Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Growing up in church, attending Bible clubs and camps and colleges, being "Missionette of the Year", memorizing verses for cash in my dad's Sunday School class (very effective with teenagers, by the way) and doing daily devotions for decades have all combined to make me pretty "knowledgeable" about God and Jesus for my age. So sometimes, my brain goes beyond the basic, "Why did Jesus spit in the dirt and rub it in the dude's eyes? That's so unhygenic, Lord" questions.
And this is what my brain has come up with. Do you think Jesus was a physically attractive man?
Option one: he was a hottie (hopefully this is not sacrilegious to write). That would sort of make sense; most charismatic leaders with huge followings are. Good-looking = likeable. But then again, this was thousands of years ago before Botox and having an Arnold Schwartzenegger physique for the cameras mattered. Would people have flocked to Jesus if He had been ugly? I'm thinking the miracles would be enough to pique my curiosity if I was a first-century housewife in desperate need of supernatural help. Yet, He was a carpenter -- his muscles had to be pretty decent. And Jesus was.....PERFECT. In every way, right? Does that mean He had a perfect body and face, too?
Option two: He was ugly. Somehow, I don't think is it, but I'm not sure why. I just can't imagine that God would see fit to make His son a physical turn-off to the sinful children He was trying to save. Or did God care at all? Maybe Jesus was ugly to once and for all prove that "man looks at the outward appearance, but THE LORD looks at the heart." Obviously, if Jesus was ugly, it didn't really hurt His popularity.
Option three: Jesus was average-looking. This one kind of makes sense to me. Maybe his normal, in-the-middle looks made people feel a kinship with him, like they could identify with this carpenter's son because He looked like them. Maybe Jesus had to be average so people could listen to His message instead of getting distracted or infatuated with His appearance. I know a lot of dumb scholars think Jesus was gay or He had a torrid affair with Mary Magdalene, so I'm sure they'd love to think He was nothing but a pretty boy in robes, but we all know how ridiculous Ph.D.'s are when it comes to common sense stuff. (Millions of dollars in studies to prove that men are more visually stimulated than women, anyone?).
So tell me what you think. Jesus probably didn't look exactly like the painting above, but whenever I try to picture Him in His everyday life, I draw a blank, and not just because I'm terrible at art.
Was Jesus handsome, mediocre or ugly? I wanna know!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Recently, I was watching my favorite late-night show. Featured that night was a young tabloid staple -- a girl who lives for any amount of fame she can get. She and the host discussed her recent TEN plastic surgeries she'd had in ONE day. As the before and after photos flashed onscreen, I couldn't help but notice....she didn't look any different. Except those monstrous life preservers (or life suckers, take your pick) attached to her chest.
"I really wanted to get bigger boobs than these," she told the host, "but it was not legal. I guess any more cc's of saline might have killed me. But I still plan on getting them bigger in the future." (I was impressed with her use of not 1, not 2, but 5 two-syllable words!).
"Does it hurt?" the host asked.
Her blonde locks bobbing in agreement, she purred, "Oh, it's excruciating. But you know, they say beauty is pain!"
I couldn't get her words out of my head as I got into bed. How sad that this young woman, already slim, attractive and well-0ff, feels she has to change herself into an impossible ideal.
Because honestly? She is FAR from the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. It doesn't matter what this girl changes herself into; I've known woman who can simultaneously make men's heads turn and God's heart melt with love and pride with their selfless actions.
Beauty is not pain. Beauty is freedom. Beauty is dreams turned into action. Beauty is...
The love between a man and a woman who have waited for each other.
A life growing inside of you
A slumbering baby
The Pacific Northwest
Being part of a community
God's creation -- a reminder of his love through nature
Living in a free country
Beauty is The Cross
What is your beautiful?
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Attended Beethoven's Fireworks Symphon at the Hult Center with Nick, Jonathan and Hannah. Not one mention of Elmo or Veggie Tales for 4 hours, and I got to wear a slinky black dress. Score a million big points for Nick.
Painted my front door red. I adore red doors, and "Red Flambe" fits me well.
Given a juice box (orange tangerine, if you must know) to a bum on Lancaster. He called me "young lady." I also received my first birthday card with a joke about my age and how I wasn't a "young lady" anymore. Minus a million big points for Nick.
Played one of the funniest board games in the world with the people I love best. If you haven't played it, get it -- your abs will look better in your swimsuit for it!
I think a pretty good way to turn one year older, eh? Tell me your best perceived way to spend a birthday!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
(Who actually reads this blog?)
Anyways, I am a sucker for Zumba. I love to move, dance, sweat, swing my hips, burn calories and have fun. Luckily, all words and phrases associated with Zumba!
My usual instructor of Zumba is perky, skiiiiiinny, moves like she was born in a dance studio and never tires. She's easy to love and hate simultaneously for her perfect body and dance moves. I constantly compare myself to her (not on purpose, I swear it just happens), and sometimes I feel like I'll NEVER be as sexy as her not matter how hard I try. She's so dang cute! She's so perky! She's so perfect! She could be a pro on Dancing with the Stars!
Cue the guest instructor.
A few weeks ago, Shannon invited another instructor (actually I have no idea who she is; maybe she wasn't an instructor at all) to come lead a song with her. This girl was probably 5 years older and at least 50 pounds heavier than me. She had beautiful skin and hair and as she waltzed to the stage, I couldn't help but notice a certain effortlessness in the way she moved.
Shannon and this other girl started dancing side by side. While Shannon hit every move textbook-perfect, right on beat, with no flaws noticeable, Other Dancer wasn't quite as "perfect." She was doing everything correctly; it just didn't look like Shannon did it.
Yet there was something in the way she moved. I couldn't stop watching her.
My whole life I've based a huge part of my self-esteem on how thin my waist is, how low I can get my weight on a scale. Yes, I've read a million magazine articles about how true beauty comes from confidence inside, how men are attracted to women who already know they're beautiful.
In my head, I know I'm thin, but I'm never satisfied. This past year, I've really learned how obsessed with body image I am. Sorry to admit it, but the first thing I check out when I meet people is their body. Are they fit? Do they exercise? And then I make a snap judgment. God and I are working on this, trust me.
But this girl. There she was on the stage, pleasingly plump and moving like she was made to dance. Because she was! I can't explain it, but there was a womanliness, a sexiness that said "I don't care how thin this girl next to me is, my man at home loves me and my curves and I've got something to share with the world through my dancing." Now remember, she was not fat at all -- just more than the average perky perfect dance instructor.
She was so dang beautiful when she moved -- something I never thought possible for someone weighing that much more than me (I've always considered my weight on the fringe. Anything above me at my height needs to diet, anyone below me = skinny and beautiful. See how messed up my thinking was/is?)
So my lesson from Zumba for the year: physical fitness is super-important, yes, but physical beauty actually starts from within. Duh. Just because you are thin doesn't make you beautiful, and just because you weigh more than a model doesn't make you unattractive.
Thanks, Dancer Girl.