At The Curator, Heather Walker Peterson writes about looking about art and thinking about beauty with her daughter:
I won’t tell my daughter that what matters is the beauty on the inside. Yes, if we desire the way the world will be, then goodness is the the internal beauty of a person becoming like Christ. A Christian tween would be forced to assent, rankled. Inner beauty is important. But the social reality would be crushing her insides.
Outside beauty, that which affects our senses, matters. It can get you hired or not hired. Keep you from the nastiest corner of the coop in the high school pecking order. It is people’s first impression. We are pelleted with images of youthful beauty. My daughter will be aware, perhaps soon, that I will have started dyeing my hair. How do I not if I want to gain a voice in a culture where a TV show is cancelled because its viewers are considered too old?
And yet when we grasp our applications of beauty obsessively, “to bring heaven to earth,” a twisted mess occurs, from aging celebrities with stiff mannequin faces to utopian communities shattered by abuse.