards each other when my daughter was in secondary school. (and it’s worse now) Fat girls, rude crude girls or ones that were poor students didn’t get picked on, but the skinny ones, the cute, ones, the ones who make good grades, the ones from church families, the polite ones, the ones whose families won’t allow clothing that is slutty or gangster….the list goes on, you get the idea.
        RIght now a smart pretty young girl is a big target. It doesn’t matter how hard they work to get what they have, no matter how kind they are, others – especially TSA agents – target them.
        Could be the era, but also just human behavior.
        Odd, chickens do that too.

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          Isn’t that interesting. When my kids were in school I found almost the opposite. The fat kids almost always got picked on, boys or girls. So did poor students who were struggling. The poor students who were cool and didn’t give a damn, however, were the ones doing the picking.

          The bottom line was and is, if you have that indefinable thing called “cool”, you are at the top of the social pecking order.

          Like

  19. Were it not for my lack of good looks, I might not have ever developed my incredible coping skills and rapier wit.

    Like

  20. elvagreen123 says:

    I’m sorry but you called the Wicked Witch a “homely crone”, and I laughed out loud!! The poor lady was ugly, but she was my favorite character in the movie! I guess I am laughing because she really was ugly, but she played a good Wicked Witch. Thanx for the laugh.

    Like

  21. List of X says:

    In defense of fairy tales, there were also some where the prince has to kiss a frog. Granted, the frog then turns into a beautiful maiden, but there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t be a strictly inner beauty scenario.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Yeah, but it’s always the princESS who kisses the frogs, not the prince. He just has to hang around looking handsome and picking up stray damsels in distress.

      Like

  22. Bless you Peg for bringing this to the attention of so many. We the grotesque know what it is to be spurned for looking butt ugly. We’ll never know loves first kiss, but would be willing to accept loves 516th kiss, if that.. We have nightmares about that day when our prince will come. We tire of being chased by hounds (literally!). And we don’t want to buy anymore mirrors to replace the ones that cracked every time we stepped in front of them. Instead, I dream of having Barbies figure (okay, and her money). I want to sing “I feel pretty” and have it come true. I imagine never having to put on make up in order to look lovely, I want to win a beauty pageant for having exterior beauty and for being able to wave that way (how do they do it?) And I want… what? Oh wait, I’m a guy! Never mind, forget everything I just said.

    Like

  23. But beauty is such a subjective concept, even physical beauty for that matter. Caucasians are forever hungering for a tan and us Indians have for eons poured our hard-earned money into cosmetics that make us paler. Then, there are these Burmese tribes where women used to elongate their necks by constantly wearing thick brass coils because that’s what their men consider desirable! And this Chinese tradition of olden days when women would stuff their feet into these really tiny shoes so that after years and years, the foot would essentially resemble a hoof! It was called foot binding and the result was considered a sign of beauty. Eeeesh.

    What’s funnier is even our instincts are shaped by environmental factors. When we grow up on a steady diet of magazines and movie-stars, we get programmed to respond to only a certain idea of beauty.

    But there’s one man-made solution for all kinds of ugly – Beer Goggles.

    And yes, I do know a lot of useless trivia, thank you for noticing!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Not useless trivia – interesting. Obviously there are lots of cultural differences, but as far as facial beauty I think symmetry, great skin, large eyes are pretty universally admired.

      As far as the feet, I thought that was more a sign of power for a man – that he could afford to have a wife who was totally useless. Was it actually considered attractive? Yuck.

      Like

  24. Go Jules Go says:

    I am a bonafide beauty gawker. I think we should start a club. Anyone ageless need not apply.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      I think we all are, Jules. Nothing wrong with admiring someone who is beautiful.

      Hey, I thought I saw your face on a billboard for teeth implants. Are you modeling now? Eh, eh?

      Like

  25. Sandy Sue says:

    I, for one, love the power I wield as an obese, middle-aged, white woman. Completely invisible, I can see three or four movies with one purchased ticket—simply leave one theater at the Multiplex and enter the next. Even if the teenager who sold me the ticket is mopping up afterward and stares me in the face. I am invincible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      I did a post on how I was a super hero – the Amazing, Invisible Middle-aged Woman. I wasn’t looking at it quite so positively, so thanks for pointing out the upside. Maybe I’ll head to the theater this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Nina Badzin says:

    Loved this and so true about the equalizer–AGE.

    Like

  27. Pingback: Would The Prince Be Just As Eager To Kiss Sleeping Good Personality? | Skin Tickler

  28. Sketchpacker says:

    One of my mum’s good friends is a great example of beauty, I think. Actually she’s rather rotund, her skin is sun-browned and her hair doesn’t shine, but her face is the most honest thing I have ever seen. For me ‘beauty’ can align with physical attractiveness, but it is more than that. Beauty is a spark behind a person’s exterior that says a lot about their personality – if a person is beautiful inside, they will also glow externally.

    Like

  29. tubasami says:

    Reblogged this on tuba555.

    Like

  30. “She Ain’t Pretty” by the Northern Pikes… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG3ExHB133k

    As Daddy always said; Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes right to the bone!

    Like

  31. mrsspunky says:

    Hi, just saw your article. Beauty is fine and if you have a good brain to go with it , that’s even better. Those who lack in the beauty department , don’t let all those negative comments by beauty lovers get to you. You are fine and as normal as you can be. Go on with life and just enjoy living your life .

    Like

  32. Pingback: Would The Prince Be Just As Eager To Kiss Sleeping Good Personality? | the beauty disease

  33. Ria de Anda says:

    Reblogged this on the beauty disease.

    Like

  34. marymtf says:

    I agree with you about prince Charming. But why should he be the exception? It’s human nature to be attracted to and appreciate beauty, whether it’s people or objects.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      True. And our first impressions are almost always visual. I do think it’s important to look for something more for a second impression, don’t you?

      Like

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