“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a [striking] red lipstick.” (Gwyneth Paltrow)
When my sister and I were young, we went through our own unique awkward stages. My sister’s was a particular challenge given her poor eyesight and her good fortune to land the position as my dad’s chief orthodontic experiment on a new appliance, the Frankel. (Don’t ask. Lets just say it was a giant box-like, retainer-type contraption with wires and pink material galore that when worn, made my sister’s lips and cheeks bulge out to contain her mouthful!) Thankfully, her natural beauty and her great personality saw her through those times because she always seemed to have boy friends, and boys with crushes on her, way more than I ever did and even using those “awkward” years.
They led to some pretty romantic moments. For example, once, while riding from Denver to Grand Jct., Colorado in the late 1970s, with their moms chatting in the front seat, a boy serenaded her with, “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. Picture it: two kids in the backseat of a car on a road trip with their moms, and the boy sings his devotion along the Colorado highways! I was pretty uncomfortable with romantic gestures at that point of my life, so when she got home and told me about it, we had such a laugh over that one! I’ve never been able to hear that song again without thinking of my sister’s romantic experience, her first serenade.
Then I married #5, my husband Mike, a self-described “crooner.” I’ve already documented my experience when he first sang me a song—it turned out MUCH better than anticipated, for me! Lol. And then one night, while sitting at the piano and singing, he started that song, “You Are So Beautiful.” I cringed, bracing myself for a song that had never been my favorite, particularly after my sister’s experience with it…but something unexpected happened. (As usual. I ought to be getting used to that by now, huh?) Turns out, it was a VERY different experience than my sister’s romantic rendition of the 1970s.
There I sat watching and listening to the man I love sing it to me, smile at me as he sang, raise his eyebrows at me during key passages in the lyrics, and with his own voice (which I love—it’s my favorite!) rather than Joe Cocker’s hoarse, grunting style (my apologies to any Joe Cocker fans out there), made me feel like he meant every word. It was quite a moment. Unexpectedly romantic. And guess who actually likes that song now? Me. After more than three decades of abhorring it!
“You Are So Beautiful.” (Kind of him to sing, especially after 44 years of wear and tear and four children resulting in wrinkles, sags, bags, and everything else that blesses your life in middle age. He’s either blind or, as I suspect, the kindest and nicest man on the planet.)
But while we’re on the subject or beauty, here’s a tip from Audrey Hepburn (who knew what she was talking about!): “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Remember that, and you’re beautiful. No matter who sings it.