Karen Walrond's book trailer and the premise of her book, The Beauty of Different, fascinate me. Both the trailer Michelle posted and a second one available on Karen's blog show many people who would not, at a casual glance in a crowd, seem beautiful in the traditional sense. But in these photos, each is beautiful. Truly. Beautiful.
In the clear focus of Karen's work--close up, shown in the best light, beauty emerges. If you look closely enough, everyone is beautiful. Deep attention creates beauty. Or, maybe recognizes is a better word.
Also on Karen's blog, I discovered a TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie about the danger of a single story--the problems that arise when we believe the one thing we know about someone or something is the entire truth about that person or thing. It never is.
And so, I ask myself whether everyone is ugly, just as we all are beautiful. This might sound uncharacteristically negative, but I hope it's true. I know for a fact that I am ugly--inside and out--at times. If everyone has ugly moments, it's easier to accept them in myself. I don't mean it's acceptable to behave badly or to be unkind. Not at all. But I find it comforting to believe everyone has dark moments, times they have to talk themselves off the ledge, times they don't make the most loving choice. I even find it comforting to think that--like me--everyone has moments when the dark circles under their eyes resemble caverns and their hair looks like a rat's nest.
Capturing and reflecting beauty is a worthwhile endeavor. The reminder that we're all beautiful is welcome. But how reassuring might it be to remind ourselves we're not alone in our occasional ugliness? I'm not sure how that could be accomplished, but it would be equally fascinating.