True Beauty

Madison - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Entered on January 8, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

What’s so stunning in a perfect figure, gorgeous smile, killer legs, amazing hair, and flawless skin? The most beautiful thing I have ever seen is a full head of gray, cascading lines of wrinkles, a fragile body, sagging assets, dentures, and hair loss.

When I was younger I was positive old age, menopause, and retirement were as dreadful as getting the chicken pox or riding a bike without training wheels. I thought of the “senior citizens” as suffering individuals. I mean what is so great about being considered “elderly”?

Yet all of my views on this inescapable part of life were changed drastically on my grandma’s seventy fifth birthday.

She was having a party, and my fourteen year old self was convinced that I would have no enjoyment being there at all. However, I was totally mistaken. In fact, I experienced first hand lots of women running around talking about the current hotties in Hollywood and getting jiggy with it—as they called it—to the songs “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga and “So What” by Pink. In my eighteen years of living the only thing I could relate this to was an 8th grade class field trip to the zoo, simply natural yet so bizarre. The way they jumped around like monkeys and attacked each other like lions was breathtaking. They were so peaceful.

I admired their carefree attitude. I literally sat in awe for thirty minutes and admired how cheerful all these ladies were despite their crinkling skin and arthritis. I wondered why I seemed to focus so much time, energy, and effort into unimportant things such as how my hair looked at the time or if handsome Henry liked me more than just a friend. Watching these women run around practically jumping on the couches, much like my three year old cousin, made me realize the importance of letting go, pulling your hair down and putting on your dancing shoes.

I believe beauty is within the eye of the beholder. Excellent looks don’t make you beautiful, living life to the fullest does. I came to the conclusion that I spent most of my time too busy to really let go. They taught me that it doesn’t matter if I think I am beautiful, life is beautiful in itself, and life is within all of us. Behind those wrinkle lines, dentures, and gray hair there is knowledge and experience, laughter and pain, but most of all there is pure joy.

Plus, I hear that you get special benefits after you turn sixty-five. So what’s not to be excited about?