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  • Writer's pictureDev Friedlander


What is beauty? Is it physical, spiritual, or metaphysical? I’m not about to answer that question, it’s as personal as asking someone about how their day was. But I have noticed a trend that is promising. The word beauty is broadening in its meaning, beyond just glossy hair and high cheek bones. Still, I feel it can travel further.

When I was writing a wedding scene for one of my stories, I went on YouTube to do some research and watched about a dozen wedding videos. I noticed a commonality that linked all the brides together. It wasn’t their pretty dresses or stunning flower arrangements. Nor was it the sparkling wine glasses and china table settings. It was the bride; she was always beautiful.

How can everyone be beautiful though, surely some of the brides did not fit the typical mold of what society thinks beauty is. I thought about why I felt they were each beautiful anyway. Each bride wore a different dress with their hair in a different style and they were all beautiful in my opinion. I think I know the reason. How can someone be ugly when they radiate love and happiness?

I’ll hold for your groans at the cliché I just spouted. Yes, I would have groaned too if I hadn’t seen the evidence firsthand. I used to believe that makeup and pretty clothing was the only way to be beautiful; and it’s a form of beauty to be sure. I’d like to broaden the definition, not replace it. Telling someone they shouldn’t try to look their best is as silly as telling someone to change their style for fashion’s sake. I’m not here to crusade against physical beauty, rather to champion the less noticed form, the internal.

I have a friend who calls people gorgeous. If you met the people she was referring to you may raise a brow. I know what she is saying though. She is talking about their personality, their inside, their soul. It’s a phrase I’ve adopted too since I love it so much. My kids have asked me why I use the phrase about people are not typically deemed “pretty.” I tell them I’m not referring to their appearance and the meaning becomes clear.

I tell my children every day they are beautiful. But I also try to point out the beauty in nature, words and acts of kindness. Not everyone was born physically pretty. Not everyone has an hour glass figure or white teeth or defined biceps. But they are gorgeous, when they choose to act in a beautiful way.

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