Are You One Of The Beautiful People...?

People born in northern climates have bigger eyes and brains than those around the equator. Doesn’t mean they’re more beautiful or smart; it’s simply evolution compensating for the lower light levels when living closer to the poles. Still, it does raise that aching ancient question: Am I beautiful…?

According to the dermatologists surveyed, no one seems to really like their face. All those nagging if-only’s. If only a little less bone here…if only a little more lift there…well, you know the drill.

The next time you gaze into your mirror, consider this. What defines a beautiful woman and a handsome man is a moving target. Throughout history the rules of the hunt have changed. Fat in prehistoric women was prized, because it meant she had greater child-bearing capacities. During the high Renaissance, a soft layer of thigh and belly fat was the ideal painters sought in their subjects. Today, by our changed standards, even my Marilyn Monroe would be considered chunky. As for men, brawny and hairy traditionally meant meat on the table that night. Today, neither brawn nor hair is featured in the New York Times Sunday fashion pages.

Whenever I wondered about my rather commanding Roman nose, Mom would always say: “It fits your face.” As I think back, I think Mom was exactly right. I mean she got it right all those years pitching fruits and vegetables. Why not noses? Why not eyes and cheek bones and chins as well?

Yes, yes, it’s all too cliche to repeat the old standbys beauty-is-only-skin-deep and beauty-is-in-the-eye- of-the-beholder. But here’s something beautiful about most cliches. They wouldn’t still be around hundreds of years later if there weren’t something enduringly credible about them.

Think of it this way. Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney may be beautiful to look at. But when they turn 70, they won’t look so good. Now you and me — well, we don’t have that fear, cuz we’re already there!

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