Two “Beautiful” Stories today . . .

Jenna’s Story

My auburn-haired granddaughter Jenna is very cute, and people frequently tell her how pretty she is. From an early age (here at 3 1/2), she has loved to primp and preen.

2009_Jenna dressed up as princess

Even before she turned two, she would wake up, put on a gaudy plastic tiara and blue Lucite high-heels and toddle around her bedroom, every inch a princess. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with play-acting. But since then, in our Nana/Grand-daughter talks, I have reminded her that there are two kinds of beauty, the inside and outside kind. One lasts. The other one fades. Last year for her 9th birthday, her Grandpa and I collaborated on a gift to help her remember the meaning of inner beauty as she blossoms into a young woman.

It looked like this:


 Here is the verse close-up:

03Proverbs_for Jenna_01gr_4x6

We have talked about the meaning of those solemn and ancient words from the King James Version: favor, deceitful, vain — and have discussed what the verse written centuries ago might be saying to a young girl like her today. She knows for sure that there is nothing wrong with being attractive, but looks are not the most important thing in her life.

to be continued . . .

Wanda’s Story

I don’t know Wanda’s last name, but I know what she looked like before/after her appearance on the TV show “What Not to Wear.” Hosts of the show, Clint Kelly and Stacy London, help Wanda, a family therapist from San Diego, transform from boring beige to beautiful blue. In the course of the metamorphosis, the 47-year-old career woman, reveals that she grew up in a Mennonite culture and thought of beauty as something “to be frowned upon,” something even “dangerous” to use her description.

Here is Wanda’s frumpy before and stylish “after” look:


You can see her “before” pict and hear a snippet of her story on this short YouTube

For Wanda, no more “monochromatic modesty or khaki catastrophe.” She exclaims at the end of the show: “Now I can walk into the future with my inside and outside more coherent.” In the grand finale, a band of friends and relatives gather around the stage to applaud the transformed Wanda who glitters in stylish heels and a purple “date” dress.

As the banner on my welcome page shows (Mennonite prayer veiling paired with a pair of sassy red heels), I can certainly relate to Wanda’s viewpoint. You can read about it in a former post. My own metamorphosis from plain to fancy did not happen nearly as quickly as hers, but over the years I have tried to focus on the qualities that reflect inner beauty just as I try to model them for my grand-daughter Jenna.

What about you? Maybe you are not 40-something anymore. You might be 50, 60 or beyond. Still there’s beauty at any age. That’s certainly what I think.

Do you (as Wanda now thinks) believe your inside and outside appearance should match?

How do you define Beauty?

Coming next: Moments of Discovery: Mother’s Quilts