The Beauty of a Woman

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a Huffington Post article in my FB feed discussing the current cover of the Australian Women’s Weekly. Let me just say, that I don’t buy this magazine all the time but it is one that I do enjoy reading. My reasons for not purchasing or reading are not because it isn’t a good magazine. Because it is. It’s just that I’m not a big fan of women’s magazines in general. (The last time I bought this magazine was a few months ago because I was interested in an article on the weight loss industry in Australia). What I will say is that of the magazines for women published here, the Australian Women’s Weekly appears to have the most integrity.

Anyway, back to to the article…
For those that have seen and read the Huffpo article, you will know the cover I am talking about. For those of you who haven’t, I will post it here.

The cover shows Turia Pitt, a woman who suffered burns to 65% of her body  when she and two others were caught in a bushfire in the Kimberley region of Western Australia whilst competing in an ultra-marathon.
The cynical person might ask what the Women’s Weekly is trying to achieve by placing Turia on the cover? Are they attempting to break the mold by eschewing the airbrushed celebrities who generally grace the covers of women’s magazines? Are they making an attempt to show ‘real’ women? Those who show strength through the very act of being ordinary. Or are they merely attempting to engage more readers using the “sympathy vote”?

I have to say that whilst the majority of the comments on Huffpo were positive, there always has to be some who are cutting and cruel with the words typed from their keyboards. Such is the human nature of people I suppose. I stopped reading after about the first 100 comments and I’m not even sure if some of the more cruel comments may even still be there however, they were said. And I read them. And I was shocked.
One the milder commetns stated that if Turia was truly beautiful, she wouldn’t need to wear makeup.
Thinking about this, I have to ask,  does makeup make a woman beautiful? And really, just because I (or Turia, or any other woman) puts on lipstick, does it really matter? Lipstick is only an accoutrement. It don’t believe it defines what is inside a person.
Other comments focused on name calling and questioned her right to be on the cover of a magazine.

Still on the subject of beauty, another Huffington Post article I read in the past week was about a journalist who sent a head shot to many people around the world and asked them to photoshop her and ‘make’ her beautiful. (In my opinion, she was beautiful to begin with).
25 people took on her challenge and the results are truly incredible. Each person (and many of the results are extremely amateur) defined beauty in a different way. The original photo and the 25 others can be found HERE.

Over the past few days, I have thought a lot about what beauty is and why society is so obsessed with it.
Is beauty what is seen on the outside? Do high cheekbones and defined eyebrows make a woman beautiful? Or is it makeup and the clothes she wears?
Is a beautiful woman one who is a size 8 and has long legs emphasised by the 6 inch heels she wears?
Does a beautiful woman have hands that look as if they have never washed a dish? Or nails that have come from the salon?
Does she have large breasts and wear skimpy lingerie?
What is real beauty?

Audrey Hepburn (now there was a beautiful woman) famously said these words:

The beauty of a woman Is not in the clothes she wears,
The figure that she carries, Or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman Is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
The passion that she shows,
And the beauty of a woman
With passing years only grows.

The dictionary defines beauty as something that is aesthetically pleasing to the senses – especially sight.
This prompts me to ask, why can’t beauty be felt?
Why can’t beauty be defined by the things a person does and the way that they relate to others?
Truly beautiful people are those who touch the lives of others. They bring joy and love. Their smile doesn’t just reach their eyes, it reaches the hearts of those around them.

Therefore in my eyes, the Women’s Weekly has excelled with their choice of model for the cover this month. They have chosen a woman who exudes beauty by her very demeanour. A woman who shines as inspiration to those of us who worry about blemishes. A woman who has faced the fire of adversity (literally) and come through the other side with hope, gratitude and love.

Bravo to a truly beautiful woman who sees real beauty in the every day.


48 thoughts on “The Beauty of a Woman

  1. She is beautiful.

    Looking at the other article, I found it almost frighting that in my country, the US, the Photoshop-artist made Esther Honig look like she is a twelve year old with too much makeup. Is the ideal beauty for Americans a twelve year old? Ugh, I hope not.


    1. I noticed that too. I’m also from the US. It was the worst photo shop job in the bunch I thought. And did you notice the ‘artist’ changed her eye color to a vibrant green that was ridiculously fake looking.

      As someone who used to be a make up artist in a photo studio, I always thought that making it look like a woman is wearing no make up is the key to bringing out her natural physical facial beauty.


      1. Yeah, it was seriously weird looking. I’m not sure every American artist would’ve made her look that way, particularly someone older. I wonder if the artist was a man or woman and how old they were. Those things can also play a role in how someone perceives beauty.

        When I saw the one from the US I thought it might be a joke.


  2. hear hear.i found it awful that people could be so cruel.there are those that are just insensitive idiots if you ask me.those are the ones that just bad mouth and critise her in that horrible way.
    then the others that see something in what the magazine has done and what it means.
    why cant someone come along and we just think wo!!not because of how thin,long legged they are but because of the person they are.beautiful people to me carry a auro around them.they are who they are,the most beautiful are those that accept and make the most of any inperfections or greatness in them.
    i know some would thikn my mum isnt beautiful.but to me.she is the most spectacular sight.becasue her love,who she is to me.she too is not a size 8 and some would see her as a bonny lass but to me i dont even register that when i only do that on the vein people trying too hard.when i look at my mum i see a beauty that dissolves size,height witdth and is just there shooting almost from her.
    the pressure nowadays is shocking and it sickens me everyday.
    i also read that article and too was see my uk edit to the photo,she wasnt even real looking!!and that shows what people aspire to.and suprsie suprise the countries like italy that love life,live and eat well seem to be more natural more kind to their images.
    its horrible.thinking to much about it sends me in a tailspin because i just dont get it.
    ive been hugely affected by it and i hate it.all this body image stuff has become scary.
    great post.brilliantly put.
    i too think the cover is great.and she is too.its again like my mum.i dont see a scar or mould or waist i look at her who she is.who is this person,ive never heard of her?then i look on and i just think…wo beautiful.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree that when we look at the real person we see their beauty. It has nothing to do with their size, height or physical aspects. I often say that my GG is the most gorgeous man I know. In my eyes, he is however I know that if I took off my ‘love goggles’ he is nothing like what society would define as good looking or beautiful. But that doesn’t matter. So I understand completely what you are saying about your mother.


  3. I am happy to read that I am not the only non-shallow person in the world. I see people. Only people. All are beautiful, until they prove differently—such as rude, insensitive comments. You have certainly given me something to think about. I’m just happy that beauty isn’t defined anymore, by a 14 inch waist, made by a torture device that squishes all our innards around. Is it us women who make each other feel this-way-or-that? Are we judging ourselves based upon the looks of others?


  4. Your thoughtful post is so encouraging. The comments on the article you point to and here on this article of yours are likewise encouraging. Hopefully, more and more of us will recognize the truth that Audrey Hepburn shared and turn this around. As for the haters, they have no credibility with me so I don’t read what they have to say.


    1. I guess that I shouldn’t have read the comments of haters however they were interspersed within those that were encouraging. There are many that recognise the truth of Audrey Hepburn’s words however the majority of these people are those who have vast life experience behind them.


  5. Beauty is courage to face life and all its challenges after such devastation and these kind of hateful people will never live learn and grow a heart. I am inspired by her and your post.


    1. Thank you.
      It takes a lot of courage to be able to say “Yes. I’ll be on the cover”. There is also an article contained within the magazine about a model who is fighting cancer. There is a full length photo of her posing in her underwear showing the scarring from her surgeries. That takes incredible courage as well. 🙂


      1. Sue I will have to buy the magazine thanks for bringing it to my attention. I rarely buy any magazines except for Frankie due to the over load of celebrity garbage they have in them.


  6. It’s unreal how cruel people can be, especially behind the safety of their computer screen. I love that the mag picked Turia Pitt for the cover. There is way more to beauty than what someone looks like. It’s about what’s in their heart.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for those who made those cruel remarks and comments, but obviously they must feel threatened by what they see, brings out a fear or pushes some other button….or maybe they just feel the need to bring others down to the depths of the misery they feel they live in.


    1. Or maybe, they have not experienced life and what it entails. I don’t know. I believe a lot of comments such as those I read were made by people who are ignorant.


      1. I didn’t really think of that. That could be the case. People in pain hurt others though. Not that everyone in pain hurts others. But the people who hurt others tend to be in pain themselves.

        So maybe it stands to reason with both scenarios. Inexperienced, ignorant people in pain lash out to hurt others. Heck, I’m not innocent and have certainly done it myself.

        Perhaps some fear is lumped in there as well. Fear of the unknown is common.


  7. I love this post a lot. We humans are merely inhabiting these shells of ours. We are so much more than eyes, hair and the latest clothes. We exist in superficial environments and focus on superficial things when connecting and asking deeper questions is so much more important. Thank you Sue and I’m so glad the magazine honored Turia like they did! There is hope!


  8. Clearly you’ve struck a chord here. Nicely done!
    It’s amazing how many cruel people there are out there in the big wide world.


  9. I loved Audrey Hepburn. She was a bit of an oddball who was misunderstood in her day. She makes a valid point, as in the quote you included. I think it’s truly sad that most magazines aimed at women are half about how to be beautiful and confident with the person you are, while the other half is devoted to diets and weight loss, and ways to sculpt yourself to be sexy and appealing. That’s why I don’t bother looking at them or buying them.


    1. It is sad. I don’t generally purchase women’s mags (I stick more to craft and healthy living stuff) but I did buy this issue. There are a couple of good articles in this one.


  10. Heartily agree with you Sue, I never saw the front page of the magazine, but did see the photoshop pictures.
    Audrey Hepburn summed up beautiful perfectly.
    Womans Weekly is to be commended.


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