Beauty of a Woman Blogfest!

I’m a science geek at heart, so when August McLaughlin announced her Beauty of a Woman blogfest tour and invited us to participate, I had to get right down to the nitty gritty and start with the question: What exactly is the purpose of beauty?

The answer, as far as mother nature is concerned, is to attract a mate and propagate a species. There are evolutionary advantages to colorful feathers, bright petals, the right hip to waist to breast ratio.

But beyond that, I think we humans have evolved to appreciate beauty beyond just a way to choose a mate. I believe appreciating beauty is also a spiritual evolutionary advantage, a way to connect to the world around us. For example: I love my dogs, but I’ve never seen them stare at a sunset in awe. They have no need to grow flowers or hang paintings just to surround themselves with beautiful things. The sun sometimes glints off the lake in back of our house like a million diamonds and I am enraptured. My dogs only care if there’s a duck.

What do lakes and ducks have to do with the beauty of a woman? I believe this ability to appreciate beauty outside ourselves also allows us to appreciate beauty at a deeper level within each other.

When we learn to appreciate the beauty in our surroundings we learn to appreciate true beauty in a soul. The beauty of a woman has nothing to do with the size of her waist, what matters is the size of her heart. The most beautiful women I know of today are the ones who spill over with compassion and joy.

Women who treat every being they come across with empathy and dignity, who are at peace with themselves and passionate about peace.

(Aung San Suu Kyi)

Women who have a smile for all, whose eyes sparkle with loving kindness as bright as my back yard lake.

 (Karen Maezen Miller)

It has been argued that beauty and truth are one in the same. These women are the truth of beauty and the beauty in truth.

And the really fabulous news for us women, this kind of beauty doesn’t fade with age. If we feed it, it flowers, grows wings, spreads glittering seeds of light and sets the whole world aglow.

Beauty is not embodied in movie stars. It’s in every woman when we become stars, burning beyond our corporal bodies with the kind of love that is unique to each of us yet the same in all of us. Eternal love. Eternal light. Eternal beauty.

I’ll leave you with the words from the timeless words of Before the Throne of Beauty XXVI by Khalil Gibran:

“Beauty is that which attracts your soul, and that which loves to give and not to receive. When you meet Beauty, you feel that the hands deep within your inner self are stretched forth to bring her into the domain of your heart.”

* Visit August’s blog on Friday Feb. 10th to read all the contributions to this topic. Also there are prizes up for grabs! Including a Kindle!

  1. #1 by Kecia Adams on February 9, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    Hi Shannon! I really love that image of hands deep within bringing Beauty to your soul. Lovely and inspiring post. Thank you.

    • #2 by Shannon Esposito on February 9, 2012 - 11:40 pm

      Me too, Kecia! Just love his poetry.

  2. #3 by Coleen Patrick on February 9, 2012 - 7:18 pm

    I agree! Sparkly, beautiful souls never age!
    Great post Shannon :)

    • #4 by Shannon Esposito on February 9, 2012 - 11:41 pm

      Thanks, Coleen :-)

  3. #5 by Marcy Kennedy on February 9, 2012 - 9:46 pm

    True beauty certainly does grow with age. Both my grandmothers are in their 80s. They’re hunched and wrinkled and also two of the most beautiful women I know. My maternal grandmother would give you her last bite of food if you needed it and she has a smile for everyone. My paternal grandmother is patient and gentle and can always find something good to say no matter how difficult the situation.

    • #6 by Shannon Esposito on February 9, 2012 - 11:42 pm

      You’re so lucky to still have your grandmothers, Marcy, and they sound like amazing women.

  4. #7 by August McLaughlin on February 9, 2012 - 11:28 pm

    This line really struck me: “Beauty is not embodied in movie stars. It’s in every woman when we become stars, burning beyond our corporal bodies with the kind of love that is unique to each of us yet the same in all of us.” WOW. That needs to be on those famous author quotable sites. ;)

    Beauty certainly does crystalize as we age. And the more beautiful we are on the inside, the less we care about society’s ideals and whether or not we match up. Thanks, Shannon!

    • #8 by Shannon Esposito on February 9, 2012 - 11:45 pm

      LOL, well, maybe if I become a famous author one day it will be. A girl can dream, right?

      Thanks for bringing such an important topic to light for us all to chew on, August! I hope you know you already glow :-)

  5. #9 by Alicia Street on February 9, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    This is such a wonderful post, Shannon! I love that Gibran quote and your poetic metaphor about the stars we become. Mmm.

    • #10 by Shannon Esposito on February 9, 2012 - 11:43 pm

      Reading Gibran always makes me poetic. Thanks for stopping by, Alicia!

  6. #11 by Serena Dracis, Author on February 10, 2012 - 4:42 am

    You’ve captured it perfectly, Shannon, ‘a spiritual evolutionary advantage.’ I’ve never heard it put that way, but it absolutely makes sense.

  7. #12 by Diane Capri (@DianeCapri) on February 10, 2012 - 4:46 am

    Khali Gibran gets lost in the day to day living. Thanks for remindingg me that beauty is here to be appreciated.

  8. #13 by Louise Behiel on February 10, 2012 - 6:09 am

    BEautiful post, Shannon – I think you gave all of us and certainly me much food for thought. thank you so much

  9. #14 by prudencemacleod on February 10, 2012 - 3:29 pm

    Wonderful post, Shannon. I love your definition of a woman’s beauty.

  10. #15 by Debra Kristi on February 10, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    Lovely post Shannon! I love how you point out that part of beauty is being about to appreciate beauty in others. You put a lot ot thought into this post. I can really appreciate that. You are a beautiful woman.

  11. #16 by gingercalem on February 10, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    Truly beautifully written. I love it, especially …

    “… this kind of beauty doesn’t fade with age. If we feed it, it flowers, grows wings, spreads glittering seeds of light and sets the whole world aglow.”

    GORGEOUS!

  12. #17 by Patricia on February 10, 2012 - 6:44 pm

    This is a deeply moving post, Shannon. Appreciating the beauty in every-day things is truly a unique characteristic of being beautiful yourself. While physical beauty is appealing, inner strength and confidence will far outshine the physical features.

    This has been such a motivating day of beauty blog posts! Thank you for sharing your insights! You are beautiful!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  13. #18 by Pat O'Dea Rosen on February 10, 2012 - 8:14 pm

    Thanks for this post and the links, Shannon. ( Love Karen Maezen Miller’s blog.) Thanks, especially for this: “The most beautiful women I know of today are the ones who spill over with compassion and joy.” So true.

  14. #19 by susielindau on February 10, 2012 - 9:29 pm

    I love the line where you say it is not the size of her waist but the size of her heart!
    Beautiful post!

  15. #20 by Kristine on February 10, 2012 - 10:14 pm

    Thanks for this post, Shannon. I enjoy waxing poetic as well, so I appreciated the Gibran quote as well as your own inspirations, like women becoming stars. This whole post is a sort of supernova of beauty-exploration. :)

  16. #21 by Ingrid Schaffenburg on February 11, 2012 - 1:16 am

    Stunning post! “Burning beyond our corporal bodies with the kind of love that is unique to each of us yet the same in all of us.” My jaw just dropped. And this post took my breath away. Thank you.

  17. #22 by Lena Corazon on February 11, 2012 - 2:56 am

    Those words from Khalil Gibran are an absolutely perfect addition to an exquisitely written post. Wonderful job, Shannon!

  18. #23 by Nisha on February 11, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    “I believe this ability to appreciate beauty outside ourselves also allows us to appreciate beauty at a deeper level within each other.”
    That’s my favourite line! I love your scientific approach to the concept of beauty and agree with your view that it’s come to mean more to us than just the duty of finding a mate. Great post!
    :)

  19. #24 by Sharon K Owen on February 12, 2012 - 12:52 am

    I loved your comments about beauty. I think we become beautiful as we reflect our own responses to beauty. The more we appreciate beauty and goodness and truth, the more we absorb those qualities and project them on our faces.

    Thanks for reminiding me of that.

  20. #25 by jbw0123 on February 16, 2012 - 6:25 am

    So glad to see Aung San Suu Kyi. Doesn’t she project beauty? Thank you.

  21. #26 by Karen McFarland on February 16, 2012 - 11:59 pm

    What an awesome post Shannon! You’re writing is superb! And the content is amazing!

    I’m speechless. Truly.

    I so wanted to come and read your post. I didn’t want to miss it even though I did miss the blogfest because of a family reunion. And I’m so glad I did.

    I hope you keep this post in a safe place. Don’t ever lose it because it’s special Shannon.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what is means to you to be a beautiful woman. And you are! :)

  22. #27 by Shannon Esposito on February 17, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    Wow, thank you to everyone who responded with such warmth here. You are all beautiful! Yes, YOU!

  23. #28 by Karen McFarland on March 14, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    Shannon, thank you so much for coming to see me today! It meant a lot girl!

    It was good to see you. I was wondering what happened to you. Is everything okay? We’ve been missing you. Have you been busy with writing or is it just life? I know how that is. But you are such a good writer and we miss your blogs. Is there anything that I can do? Please let me know! :)

  24. #29 by lynnkelleyauthor on May 14, 2012 - 11:45 pm

    Hi Shannon! I’m finally making my way to the Beauty of a Woman posts that I missed back in February. My life’s been uber crazy for the past six months. I’m so glad I finally got to read this post. This is one of the best in August’s blog fest. You must write poetry, too, right? Your writing is beautiful. It flows. It’s calming, peaceful, and sprinkled with humor!

    I especially love this line, “When we learn to appreciate the beauty in our surroundings we learn to appreciate true beauty in a soul.” Excellent post, Shannon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: