Arthur and I love art. We enjoy art museums in every city that we visit. Whether in the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art on New York or the Norton Museum of Art near our home, we find pieces that we love and pieces that are not to our taste. The artwork that adorns our walls are pieces we've collected through the years that have made us smile. Some people find our choices appealing while others obviously aren’t enamored. That is okay, because none of us holds the secret to beauty, exclusively.
Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder, and we all see things through our own kaleidoscope. That is why most of America is enthralled with "Game of Thrones", and while I appreciate the work that has gone into it, I just don’t find it appealing. On the other hand, I enjoy Shakespeare while many find his writing to be unreadable.
That is okay...chocolate vs vanilla...both good...which do you choose? If it happens to be chocolate, do you spend your free time discussing how unattractive vanilla is? Do you rate it lower if it has those little brown flecks in it? Do you snicker when you pass a bowl of vanilla ice cream?
When did man start believing that looks supersede all else? More to the point, when did man start believing his judgement of how something or someone looks is the criteria that we should live by, and when are we going to teach our children that everything has beauty in somebody’s eyes.
I sat in my classroom year after year and watched the boys swarm around the stereotypical pretty girls, giving them a false sense of worth while the rest of the girls felt less attractive then they actually were. These young men were harming both groups with there hunt for beauty. The first group began believing that their looks meant more than their brains, charm and good nature. They focused on those looks instead of building their character. The second group felt inferior because they didn’t have the body or face of a super model and often fought depression and became introverted, hiding the true inner beauty they possessed.
Several months ago a group of girls at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland found a list that a group of boys formulated last year. In it they ranked the 18 girls in the school's International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme by their looks. The young ladies were devastated and began questioning their worth, but these are strong young women who decided to take it in a more constructive direction.
The school had disciplined the boys involved, but the girls felt that this wasn’t enough. They organized a meeting on March 8, International Women's Day, that was attended by administrators and students. They confronted the boys involved with the list, including the senior who originally created it. The girls told the perpetrators how it felt to be judged on a daily basis by their supposed friends. They made them realize that what was funny to the boys was devastating to the girls. The young man who created the list was truly humbled and said it would take a long time to forget what he had just experienced.
A coed group of seniors have been meeting frequently since then to try to change the school's culture for future classes. One big step for them...one small step for women everywhere. The answer to women’s poor treatment through the years will not be found in a courtroom or even in a classroom. The answer will be found in the hearts and minds of men who come to realize the damage they are doing to mothers, daughters, sisters and wives everywhere. When they emphatically feel the pain a woman feels when she believes she doesn’t meet their standards of beauty, men will hopefully think twice before they create a list over a few beers one night. Like art through the ages, all people are beautiful in someone’s eyes, and all people must feel beautiful in their own heart.
Literature, like art of all kinds, helps to teach us about ourselves, and It's Not Hansel and Gretel (It’s Not a Fairy Tale Book 2), by Josh Funk has several lessons to teach young people and their parents. Funk just didn’t like the way some stories were written, so he took it upon himself to change them up a bit.
As always, a complete review of this book follows my blog.