Friday, February 27, 2009

True Beauty

One of my guilty pleasures is occasionally watching America's Next Top Model. Generally, I get irritated by the shallowness of the contestants, but I have found something interesting by watching that particular show. One of the things that comes out is how important personality and basic life skills mean success for these young women. Good looks certainly play a part, but it seems to come down to some important life skills, like being able to relate to people and holding it together during interviews, etc. that helps the contestants do better in the competition.

So I was intrigued when I heard about a new show on this winter called True Beauty. They gathered up 10 beautiful people from all over the country and had them go through challenges to see who would emerge as the most beautiful person. The twist to the show was that the contestants were being judged not only on their outer beauty, but on their inner beauty (and the contestants didn't realize this twist). Their actions were followed by hidden cameras, and their unkind words and actions were, ultimately, what got them eliminated from the show.

The finale summed up what they were looking for in a beautiful contestant. They listed these qualities as the ones that showed true beauty:


...and there were a couple of others that I'm not remembering, but they were along those lines.

In a way, I almost felt bad for the contestants getting kicked off because they were eliminated not because of outer beauty but because they were lousy people on the inside. Ouch.

But I found the whole concept illuminating. What does our culture say about beauty? What makes someone beautiful on the inside? Do these qualities sum it up? Are there others? What do you think?

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