Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who is a "Great Beauty?"

Happy Fantabulous Tuesday!!

So I'm feeling a little better today - not 100%, but I'm getting there. In my staff meeting this morning, I told everyone that if they need anything they'd better tell me today, cuz tomorrow at 5:30pm I'm out. No, I won't be staying late. No, I won't be checking voicemail. No, I won't have my blackberry on. I'm leaving at 5:30 to go to a screening of Terminator Salvation, and they're having a reception before the screening complete with refreshments. My vacation will officially begin when I walk out that door...and they'll just have to deal without me. They all kinda looked at me like I had three heads, but oh well! It felt so GOOD!!!

Okay, onto the topic at hand. I'm not sure how many of you have read about Iman's comments in the May 17th issue of Parade Magazine, but this is what she said:

"Mrs. Obama is not a great beauty. But she is so interesting looking and so bright. That will always take you further. When you're a great beauty, it's always downhill for you. If you're someone like Mrs. Obama, you just get better with age."


Now, only Iman knows what she meant by that comment - but what do you think? Backhanded compliment? I'm not going to speculate. I'm sure she meant nothing by it.... :-/

However, what I WILL say is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Who might be considered a "great beauty" to Iman may not be all that beautiful to me...or you. Personally, I think Michelle Obama is stunning. Not "interesting looking"...but simply stunning.

What I will agree with in Iman's statement is that the First Lady is definitely bright and that she gets better with age. You get a sense that she knows EXACTLY who she is, and that's attractive. So many of us are trying to live up to some image we see in magazines. Everyday we are surrounded by messages that tell us if we lose "x" amount of weight, we'll be prettier, or that if we "fix" this one thing about ourselves, we'll be "beautiful." We're rarely told to reflect on our spirit, to nurture our intellect or to define our personalities. The challenge comes in letting go of our limited views of ourselves and trust that we are beautiful simply because we were created in the likeness of God. We are ALL "great beauties" through God's love. All of us.

It seems as if Mrs. Obama got that message loud and clear - she emanates beauty from within. Her spirit beams, her intellect blinds us, and what makes her beautiful isn't just limited to her wonderful fashion sense and amazing biceps. The beauty we see in her speaks to the woman she is, brought about my a great mind, a powerful presence and a knowledge that she is enough. Her eyes are opened. In her face, we see the unique feature of a woman who embodies a generous spirit that gives simply because it is in her nature. We gaze at her glory, and find ourselves in awe of her. Her beauty transcends the physical, and we shouldn't discriminate between what is beautiful and what is not with her - her beauty is infinite because she's gorgeous from the inside out - she radiates like the sun. No wonder Barack loves her!

"Great beauties" aren't something that we determine. God created us in His image, and once we tap into the beauty that is God, a veil is lifted, and true beauty shines forth illuminating everything around us. Mrs. Obama has that light. We should all seek it, and then share it. There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle...or the be the mirror that receives it.



Annamaria said...

first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Annamaria said...

Michelle Obama is a beautiful person. Not only on the outside BUT because of the inner qualities she displays that just come out in her. Her love for her husband, kids, etc etc etc.

Anthony Otero said...

I think someone should Tase you. I have noticed that. NO one ever tased Annamaria, why is that? She is only Puerto Rican! :)

I am not sure how to answer this. All I can say is that maybe Michelle is greater than beauty. Perhaps the word beauty is not enought to describe her becuase she is great. I dunno.

Beauty is a natural phenomenon. Not every has it. Not every emmulates beauty. But when you see it, you know it is pure because it come from within an object or a person and it is reflected within the appearance.

Rameer said...

Michelle is so beautiful even lily-white Maxim placed her in their 2009 Top 100 Hottest women. Now THAT'S impressive - not cuz she is, but cuz they never give it up to women of color for the most part.

I think she's beautiful. Maybe Iman is made cuz her pasty ofay-a$$ husband doesn't get talked about in the same terms as Barack. Who knows - women are catty by nature.

I think YOU'RE beautiful too, Ms. Brookes. True story.

Brooke said...

You can't tase Annamaria cuz she's the one with the taser! LOL!!

Yes, Mrs. Obama IS greater than beauty, great way of putting it! She is so much more than what we see, and that's hard to come by.

Maybe that's what Iman meant :-/


Brooke said...

awww, I think that was better than any dose of medicine I've taken - thank you Rameer!

momo925 said...

yeah Iman might want a beat down! lol Sounded like a back handed compliment to me! Michelle Obama is AWESOME! she needs to stop hating.

Your co-workers better recognize Brooke!

Brooke said...

My co-workers have been put on notice! Might do them some good to miss me :-)

...and bust how now they're asking me to bring them back gifts and souvenirs??? WTF? buggin....

I still can't understand how Iman fixed her mouth to say Mrs. Obama isn't a great beauty. Like, even if you THOUGHT that, would you really SAY IT? Buffoonery.

I wonder if she considers herself a "great beauty"? Some folks used to think that she was funny looking. Not saying I'm one of them, I think Iman is beautiful. But would she be considered a "natrual beauty?" Iman was here at A&E a few weeks ago and had on A LOT of make-up and a long weave. Again, I thought she was beautiful - but would you say she's a great beauty with all that "other" stuff added on? I don't know. It's all relative. I think she's very beautiful - but I think Michelle Obama is just as beautiful - I don't see the need to distinguish between the two - or anyone else.

Rameer said...

Iman - and MOST models - are all false advertising. Very few are pretty without make-up, fake lashes, fake hair, etc. Heidi Klum comes to mind (I've personally seen her without make-up, and she was still pretty). Cindy Crawford, too.

It's hilarious that a woman who has to put a face on to look decent tries to go in on a woman who can constantly be seen with or without make-up looking beautiful. But like I said - women are naturally catty. Oh, and so are bitchass men...

The only time NORMAL men speak about another man's looks is when that cat is UGLY ASS HELL and has a fly woman...like how Chris Rock went in on Jermaine Dupri on the MTV awards years ago (hilarious!).

I KNOW beautiful. And Michelle is IT.

Serena W. said...

She probably does consider herself just that...a beauty. Some of the most beautiful people externally are so ugly because of their insides. Their soul and spirit are so jacked up that their ugliness pours out. This is for both men and women. I think it was backhanded. She's tripping.

I'm truly inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama. She holds her own, is grounded and President Obama nailed it when he looked at her one time and said, "She is the rock of this family."

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...Iman better get with the damn program! She's just mad that her make up is in Wal Mart now and street vendors instead of Neiman's lol!

Brooke tell your co-workers to take a hike! They will miss you when they have to pick all the work up and got nerve to ask for gifts...lmao! Unreal.

Rameer said...

When people ask me to bring them gifts who aren't friends or loved ones, I usually tell they get the finger...what finger? THE MIDDLE.


Anonymous said...

Meagan Goode = Beauty
Tyra Banks = Beauty
Halle Berry = Beauty
Sanaa Lathan = Beauty
Beyonce = Beauty
Chrissette Michelle = Beauty
Jill Scott = Beauty
Angela Bassett = Beauty
Michelle Obama = Beauty
Black Woman = Beauty

Rameer said...

Gotta disagree with Tyra Banks...she's pretty FUGLY without make-up...

But except for her, that list is pretty on-point...u can replace Tyra with Nia Long or Alicia Keys.

Anthony Otero said...

Salma Hyek = Beauty
Jennifer Lopez = Beauty
Vida Guerra = Beauty
Rosario Dawson = Beauty
Eva Mendes = Beauty
Sessilee Lopez = Beauty
Jessica Alba = Beauty
Latinas = Beauty

Annamaria said...

Ant since you said Latina's are beautiful I won't tase you...LOL..
PLUS you can't tase me I'm pregnant & I'm holding the taser! HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Black woman = latina woman = beauty
latina woman = black woman = beauty
my latinegro.;o) and there are so many more...
Meer...Tyra is very nice...however i agree...Alicia..mmmm oh my! Nia...oh my! Jessica..mmmm oh my!
Latinas mmm oh my!!

Anthony Otero said...

You not saying what I think you are saying? Latinos are black? Who would dare say that?

Besides me...

Well I also think Asian Women = beauty too.

Brooke said...

y'all are funny :)

I think men think ALL women are beautiful...most think anything in the female form is beautiful.

Do women think the same about men?

Anthony Otero said...

I dont know about that...There are alot of FUGLY men out there...

Rameer said...

Ooo! Now you talkin' MY language! Asian women - YUM!!!

Got a fetish for dat...and Ethiopian women. And Eritrean women. And Canadian women. And my deliciosa Latinas. And my Black queens. And...

Mmm. Women!

I have no comprehension how a man can be gay. None at all.

phillygrl said...

sorry to disagree....i do not think Michelle is a Great beauty in the sense of the word when most people say "she's beautiful"(& they talk abt HAlle Berry or Sophia Loren, etc..) ...I think she is a normal woman, a great normal woman, who is a great role model( as is her family--i could go on about her contributions past & future, Im sure) but I don't think she is beautiful, I think she is a normal looking woman & I don't think she is a fashion icon by any stretch of the imagination. I JUST had this conversation --took a friend of mine to lunch who turned 40---& she brought up the topic...

--NOW women I think are beautiful!!--
--Frida Kahlo
--Erykah Badu
--Yasmeen Ghauri
--Karen Alexander
--Thandie Newton
--Liya Kebede
---& the oldest daughter from the bernie Mac show--I know she was a teenager & ..I don't remember her name, but I think she will grow up to be a beautiful woman

phillygrl said...


eritrean men too!!..met some while living in D.C. ( fione!!)

phillygrl said...

p.s.....funny...do you think this would be the same blog if it were abt men? I think no men would comment----

Rameer said...

Real men don't look at other men, nor do we tend to judge other men's looks. That's some new ish that started in the 90's as the gaying up of America took place. When I grew up, no man could tell you if another man looked good or not. We just knew who or what was ugly - cuz ugly as abnormal, and ANYONE can tell you what f'd up of any species looks like.

I still can't tell you what is or isn't a good-looking man - and wouldn't try. There's nothing about a man I find attractive in the least bit, so there's nothing that would ever make me say one is attractive. I know whose good-looking based on popular opinion and the opinion of the women I know. So yes - the men on this blog probably wouldn't speak up so much if it was about "beautiful men".

Phillygirl - you hit the nail on the head! DC is Ethiopian and Eritrean capital! Love those women...and if you sat the men are good-looking, more power to you!

Liked your list except for Frida. Have no idea why people call her beautiful - looks weird to me. but to each his or her own...oh yeah, and Liya could use a steak, too. Pretty - but damn she skinny...

phillygrl said...

lol!!1...frida is kinda weird looking, but she was poerful & a trailblazer for her time; I think knowing her story makes her beautiful to me( I guess that's what peoele mean when they say Michelle Obama is beautiful) ...Always thought Liya was very beautiful & Saw Liya on train once with her husband & kids & mother....she is even more pretty in person..chit chatted with me etc...

Brooke said...

Yeah, Frida is not anywhere in the vein of a Halle or Sophia Loren - two women who called "great beauties" Karen - yet you find her beautiful nonetheless. Everyone's list is going to be different - beauty is different to everyone and beauty can be found anywhere if you look hard enough.

But, if you're ugly on the inside, you're ugly on the outside..

Anthony Otero said...

I think we need to be careful when saying what real men do. Some may feel the definition of a real man maybe the opposite of what is considered gay. I am not in agreement with that.

I will look at another guy and be like. That is a fat haircut..or damn that MF needs to twist his dreads more. God forbid a friend of mine is in my presence and he did not iron his shirt. I do point things out to guys because no one else will. We live in a world where most men do not have a father figure, so who else is going to help other men know how to dress or how to look?

Lets face it. It may be socially unaccaptable to look at another man, but all men know who are handsome and who is ugly. How many times have we seen a fucked up looking guy go out with a beautiful woman? Pisses a mothafucka off...lol

So I am not into the real men agruement because I have seen some gay men man up more than thugs.

Keeping on topic (winking at Brooke), beauty is not about gender either.

Brooke said...

(winking back) I agree Ant ;)

I think men know when another man has his sh*t together and when he doesn't...and no homo about it. You can't tell me that a man can't look at another man and notice if he has on a nice pair of kicks or has a niced lined up fade. He won't say anything out loud, but he definitely notices.

Women are just more vocal about it, and maybe so are gay men...but real men notice...trust me.

The Cable Guy said...

Brooke = beauty :)

Black and Latina women = beauty.

Can't rock with the snow flakes. Something about dark skin...mmmm!

Rameer said...

Well, I disagree. I can look at a guy and tell if a guy has a nice suit on, sharp haircut, etc. - but I can't look at another man's face and say whether a guy looks handsome. Sorry. We just didn't build the men in my family that way.

I don't buy that men can look at other men and tell they're handsome or whatever - well, maybe NOWADAYS. But there are plenty of men who are/were sex symbols that I never knew until women told me - Usher, 2pac, I just recently found out Dwight Howard, George Clooney, etc. There is still nothing to this day that clues me into why these men are considered attractive. But it's pretty easy to tell why Biggie is considered ugly.

I can tell a dude to look neat - but that's about it. In a room full of neat looking dudes, outside of the dudes with obvious jacked up or weird faces, I can't tell you who looks better. And even sometimes the jacked up ones are considered attractive due to money or "swag" (HATE that word).

Maybe y'all notice it. The men I knew and was around growing up didn't. Nothing about a man for me to ever find attractive. And that's not even gay-bashing - it's just my reality.

phillygrl said...

rameer---don't tell me when u were growing up, Billy Dee Williams Wasn't fine..Maybe your uncle didn't mention it, but Im sure your aunt did. Im not saying YOU said he was fine, but you know in 70's that's who women thought were fine, etc...maybe guys would say..'that's a smooth cat' or something like that:-) , but they took notice....but I hear what you are saying--just dont understand it. --ok..im back to work.

phillygrl said...

p.s. brooke is that your REAL cable guy, or a lurker cable guy?:-)

Rameer said...

Philly - I've heard PLENTY of men were fine...but I've never looked at them and seen any reason to agree. Like I said - I know they're fine once I hear women tell me. And even that's bogus sometimes to me - cuz a guy who wasn't fine one day can be fine the next with some women based on money, popularity, props, media exposure, etc.

I even suffered this fate to some extent...no rhyme or reason.

So nope - I have never in my life looked at a man and said or determined he looked good. The things I find attractive are all feminine things, and any hint of masculinity turns me off. If a woman with some overt masculinity in her face and/or body turns me off, then just imagine how that is for me looking at a guy.

If there are a bunch of dudes looking at other dudes talking about how cute they are - more power to them. It's not in the kid's DNA, though.

Anthony Otero said...

Of course we can agree to disagree. The only thing I will say is that at the very least, men recognize how appealing they are to other women. So, if anyone of us men can look in the mirror and say..."damn I am handsome"...or even "say shit...i got beat with an ugly stick", then you should be able to tell how another man looks in relation to you.

Rameer said...

Well maybe that's just it, Ant - I've never looked at myself and said that. I think I'm attractive cuz most of the people in my family are considered as such - and I refuse to believe I'm the exception to the rule. That's honestly all it's about - and the fact that women have told me so.

But I've never been able to look at someone outside of a mutant like Biggie and determine which one of us looks better. It usually comes down to how well or sharp we're dressed, not actual looks.

If you remember my boys, my whole crew was considered attractive. But I could never tell you who looked better than who...I just know John got a lot of attention...but I'm sure being a Sigma helped THAT along.

Hell - being cool with the Sigmas helped us ALL along...lolz!

Brooke said...

That's the real cable guy Karen, no lurker... :)

afro / puff puff said...

All I have to say is regardless of her looks, she has managed to snag one of the most fascinating men in the world!! She obviously has SOMETHING. I think that black women should stop being critical of the way other black women look especially when they are not "mixed". We need to embrace our identity and stop buying into the ridiculous standards set up by the media. Is Michelle Obama the most gorgeous looking woman in the world? No. But who really is. She's attractive, intelligent and articulate and thats more than enough for me and it should be more than enough for America.

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