We’ve all asked that question at least once in our lives if not more than once a day! I, myself, have had delusions of grandeur only to be told (at a very tender age – I must say) “you are NO beauty queen!”
Well! Shock and crocodile tears behind me, my quest for beauty has become a career!
There is an inner beauty that we all possess, but in a society so focused on outward appearances, we often find ourselves subconsciously sizing up another person’s exterior and – more often than not – making an unfair and sometimes incorrect assessment of that individual.
My immediate thoughts are of a lovely young lady I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for only a very short time, but have come to love and respect for her innate ability to see the good in a rather lousy situation and proceed with a cheerful demeanor.
Morgan is one of a core group of wheelchair dancers with the American Dancewheels Foundation. I saw her last year when their group came to our studio to perform. I do not recall her saying anything! As a matter of fact, she had no expression at all! How odd! She must not have wanted to be there! I didn’t dwell on it much since I didn’t think our paths would ever cross again. Silly me! Late last year ADF became a part of our studio and I officially met Morgan and the rest of the dancers. They are a wonderful group of people all eager to learn and go out into the able-bodied world of dance and demonstrate their amazing talents and abilities.
Again, there was Morgan, quiet and expressionless. As the group began to work with their able-bodied partners, I got to know them all much better. Soon, we had requests for demonstrations coming in so some show numbers were in order. Morgan and her able-bodied partner, Michael, were to do a Tango with an able-bodied couple mirroring their movements to show the remarkable similarities. It was an amazing number! Since I was also part of this show, I volunteered my services to get all the girls performance ready. Morgan had participated in demonstrations in the past but had never been put into costume much less had hair and make up done. As I was finishing another girl, Morgan came into my room. When she saw the other girl (who was the able-bodied part of the Tango number) she was shocked? Terrified? And made a feeble attempt to wheel out of the room! With fear and resignation, she sat in front of me for an hour. Mind you, Morgan is NO ugly duckling! She has beautiful porcelain skin and full lips which, when splashed with color and cleared of the rogue strands of hair escaping her ponytail, allows her beautiful eyes and a face full of kindness to be seen.
WOW! I am continuously amazed at the power cosmetics have to transform a woman. When I finished corralling her carefree curls into a traditional chignon complete with red flower and a sexy black off the shoulder costume, she was allowed to look.“This is how a real dancer should look,” I said. Her initial silence was unnerving, but the subsequent reactions from the other members of the show and the continuous flow of compliments and surprise from friends and “fans” was all it took for Morgan’s “inner beauty” to bubble to the surface. It took a couple times to get used to “stuff” on her face but now “beauty call” is a must before any show!
I have seen a lovely change in Morgan since our first meeting. Her confidence and carriage have improved dramatically, not to mention her constant light-hearted banter with the rest of our group. It may be only that I have been given the time to get to know her better, but a little niggling in the back of my brain says that she has finally heard the answer to that question we’ve all asked ourselves at least once… “Mirror, mirror on the wall….” Yes, Morgan, it’s you!