“If she were not a great beauty…”
“Because of her great beauty…”
“She is very beautiful…”
“If Carrie weren’t so beautiful, this never would have come up,” he said. “Carrie is totally beautiful. And her answer, because of that, took on more importance. Unfortunately, that’s the way the press works. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
The above quotes are from Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe and Miss USA organization, and primary defender of Miss California USA Carrie Prejean. Three weeks ago she answered a question at the Miss USA pageant regarding Gay Marriage and a firestorm ensued. The content of her answer was fair – she notes that in the United States, people may choose same-sex marriage or traditional (“opposite”) marriage – but for her, she believes in one man, one woman.
Mr. Trump and Miss Prejean noted President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and many – many – other people in high profile positions share Miss Prejean’s interpretation of what defines, or constitutes, marriage. Including her fellow Californians.
I believe the Federal Government (since I actually believe in limited government) should not interfere in legal contracts between two adults – per the 10th Amendment, and its enumeration of state sovereignty. I also believe only a church has the authority, to determine what is Holy Matrimony – not the government. Which differentiates me from Miss Prejean, as she does not appear to support Civil Unions – and I absolutely do. If it is a civil ceremony – then it is a civil marriage, just like the millions of others who have chosen to get married at the local courthouse or by a justice of the peace. On the Right & Left of the marriage debate – there is a battle about semantics and rhetoric surrounding civil ceremonies, not about Holy Matrimony. Once they get their stories straight (ha ha) then I will revisit the issue politically.
For this column, I want to focus on beautiful women. In this instance, let us ask why a beautiful woman – like Carrie Prejean - found herself at the center of a national debate. Judge Number 8, Perez Hilton, called her a “stupid bitch” in a vlog just after the pageant concluded and Miss North Carolina was crowned Miss USA. Hilton went on to hurl other invectives, none of which I will repeat. He may support Gay Marriage but he is not a spokesman for the cause, and his tactics are not representative. I do not believe his attack on Miss Prejean has anything to do with her answer regarding Gay Marriage. That is an excuse.
He’s an angry, ugly-on-the-inside person. Since he’s famous – you can just google him. If you want to read what a person with an ugly soul sounds like, look him up. I refuse to link to his website. Here’s what you will find, should you seek him out: If there is a beautiful, demure, successful woman with fame – chances are, he has written something foul about her. It amazes me he doesn’t choose green for his text color, because he makes it all too clear that he is blistering green with envy of beautiful, feminine, talented, and succesful women.
Unsurprisingly, there are no Feminists defending Miss Prejean. They have looked the other way as photographs of her were released without consent to the media, some of which were photoshopped or were outtakes. As this very beautiful young woman was tossed into a firestorm, they looked the other way. So what if she is being sexually exploited. Feminists care about killing unborn children far more than they care about exploitation. Let’s be honest, semi-nude photos of this young woman are not being circulated for some noble purpose. It was to tear her down. Now, male radio hosts (as I heard this morning driving my teenage daughter to school) are making jokes about her breasts — and so are supposedly “conservative” writers, like this one from the recently launched Parcbench. Not every model has her nudes taken by Steven Meisel or Mario Testino. The human body is a beautiful creation and for millenia we have appreciated nude paintings and sculptures as art. Technology has unfortunately corrupted our culture, forcing models to accept the consequences when they choose to participate in semi-nude or nude photoshoots.
For years, I have watched as the feminist movement pretended to care about women. From Gloria Steinem, Patricia Ireland and Margaret Sanger to Kate Michelman and their pro-abortion advocacy to Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. They are contempuous of beautiful, feminine, intelligent and successful women. For a time, I read Naomi Wolf with some interest… she is charismatic, has an Ivy League education, was aesthetically beautiful and talked about the oversexualization of girls at too young an age… things I have been interested in all my life. Somewhere along the way, she fell victim to the Leftist ideals of feminism, never realizing how the vaguely masculine Patricia Irelands of the world are all too happy to kill the spirit of a beautiful woman. Modern feminism, with the glaring exception of Camille Paglia, is about hating men and stamping out their seed. It is about hate. They can wrap it up in “anti-Patriarch” ribbons and bows, but that does not make it so.
Naomi Wolf predictably blames men for her lot. She bought the whole lie – hook, line, and sinker. Wolf points fingers at men in general, at her college professor, and Republicans. But rather than be angry – I paid close attention. I listened. I observed as she was forced to remain on the fringes of the Left punditicracy, a victim of her own aesthetic appeal. She duped herself.
She was never acceptable to the Hillary crowd. Once it was Al Gore’s turn to run for President - Tipper Gore never saw her as a threat. She viewed Wolf as a nice, Liberal gal who supported her husband Al for president. Why the disparity?
Because Hillary is a dyed in the wool member of the ugly tribe. And Tipper is as feminine in her fifties as she was in her 20s. Beauty and femininity are not about political ideology… and before I go further, let’s have some brutal honesty:
As a woman, I know this column will earn a lot of hate mail. I am defending aesthetically beautiful women against their jealous detractors. Women who believe because they are thin, attractive, or wealthy, or married, or because they helm an anti-man/pro-abortion think tank, or are Governor of a pro-life/pro-gun state such as Alaska that they are superior to a beautiful woman are mistaken. Being thin, attractive, and/or sexually available does not inspire the word “beautiful.”
Our culture makes many assumptions about beautiful girls and women. Some wars are not meant to be waged, yet women do this to each other every day.
A symmetric face, dewy skin, full lips, and a decent metabolism is not a choice. Nor is it a personal and individual attack on ugly people. It is genetic. It is possible to be a spectacular looking woman and be a good person. What constitutes beauty differs from person to person. Simple beauty, exotic beauty, classic beauty, and timeless beauty all exist. Many of these beautiful women also possess above average intellect. Strong work ethic. They maintain high moral standards. And are lovers, mothers, friends, sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces, wives that happen to be wonderful beings as well.
Aphrodite. Nefertiti. Helen of Troy. Cleopatra. Botticelli’s beauties. Titian’s startlingly self-possessed and sexually aware Venus of Urbino. Iconic women with iconic faces. Their lives were rich and enduring. Helen, wife of Menelaus, and lover to Paris… thousands of years later her face, “the face that launched one thousand ships” continues to fascinate and bewitch us.
Beauty comes from the content of our character as well. Think of the woman you know with the laugh or smile that warms up a room. Or the woman with a smile that casts incandescent light on every face around her. Remember the mom at soccer, cross country or football? The lovely mommy toting snacks and drinks, who effortlessly generates a positive energy - boosting team spirit. She is not Halle Berry or Cindy Crawford but she is just as beautiful.
Beautiful women have enemies. I am simply asking you to take a gander beyond the looking glass. If you are one of those petty, jealous folks… go ahead and queue up the “send email” screen. Because you are ugly. Through and through. Yep, I said it. I don’t like ugly people. Read: Ugly on the inside. Which, with rare exception translates right onto your face. In hardness. And I don’t like you. Neither does any normal, morally centered being.
Being a bitch with a borderline-anorexic body does not make you beautiful. It does not make you “better” than a truly beautiful woman, no matter her size. It makes you superficial and clueless at best. Making “thin” a goal, when it does not also include a healthy lifestyle and a healthy soul — well, then you don’t understand the physics of beauty either.
Obviously, all aesthetically beautiful people are not angels. I understand. But after thousands of years of literature trashing the beautiful… that is well-trodden ground. From the time Akenhaten and Nefertiti’s successors began wiping their names from the temples at El Amarna and beyond… beautiful women were easy targets. Heck, women of any stripe are easy targets. Beautiful or not.
From the moment DaVinci finished the Mona Lisa, some folks felt compelled to ask what was so special about her. How many times have you heard someone say they just don’t get it? Not the smile. Not the aesthetics.
Here is the answer: DaVinci found her beautiful. Or fascinating. Or captivating. It is all beautiful – and he gave us this iconic image, he shared a piece of her magic with us. Her beauty was simple. If you don’t get it – that does not translate automatically to “the Mona Lisa is not beautiful.” It means you do not get it. Either you are wrong, or DaVinci was wrong. Unless your priceless painted canvases are hanging the Louvre, you are not the ‘decider’ with regard to 16th Century beauty.
Beauty is more than in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is none of your damn business. DaVinci found his model beautiful. And that is good enough for me. We are fascinated by this iconic face – because her smile remains as enchanting in the 21st century as it was in the 16th.
The centuries have turned into milennia since the love story of Marc Antony and his Cleopatra – a woman who conquered not only Antony, but Julius Caesar before him, was immortalized. Reknowned Egyptian Archaeologist Zahi Hawass announced recently beneath an ancient temple to Osiris and Isis, about 30 km from Alexandria, there appear to be undisturbed burial chambers. Artifacts and clues abound… the questions we all yearn to have answered: are they truly buried together? was their love all consuming? was Cleopatra as beautiful as we imagine or hope?
Or, was she simply a charismatic and manipulative ruler who possessed a strangely hypnotic voice and sexual power, with just a hint of deviancy? The implication being Marc Antony did not love her, nor find her beautiful – he was only about hot sex and accumulating power. He could not possibly have been in love. And, even if she were beautiful, she was just as desperate for power as he was and never loved him.
Whatever their truth may have been – it is possible they were beautiful, in love, and any other combination of qualities. The fascination with their relationship survives for two reasons, and you are in one camp or the other. You believe in love and beauty, or you hope they were filthy and ugly people hellbent on world domination.
Throughout history, beautiful women who happen to be successful or intelligent or morally upright tend to get the axe. Particularly if they partner with a wealthy, powerful man. That is what earns the ire. Anne Boleyn, a beauty in her day, has been plagued by rumors of a sixth finger. People have called her a witch. Phillippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl is a prime example. Shoddy research and a hidden agenda equals one thing: destroy Anne. To write a novel, with barely concealed jealousy of a woman who has been dead for five hundred years is a bit much. To believe Gregory - we must agree that Henry VIII preferred Anne Boleyn’s slutty sister Mary over Anne. Anne Boleyn was a self-possessed, smart, a capable tactician, and a beauty who not only loved King Henry – but challenged him to be a man of his word, she was unafraid of him or his power. She made him better. He made her better.
My primary criticism of Ms. Gregory’s work, and many others, is the assertion that Anne was raped by King Henry VIII. Why imply such a thing? For literary enrichment? No. To accomplish two things: paint Anne as deserving of rape. And to paint Henry as a rapist – depicting a powerful, passionate man as an animal. Why again? Because, if Anne loved King Henry – and he loved her… then his break with the Vatican (and the spark that ignited the Reformation) was due in no small part to beauty, love, passion, and intangibles most simply can not grasp. King Henry VIII was not sitting around looking for a way to stick it to Rome.
How many times have you heard someone say Jane Seymour was King Henry’s greatest love? Why do people persist with this? He threw off his beliefs not because Martin Luther was such hot shit – his writings were simply a vehicle of justification - but for Anne Boleyn – and love, passion, and the urgency that is sometimes created when two people are consumed by their desire for each other. Anne Boleyn was his impetus. Jane Seymour was a lovely weekend at the beach – Anne Boleyn was a lifetime at Castel Gandolfo. (naughty reference intended) To be clear, I am not discussing theology here – just the simple mechanics of beauty and its role in our lives. This “power couple” is reviled only by those who hate to see a beautiful woman and a powerful, wealthy man find happiness.
Other examples abound, with great thanks to technology.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a timelessly beautiful woman, was victimized through female genital mutilation. Simply because she is female, the culture in her tribe – and thousands of others across Northern Africa and elsewhere – is one of total oppression and suppression of the authentic female spirit. After a harrowing life and escape to the Netherlands, she became a politician. With her friend, film maker Theo Van Gogh, the gloves came off. Together they produced Submission, a film that told the truth about what women are subjected to inside Islam and Van Gogh was gunned down, murdered in cold blood. A note was pinned to his chest, warning Miss Ali she was next. Where are the feminists defending her? She poses a triple threat to their ugliness. Ali possesses aesthetic beauty, personal grace and intellectual gravitas. Where are the women on the right defending her? Ah, well – they will certainly show up for the pictures at AEI - but most folks in the Conservative movement leave discussion of Female Genital Mutilation, and anything to do with Africa, to us “Compassionate Conservatives” a. k. a. RINOs. With the exception of Former FLOTUS Laura Bush who put MalariaNoMore on the map years ago. (Sorry Mr. Kutcher.) It is not enough to discuss “creeping sharia” and not address the very real issues on the ground. No matter how disturbing the truth is, we must confront it.
Mary Magdalene spent hundreds of years characterized as a prostitute. Unclean. A whore. Millions of “believers” never asked aloud a simple question: if Jesus Christ revered this woman, what are the chances I should as well?
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy… a spectacularly beautiful and accomplished woman. Multi-lingual (how many Americans speak more than one language, let alone three or four?) Karl Lagerfeld summed the state of things up nicely to Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair last year, ”She”s imaginiative, clever, educated. She knows how to behave. She speaks many languages. It must be an embarassment for the wives of other heads of state to see this beautiful creature who can wear anything and speak like that.”
Designer Jean Paul Gaultier says this: “She’s clever, super well educated, and very focused. She is like the heroine of a book or a movie.”
Let us ponder for a moment: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. She once graced the cover of more than 250 magazines across the globe, during the height of her career as a supermodel. She was romantically linked to Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and many other famous, wealthy men. They were, and remain, her peers. As she built her post-modeling career with two solo albums, she met and married the President of France. A Socialist. With regard to their whirlwind romance and marriage, Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth captured an intimate moment thus:
Bruni beckons me from across the room to meet her husband. “Bonjour, Maureen,” he says with a big smile. “Is she helping you?,” I ask. Bruni puts her arm around the president, pulling him in to kiss his cheek, and nuzzle his face with her nose. Beaming, Sarkozy tells me, “I am happy like nev-air.”
For all the ridiculous comparisons made, no matter how many times Liberals say Michelle Obama is more elegant than Carla Bruni-Sarkozy… it will never be true. Michelle Obama knows this, and it is cruel to compare her to Carla Bruni. With beauty comes responsibility – and ugly-on-the-inside people should be called on the carpet. Wearing couture does not make you beautiful. Mrs. Obama is an attractive, athletic, and above-average lady. But a multi-lingual French-Italian supermodel she is not.
The examples go on, and on, and on. Angelina Jolie is beautiful. Her features are symmetric, voluptuous, evocative and ethereal. She will always, always be more beautiful than Jennifer Aniston. Miss Jolie, mother of six, is a human rights advocate. She puts her money where her mouth is. She donates a significant portion of her income to humanitarian relief. She does relief work without cameras. She is remarkably well-read. She is the first non-college graduate to be a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is poised, even in the face of a daily onslaught against her. Many will accuse her and Brad Pitt, a beautiful and wealthy man, of having an affair while he was married to Aniston. First, that is none of our business. And second, Aniston made it clear she preferred being thin and having no children. Every interview with Brad Pitt regarding family said he wanted lots of kids. Seems to me they both got what they wanted. And much like Michelle Obama, Aniston knows that no matter how thin she is – she will never be the iconic, mysterious beauty that is Angelina Jolie.
Meghan McCain, another beautiful girl, was ripped for being “too plus-sized” by conservative Talk Radio guru Laura Ingraham. Laura, like many vaguely masculine women, pretended it was satire. But if you listen to her and her diatribes on women for any period of time… unfortunately, she – like many people – equates beauty with diminished intellectual capacity. Ms. Ingraham has a long list of her own wonderful accomplishments. I am sure she is beautiful to her adopted child. Every mom is beautiful to her children, and because of that – I expected more from Ms. Ingraham. In the world of politics, the sisterhood should accept new members every chance we get. Miss McCain is young, energized and finding her way. She should not be punished for her beauty. If you have an ideological disagreement, fine. But discussing the size of her body is off limits. As I said earlier, being thin is not the be-all, end-all. Not to mention, I am pretty certain that Ingraham and McCain are not dating the same types of men.
Finally… I recognize not all beautiful women come from the traditional camp. Sarah Jessica Parker, of Sex and the City fame, has been called horse-face and many other horrible things. But she too is a beautiful woman. She is self-possessed, articulate, talented, and lucky enough to connect with millions of women who want love. Real love. The all-consuming, wash over me, can’t live without it love. Her personal style – on screen and off – has inspired women to wait for their own Mr. Big.
For hundreds, even thousands of years, beautiful women have been held to impossible standards. Average women have too. But alone in the dark, in the comfort of our beds…next to our beloved, or alone in the quiet – real beauty can not be seen. In the darkness we are all the same. Beauty emanates from within.
Worth a watch: The Human Face