Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anne Lamott on Beauty

"This culture's pursuit of beauty is a crazy, sick, losing game, for women, men, teenagers, and with the need to increase advertising revenues, now for pre-adolescents, too. We're starting to see more and more anorexic eight- and nine-year-olds. It's a game we cannot win. Every time we agree to play another round, and step out onto the court to try again, we've already lost. The only way to win is to stay off the court. No matter how much of our time is spent in pursuit of physical beauty, even to great success, the Mirror on the Wall will always say, "Snow White lives," and this is in fact a lie - Snow White is a fairy tale. Lies cannot nourish or protect you. Only freedom from fear, freedom from lies, can make us beautiful, and keep us safe. There is a line I try to live by, spoken at the end of each Vedanta service: "And may the free make others free.""

"I have a friend who has a big pancake face and feathery brown hair, with patches of scalp showing. She has peasanty potato features, and she's too tall, and totally inelegant. But she loves her life. She's chosen a life of prayer, service, and travel. She's always in a sort of infuriating state of wonder, of appreciating what is, instead of fretting about what she wishes she was. But she's great-looking - everyone thinks so - because of the expressions on her face and the way she looks at you.
She is radiant with spirituality and humor; she was dealt the same basic cards we all were, but somehow she could see that the cards were marked, so she put them down and refused to play. You can't win with marked cards. Refusing to play has left her with hands free to do what really matters to her, what her heart longs to do in thie life. Doing these things has made her beautiful."
-Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually) - Thoughts on Faith

Thanks Anne.

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