A Foreign Language

I just had the damnedest conversation with a friend.

She is a darn good looking woman.  Middle aged, trim, nice hair, very easy on the eyes!

Yet everything that came out of her mouth was negative.

Line after line, she put herself down, she made every excuse under the sun for her “condition”.

It’s like, if you opened up your Funk & Wagnall’s Dictionary, and looked under the term “mixed message”, her picture would there be beside the definition.

So here’s this very attractive woman, well put together, (bordering on high-maintenance), putting her self down, painting this mental picture of anything other than “beauty”, yet, there she stands, stunning, right in front of me, saying just the opposite.


How can this be?

She said more than once, that when she (fill in the blank of bodily excuses) got “better” or “fixed”, she’d CONSIDER having her photo done.  What a cop-out!

After we parted, I continued to ponder the incredibly odd words she had said.

I was stumped!

I couldn’t make up my mind if she was;

(A) Having a really bad day……with a smile on her face,


(B) Was really depressed about something and taking it out on herself,


(C) Had a pathetic self-image, for someone so really ‘turned-out’,


(D) was flat out BLIND!

A while later, while working on something completely different, it hit me!

To her, “beauty” or “self-beauty”, was a foreign language.

That doesn’t make much sense?  Hear me out…..

Let’s say you want to speak French.  You can take all the lessons you want, but if you don’t KNOW French, you can’t speak it, or read it.  Even if I plopped you on the Pont Neuf au Paris, right now, you’d be hard pressed to ask for directions [en-francais] if you didn’t KNOW French.  “Beauty”, to the woman above, was a ‘foreign language’.  She obviously goes through the motions to be tastefully dressed, hair all styled and in place, made-up, great posture, the works, but she doesn’t KNOW her own beauty!

Like, (sigh), how can this be?  She’s lived with her self her whole life, watched herself grow up, tries to look good, and then with her words, torpedo’s every bit of effort and time and EXPENSE to look good.  And maybe (I’m guessing here), she might think she looks GOOD, like good is only OK….but beautiful?  Not a chance, in her language.

See what I mean by mixed-messages?

(Thinking aloud here)…I wonder what event or series of “words” she’s heard in her life to contradict her outward appearance, SO MUCH, that she spews bad ju-ju all over her eye-candy?

I kept thinking to my self, “lady, you have EVERYTHING going for you, and you make yourself sound like the ugly duckling”!

I recently had to photograph a woman, severely burned, for insurance/legal records. (Yup, I do a fair amount of “legal photography”).  Let’s just say, she’s missing “things” now.  So sad.  Yet as I worked with her, her dignity and sense of humor were amazing.  We actually had things to chuckle about.  I never asked her what she thought about herself, but her words were quite convincing.  She loves herself and is damned glad to be alive!  She looks forward, not back.  She was a total treat to work with….and a life lesson for me.

So now, I realize, if any of us can’t perceive our own beauty, we will never think we are beautiful, pretty, good looking, etc.  It’s a foreign language.

But I also remember the story of the “Ugly Duckling”.  It turned out she was the beautiful swan…but she’d been TOLD she was not like the others and she believed it!

But the Ugly Duckling, once pointed out what she really was, finally believed in her beauty. She understood the language of beauty.

So can anyone else…they can learn to see, what I can see in front of me,  a Beautiful YOU!

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