Beauty as a beast

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

She was gorgeous. The kind of woman whose walk-by would halt conversation amongst men, draw gazes at stores and solicit stares in the mall.

Long flowing hair crowned a perfectly shaped head with high cheekbones, large seductive eyes that dazzled like twin stars accompanied by an exquisitely shaped nose above inviting lips. All this attached to a cascading neck above a slender, exact proportioned body that moved with such a natural gait it was said she glided rather than walked.

Upright and confident, her countenance proved intimidating to the less secure through no effort save her presence. Her entrance intensified the atmosphere of a room as quickly as her exit diminished it.

A subtle “air” seemed to hang about her being, casting its beams and broadcasting her existence. Women were envious. Men desirous. Her personality in fact was defined by a distance, an elusiveness that made her that much more worthy of pursuit, that much more of a challenge, rather like catching the wind, a wind that all others wanted and if you could but catch it, you would win the prize and the admiration of your peers. She played the game well, standing just outside their grasp while mocking their desire.

All this bought her great fulfillment even while young. Any man was hers but she would take none completely. Doors opened of which others only dreamed and she playfully walked in and out of them as if life would never cease. At that age when looks define one’s existence and beauty carries the day, she excelled. None compared to her of which she was well aware.

But her world changed. New rules arose. It was a different arena whereby the winners were awarded according to different criteria, on standards relegating beauty far down the list.

For this world honored those who had hammered out those qualities only formed by hardship, by those who had weathered difficulties, persevered through pain and exposure to inadequacies. This world demanded the forming of character through the path of suffering and ingrained those traits for which beauty alone could never substitute.

So, in one sense, she felt she had been robbed. The horse that had carried her so well and far, high atop the saddle, was now lame and crippled, destined for the pasture. The bank in which she had invested had squandered its assets, the creditors awaiting. Her chosen path that had promised a glorious mansion at its end was but a squatter’s cottage devoid of furniture.

And that which was worshipped became a curse.