[Guest Post] Leah Darrow: The evolution of distorted beauty.

This post is written by Leah Darrow, known in part for her appearances on cycle three of America’s Next Top Model.

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“I just knew when I saw her nose, it was going to look right on my face,” Blaier said. “She has this beautiful…I call it a bunny hill…a very feminine tip at the end and that’s what I wanted.”

The above quote is from a woman who underwent rhinoplasty to have a nose like Kate Middleton[1]. When did someone else’s nose, waist, chest, you-name-it look better than your own? Beauty has dis-evolved to a Cosmo-grade/celebrity-look-a-like/surgically reconstructed standard of beauty. This info-graph demonstrates just how prevalent plastic surgeries are in the USA[2].

Through subtle or more drastic ways to change our natural look[3], we have bought into the lie of distorted beauty. These statistics are astounding but with the current obsession with perfection, they shouldn’t come as a surprise. We ironically value the impossibility of perfection and expect it of our imperfect selves.

Why is our natural beauty in question?

What’s so wrong with laugh lines or our stomachs being softer after a miracle grew inside? Yes, there will be wrinkles, grey hair, and softer middle sections – and there are parts of us that are naturally imperfect (why is this a shock to us?).

When did we become a woman of parts? Are we not (whole people) with intrinsic value, dignity, and beauty?

When I notice my imperfections, I think about the teenager who will die in a car crash who will never see crow’s feet, the young wife who never had a chance of her belly stretching beyond imagination, or the mother who’s cancer robbed her of gray hair.

I am blessed. So far, God has given me the gift of aging, and I thank Him for that. I’m embracing my wrinkles, my pregnant belly and body that are growing week-by-week and finding humor in grey eyebrows (how did that happen?).

Age is a blessing and aging well is not the result of a great moisturizer but in accepting our limitations and depending on God’s limitless love and acceptance of us no matter the age, size, or wrinkle.

Your (aging) sister in Christ,

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leah-from-twitterLeah Darrow, who worked as a professional model in New York City after her debut on cycle three of the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model, is now a Catholic speaker. She has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was a full time apologist for Catholic Answers from 2010 through 2013, and is working on her master’s degree in theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. Follow her on Twitter: @leahdarrow. This post originally appeared on leahdarrow.com and was used with permission.

[1] CBS New York (online), Article: Copy Kate: Women Increasingly Seeking Surgery To Replicate Duchess’ Nose, January 31, 2013

[2] The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (online); Article: Cosmetic Surgery: 15 years of facts and figures, May 3, 2012.

[3] This is not to say that all plastic surgeries are distortions of beauty. Clearly, some may be needed for serious medical/personal needs.