Friday, April 11, 2014

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Some months back Gweneth Paltrow was the cover photo on People magazine, billed as "the most beautiful woman in the world." Of course she is a lovely lady and a wonderful actress, but the most plausible reason she was on the cover was because her publicist had some kind of privileged pull with the Editor-in-Chief.

Standards of beauty do operate within universal golden rules. Large, widespread eyes are considered the most attractive for females in almost every culture on this earth; African, Asian, Caucasion. Beady-eyed gals, eat your heart out.

Apart from a few other measurements that seem to have a their basis in carnal assessments (slim waist, rounded backside), very few talk about the "glow" that a loving, peaceful person emits. And in reality, that radiance is the most beautiful thing to behold.

Once I was on a cross-country flight, assigned to a window seat. Boarding after me, a tall woman with a very wide face, a long crooked nose and small blue eyes took her place in the middle seat next to me. Although she was smartly dressed in an elegant tweed suit, my first reaction, besides noticing her style, was how incredibly homely she appeared. Not even average; her countenance was downright odd.

But as we conversed something happened. She showed me the tattoo on her left arm, indelibly inked by a Nazi concentration camp guard. She told me of having her two year old son torn from her arms and her soccer star husband worked to death in the camps. She alluded to certain things she had to do to survive but never actually told me what they were.

Waiting for me on the other side of the country was my little two year boy, who was being watched by his grandparents while I was away. I cried the entire way across the United States as this woman told me of her survival and resurrection. Her victory over death.

As we disembarked, she waved goodbye to me. As she turned to leave, I was suddenly overwhelmed by her beauty. It seemed that she was the most regal, noble person walking amidst the masses, her face a luminous orb of divinity.

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