Prince Derek: You're all I ever wanted. You're beautiful!
Odette: Thank you. But what else?
Prince Derek: What else?
Odette: Is beauty all that matters to you?
Queen Uberta: Derek, what else?
Prince Derek: [stammers; to Odette] What else is there?
I often find myself in Odette's shoes here, trying to find the right words to ask just exactly what it is I am appreciated for. Sometimes being told that I am beautiful, pretty, etc. is a wonderful compliment. And yet, often, it makes me feel appreciated for all the wrong reasons. As much as I enjoy feeling beautiful and confident, the things I want my future husband to love me for are far more serious- my intelligence, work ethic, dedication to morals, sense of humor, desire to do what's right, and sense of commitment and love.
Today my friend posted a link to an article, and it reminded me how important it is that we send the right messages to girls, lest they fall into the trap of Prince Derek, believing that beauty is all that matters.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in this world is getting caught up in superficial things. Our bodies are magnificent tools, to be taken care of and valued, not exploited or overly-emphasized. It is part of my quest to learn to focus on the most important aspects of ourselves and our character, and to help future generations do the same. It doesn't just go for girls- this goes for all of us.
Derek asks, "What else is there?" and I want to give him an answer. I want to speak eloquently and clearly, defending the right of people everywhere to be more than their physical appearance. To all the Derek's of the world, I would answer:
"What else is there? Intelligence and dedication, character and integrity, kindness and love. There is health, happiness, and a desire to always do what's right. Most importantly, there is ethics and morals, and all of the choices we make daily that define who we are. Beauty just barely scratches the surface."