These are “magic” words and they can apply to anybody, anything, any time.
Try them on.
I have a very dear friend. She doesn’t resemble Kate Middleton. In fact she’s kind of dumpy, frumpy. So? Once she confessed to me, slightly out of context, “Nobody ever told me I was beautiful.” She didn’t sound sad. Or deprived. She just made a statement.
I replied, quickly, “That’s awful. You have the most beautiful turquoise eyes I’ve ever seen. And your hands are incredible. Long slender fingers and you use them like scepters.”
It was true and I think I made a friend for life.
Somehow word has got about, mostly by men — whose minds I simply cannot fathom — who think there’s something narcissistic, about a woman thinking herself beautiful. I thought how awful it would be to be their wives, or daughters, or sweethearts. Doubtful they have one of those.
Trust me on this one, there’s nothing wrong with delighting in your looks. Make the best of them. With such beautiful eyes and gestures, my friend could conquer the world. Make a feature of your best features and be proud of them.
This same type of male mentality — and it seems to be all too common in some, not all — circles, has a fit about a woman thinking well of herself. As if it’s some kind of a sin. I heard a woman take after one once with this thought, “I have a healthy ego and high self-esteem. Does this bother you?”
She told me he never spoke to her again. I told her she was lucky.
The other day in Longs Drugs, standing in front of me in line, was one of the most beautiful little boys I’ve ever seen. He was dressed cute and he had a toy giraffe in hand. He also had the wildest, most generous afro I’ve ever seen. His beautiful mother had her hair pulled tight and his father had a smile as big as all outdoors.
“You’re beautiful,” I said.
“What do you say?” his mother querried.
“Thank you, you’re beautiful, too,” he answered.
When I told him I had a horse, a dog, three cats, and Macaw who famously flew the coop, he was all ears. He told me he loved animals, and had cats and dogs at home. They were animal lovers. There was an immediate bonding. We left the store happy.
Now there’s a kid that’s being raised correctly. I’ll bet he loves books, too.
I think even animals respond to a reminder they are beautiful. Ari does. When he’s in a slump, I ponder, “What’s up beautiful?” His head comes up. His ears perk. He doesn’t try to bite me. Sometimes he has a grumpy attitude. He was abused as a young horse and deep inside I think he never forgot.
When he collects himself and snorts around, he stops traffic. Even when he’s muddy as a pig. He loves to roll in the mud.
Maybe the men I wrote about were abused as kids?
• Bettejo Dux is the author of “The Scam” and a resident of Kalaheo.