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What is Beauty?

Young Mariko Toda
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?

                           (William Shakespeare)

Or could this be true?

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know;
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
A profile

Look at your watch.

Count the seconds.
All the while that beauty is fading.
How long before the fine outlines are gone?

Just how happy will cosmetic surgeons, cold cream peddlers and Vogue publishers be? They'd welcome a brand-new, self-conscious "old and ugly" cash cow with open arms. After all, men aren't supposed to see past the smooth skin and stylishly vacant stare...

Pretty Face

Look closely.

Used to be that harem dwellers had help in primping up. Today's "independent" woman better spend her own time becoming a well-packaged commodity...or suffer the consequences. Imagine the indignity of only being appreciated by the few weirdos who look for intellect, substance and personality. Judging others by appearance has worked for centuries, so what's with this new idea?
Reclining adolescent
Look right!
Look straight!
Look left!
Grace of the movement and softness of skin may yet carry the day. What does this say about our priorities? And what would Lloyd Erlick say?
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