What It Takes To Look Beautiful

What It Takes To Look Beautiful July 10, 2018

I love this so much. Besides the felicity of not having to read of the captions, and gathering in some tips to make my own life appear much cooler than it is, this click-baiting listicle illumines for me the charming nature of internet, of course, and of all human effort itself.

These little snapshots, so painstakingly crafted, so cunningly devised, project to the wide world some kind of ordinary longing for beauty. Look at me gazing through this window. Look at this nostalgic scene of old timey car and shop. Look at me floating through the water, hand outstretched, mystic desire emanating from my carefully considered expression.

But when you look at the effort closely and realistically, you see something small and paltry, an arrangement of props and lighting. A picture is snapped of the picture being crafted to show you what it really took to achieve the anxiously sought after ideal.

The longing for an ideal, a beauty, a perfection, and then going about to attain it however possible, even with devices and tricks, strikes me a little bit like the dishonest steward, so strangely commended by Jesus.

I go to such lengths, but I can’t quite get there. But I want to get there. I want to be seen, to be known in a certain kind of way, to live in an idealized beauty that will surely transform the ugly clumsiness of crouching uncomfortably before the lens.

I like this kind of clickbait because it points so easily to the cross. There all my devices and tricks and longings are undone in the ugliest and most beautiful way. All the artistic lighting that artificially conceal the darkness of my own heart is caught and shown to be what it really is—worthless, deceitful, untrue. But then, rather than just trying to take the picture from a different angle, true goodness is established. The darkness is pushed inevitably back to reveal something true and real—not my own, but the true beauty of God himself.

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