Beauty is only skin deep…or is it?

Earlier posts and tweets have introduced the reality that when culture encounters physics, physics wins. It stands to reason that when a cultural fad encounters a physical reality, that tangible reality wins, whether or not it is in step with whatever politically-motivated whim of the moment is breaking across the bow of our ship of state.

One flavor of multi-cultural advocates (MCA, a topic I took up on New Years Day 2011) goes by the odd, (but well-accepted in the mainstream media) title of feminist. Etymologically, it should mean of the feminine, of the female yet that’s not what our me-me-me-obsessed culture has warped it to represent. Freedom of choice is not the freedom to shout fire in a crowded theatre, or any number of other social wrongs. Freedom is always the freedom to choose the good.

The Truth is Inside Out

One is beautiful on the outside only if that beauty arises from the inside. In spite of what the fashion industry spends billions to promote, outward beauty reflecting inward beauty has been the accepted wisdom for over 500 years. The fact that many people lie about the truth never changes the truth does it, Virginia?

The smug omphaloskeptics over at Ms. magazine are up in (pampered bobo couture) arms about a young girl who works to achieve what she wants. Rather than embrace her efforts, they conjure up yet another moral melodrama to obscure the very real fact that their carefully crafted MCA worldview myth would collapse if forced to compete in the marketplace of ideas.

If chocolate falls into the wrong hands…

As do all chocolate lovers, I value the spectrum of ideas…and ideas, unlike chocolate, tend to melt less when examined in the heat of the noonday sun. Through these memorial reflections of 9/11, we need to burn away the dross and dreck that has accumulated around the American ideal and see the devastation of the past (attacks) and present (Labor Day wildfires) as the seeds of new growth in the creative destruction that brings forth the better from the former best.

People who need moral melodramas to justify their existence have an alarming correlation with those who accept junk science at face value and who fail to apply the discipline it takes to master concepts that can, in careless, unskilled or lazy hands, produce “dangerous and ridiculous results” such as Mickey does when he attempts to shirk his water-bearing task.

Trauma Produces Clarity

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow and with the Bastrop Labor Day Wildfires, one might think dear reader, that a discussion of beauty was out of place. Not so. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What we’re facing more and more is MCA mandating we must view the world through their eyes. In my post discussing the Lautsi et al. v. Italy case in next week’s blog, I’ll bring good news about freeing families to rejoin the public square.

A series of discussions with Shennadoah Diaz have centered around the internal conflict that so many MCA have about the effects, impacts and responsibilities of beauty in our current culture. I’m drastically summarizing, so if this doesn’t sound like the Shennadoah you know, I’m sure you’re right.

  • Allure: what most people, both men and women confuse for beauty
  • Measurements: the least important metric of a woman’s worth, yet the most presented and emphasized by the multiple billions in currencies tossed about by the entertainment and fashion cartel. (Yes, I know that technically it’s not a cartel).
  • True Beauty is a glimpse of the Divine that inspires our lifelong commitment to serve the family of man by becoming the best version of ourselves.

In the workshop True Beauty, we cover how beauty is powerful not by design; rather the power of true beauty arises as a result of blending diligently cultivated or naturally gifted skills, elegance, grace, poise, humility and intellect.

Who is truly beautiful?

Obviously, each of us has our own criteria, I’ll close this post with four of my picks: French, Indian, American and Kiwi, all of whom are really global citizens, although they come from four points of the globe.

  

Christine Lagarde

As a successful businesswoman, she understands setting a standard
“takes courage” and as the head of the IMF she’s going to demonstrate that daily in reforming an organization with 187 member countries.

She also dives in and does the work:

Lagarde did a great deal of the work herself. “She took the time to read the legal codes and legislative text, which most ministers would just not do,” recalls Christophe Bonnard, one of her senior policy aides. The proposals, especially on labor law, bore the clear mark of her experience as a corporate lawyer: “I understood where [businesses] were coming from better than [regulators] who had never been close to them,” she says. Forbes 12 Sep 2011, p.82

  

Mother Teresa

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu 26 August 1910, Uskup, Ottoman Empire (now Skopje, Macedonia), she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

The Mother Teresa Center has a great collection celebrating the centenary of her birth.

  

Mary Erdoes

Erdoes long ago gave up on the idea of achieving a work/life balance and opted for what she calls “work/life integration.” She sometimes heads to her children’s school for afternoon pickup and then returns to the office. “There is no substitute for hard work,” says Erdoes. “There is a little luck along the way, but there is no substitute for really ­superhard work, first in, last out.”

Erdoes can take offense at the idea of special treatment for women. During this year’s World Economic Forum she spoke of her disappointment with the conference’s new gender quota system at lunch with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Erdoes then hopped on CNBC with Jamie Dimon by her side and said, “Unfortunately now when people come to Davos, they may look at some of these women and wonder, ‘Are you here because you are a female or are you here because of your accomplishments?’” Forbes 12 Sep 2011, p. 90

  

Nancy Wake

Nancy Wake The most highly decorated woman in World War II, Captain Wake passed away in London 7 Aug 2011, aged 98 with a wartime record that inspired a movie and more importantly, saved hundreds of lives. [Image courtesy of Australian War Memorial via Charm of the Carolines.]

Her femininity was never in doubt. It helped her escape capture, not just because she could on occasion flirt her way out of trouble, but also because her Gestapo pursuers assumed any woman as skilful in evading them must be a butch matron…Yet she conformed to no stereotype, swearing in the vernacular in the coarsest of terms, living for months in the woods and fighting, in the words of a confrère, not like a man but “like five men”.

Her fearlessness seemed to come from a total lack of self-doubt. The Economist, 13 Aug 2011, p. 82

These four women are truly beautiful because they have transcended such labels as gender-this or degree-that and have marked out their vocations by adding value, building relationships and loving life richly.

As always,

Carpe Diem!

Matt

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A walk in the forest…

Systems Thinking teaches us how to scale our perspective to study the forest or the trees, while Systems Engineering tells us what to do with the data we find.

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