Friday, January 2, 2009

Real Beauty

There are a lot of gorgeous celebrity women out there. In their glitz and glam, they shimmer and shine. There's Angelina Jolie, Giada de Laurentiis, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, etc. In their makeup, their million dollar dresses and hairstyles, they look like the amount of money they make every year. Men love them, women love them (and want to be them), they're considered role models.

Yet the woman I consider the most beautiful is completely unlike them. She wears no makeup (or very punky makeup) and is as far from glamourous as Mississippi is from Alaska. She's a fiery feminist and her lyrics are far from being about bubbly romance with a hunky guy. Her name is Ani Difranco. And she is the most beautiful of them all.

I consider her beautiful because she is without even trying. It's not in the graceful curve of her lips, nor the curls of her black hair, but in the confidence she projects. Whether she dyes her hair green, wears her funky nose ring and earrings or shows off her tattoo, she shows someone who is real, who is not afraid to be herself. Her lyrics and melodies are full of sincerity, of her loves, her life experiences, and of causes she cares deeply about. While she is an activist, she isn't a celeb on a soapbox, preaching to the world. She is into the work as all of us, one of the average people just trying to make a difference in the world. She doesn't fight just to fight. She wants to make the world better for all women, for her own daughter as well as the daughters of the future. She is real, having lived a tough life and is strong in who she is. For that reason, I'd have to call her the Bruce Springsteen of folk/punk-rock music.

She never wants to be the pretty girl, the "damsel in distress", the one who get saved by a knight in shining armor. She wants to be her own knight, yet share her love with her man and their daughter, as well as with those she fights for and sings about. She's been through a lot herself, yet, as a Disney flick once pointed out, "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."

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