Betty Duffy

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Zoolander Moment

At Patheos today, I'm writing about all the nice things good looks can get you, and the one thing it can't.


Peter and Nancy said...

So true . . . this cultural phenomenon of handsome/beautiful/hip happens among Christians of all stripes. These thoughts should be part of every high school religious education discussion. And many "ordinary" kids need to hear this for the corresponding message: even if you're *not* popular, beautiful, etc. Christ still has a place at the table for you.

Janet Cupo said...

I was just thinking about how, when I was in my 30s, and was pretty and thin and had a $500 suit that someone had given me (I don't think my entire wardrobe these days cost $500), I helped teach RCIA in my parish and people hung on my every word. The thing is, I didn't have any business teaching RCIA. I was very ardent in my Faith and I had been Caholic all my life, but I was just beginning to come back to an orthodox (hate to use a word that has been so mis-used) understanding of that Faith, after a decade of wishing that I could be Protestant and many of my ideas were not in line with Church teaching.

That was about 25 years ago, and now when I teach nobody is very impressed by looks or my clothes. Of course, I teach second graders now. They are really impressed that someone could be 61 and actually still be walking around.

Anyway, that beautiful business can be really dangerous.


BettyDuffy said...

P&N, it's one of those touchy situations where you don't want to kill a young person's fire--but it's something everybody's got to learn eventually--usually in a trial by fire situation.

Janet, second grades are VERY hard to impress in my experience, no matter who you are.

MrsDarwin said...

I had occasion recently to see one of those ads the Mormons have been running, which are supposed to assure the rest of us that they are normal people: attractive people with attractive teeth, wearing attractive clothes and doing attractive things. And they leave me cold. Don't these people have even a few moments of ugliness or futility in their day? Because I do, and I don't need to be sold a religion that's advertises how TV normal its adherents are. A bleach-blonde woman with two pretty kids working on a scrapbook in her designer home? Yeah, that's nobody I know.

On the other hand, someone's got to evangelize to the bleach-blondes as well. Jesus loves them too.

Janet Cupo said...


I used to think the exact same thing about Teaching Home Magazine back when we were homeschooling. There was always a beautiful cover picture of a beautiful family in matching clothes (not denim jumpers) standing on a beach or doing some other lovely thing. Once they asked Mary Pride for a picture of her family for an article. I don't know how old you are, so I don't know if you remember Mary Pride but she was huge in homeschool circles. Anyway, when they got the picture, the Prides weren't lovely enough so they didn't use it.

And the people in the articles always lived lovely ordered lives, too.

Famous among the seven-year-olds.

TheReluctantWidow said...

I am not beautiful, hip, or in anyway famous, but I am guilty of the same attitude. Only mine was worse. I thought that because I did God the "favor" of adopting my four children and making big sacrifices to do so, that somehow that made me immune to suffering. That somehow God would give me a pass because I'd been so "obedient" to his call. Yeah, I have seen the errors of that way of thinking. Everyone is special to God and nothing makes us "suffering-proof."

Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP said...

Matt Lickona's just-published 99-cent short story Surfing with Mel is relevant here, what with its dramatic extrapolation of the wounded vanity Mel Gibson has supposedly expressed during some of his rants against God.