EXPLORING AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP from the INSIDE OUT

by on February 13th, 2011
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What are the practical results of the modern cult of beauty? The exercises and the message, the heal motors and the skin foods-to what have they led? Are women more beautiful than they were? Do they get something for the enormous expenditure of energy, time and money demanded of them by the beauty-cult? There are queries which are difficult to answer. For the facts seem to contradict. The campaign for more physical beauty seems to be both a tremendous success and a lamentable failure. It depends how you look at the results.

It is a success so far, as more women retain their youthful appearance to age than in the past. “Old ladies” are already becoming rare, in a few years. We may well believe, they will be extinct white hair and wrinkles; a bent back and hollow cheeks, will come regarded as medieval archaic trends. The portrait of the artist’s mother will come to be almost indistinguishable, at future picture shows, from the portrait of the artist’s daughter. This desirable consummation will be due in part to skin foods and injections of paraffin-wax, facial surgery, mud baths and paint, in part to improved health due, in turn, to a more beauty of health. In so far, as the campaign for more beauty is also a campaign for more health, it is desirable and up to a point, genuinely successful. Beauty that is merely the artificial shadow of these symptoms of health is intrinsically of poorer quality than genuine article, still is sufficiently good imitation to be sometimes mistakable for the real thing. The apparatus for mimicking the symptom us person, the knowledge of the way in which real health can be achieved is growing and will in time, do doubt, be universally acted upon. When that happy moment comes, will every woman be as beautiful, at nay rate, as the natural shape of her feature with or without surgical and chemical aid, permits?

The answer is emphatically no. For real beauty is as much an affair of the inner as of the outer self. The beauty of a porcelain jar is a matter of shape of color, of surface texture. The jar may be empty or tenanted by spiders; full of honey of stinking shine-it makes no difference to its beauty or ugliness. But a woman is alive, and her beauty is therefore not skin deep. The surface of the human vessel is affected by the nature of its spiritual contents. I have seen women who, by the standards of a connoisseur of porcelain, were ravishingly lovely. Their shape, their color, their surface texture were perfect. And yet, there were not beautiful. For the lovely vase was either empty or filled with some corruption. And conversely ,there is an interior light that can transfigure forms that the pure aesthetic would regard as imperfect or down right ugly.


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