Tuesday, April 27, 2004 9:12 PM

Beauty is... My dear friend Snowflake sent me this link to Pantone's Birthday Color site. Here's what it gives for my birthday's color (August 15): You are magnetic and others find you attractive. I find that to be both right and misleading. I have never thought of myself as attractive; never thought I was hideous, either, just average. I think I have good days when I might actually use the word "pretty" to describe myself, but then I've seen photos of a day when I felt particularly spectacular and was incredibly disappointed at how goofy I looked in reality. Which brings me to my point.... I think that any attributes of beauty or attractiveness that anyone sees in me come from the me that's inside. I think I am on the plain side, and anyone who thinks I'm otherwise has seen the real me shining through and that's what's lent the sparkle. I've often found that confidence and a happy spirit do more to make me attractive than whiter and straighter teeth or shiny hair could ever do. (My husband disagrees and thinks I'm beautiful to begin with, but you know what? He's supposed to think that. I'm not going to convince him otherwise.) So thinking further along these lines... I know how much self-esteem has to do with beauty, and how much a lack thereof can make a physically beautiful person unattractive. When I was growing up, in my preteen years, I was told over and over again by my peers how ugly I was, what a loser, and of course I believed it no matter what my parents said to me. What I became was a very late bloomer, which wound up working just fine for me, but the seeds of that 12-year-old taunting still run deep. I'm so determined to give my kids a strong sense of their own self-worth, to encourage them to let their true selves sparkle and shine and to believe in themselves no matter what anyone else says to them. I tell them every day how special they are and how much I love them, and I'll just have to hope that a daily dose of that will help innoculate them against the cruel things other kids say. So, how much of beauty is skin deep? And how much comes from the light inside you? ps ~ the Pantone page also says, "Your sensitive nature can work best in a creative field such as performing or decorative arts." So they're not all wrong.

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