Image by Dawn Okoro
It would be amazing to be beautiful. Not just pretty, or "put-together" but truly, really, beautiful. To have long graceful limbs and smooth perfect skin and large arresting eyes. Being beautiful would mean waking up each morning in a beautiful body. A body that feels young and strong. It would mean having beautiful hands and fingers, beautiful feet and beautiful slender ankles. Each day, while putting on shoes, it would mean seeing those ankles, those legs: legs that would fit in to pretty little pants. Legs that would look good in raggedy clothes. (A truly beautiful person can look good in anything.)
Being beautiful would mean seeing a beautiful face while brushing one's teeth, or catching a beautiful reflection in the train window on the way to work.
And even when beauty grows old, it's clear enough, that there was once young beauty (and now there there's older beauty.) It's not like being one of the many people who were never beautiful, not in youth or in old age.
People say that beauty is only skin deep. Any child who's told this old canard can see it isn't really true. Everything in life is more rewarding if one is beautiful while doing it and beautiful while experiencing it.
It's a shame that everyone can't be beautiful. One day the 4 train stopped at 59th street and a gaggle of models, both men and women got on. They were in a group on their way to some event. They were all much more beautiful that anyone else on the train, but even in the group of models, even there, was one women who was more beautiful than all them. Where one was a bit too tall ora bit too short... she was balanced. But, mostly it was her face that made her stand out. (All of the models seemed to have the same body-type anyway.) Her face was like a mask since the overwhelming symmetry, the balance, the deep even texture of the skin, made it impossible to really see her. All that could be seen was her blinding beauty.
A young women who struggled to make it as a model once said "Being beautiful makes me feel invisible sometimes. No one knows the real me." I think it is hard to feel sorry for her, even if she is right. To see someone who is beautiful is to see a world that is inaccessible and endlessly tantalizing. So, every person is lost in either greed or envy.
The other models on the train were lost in envy of the one girl who was the most beautiful of them all. They were thinking, it seemed: It would be amazing to be beautiful. Not just pretty, or "put-together" but truly, really, beautiful.