True Beauty

True Beauty

From Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul

True Beauty

When asked how she still appears young despite her difficult lifestyle, Mother Teresa replied, “Sometimes a good feeling from inside is worth much more than a beautician.”


For Mother’s Day, Jeannie had put considerable effort and planning into buying something very special for her mother, Bess. She had carefully put together the cost of an image consultation gift certificate out of her first few paychecks. On the appointed day, this young daughter brought her shy, plain mother to my studio.

During the color draping and makeover, Bess confessed that she had concentrated on her family for years and ignored herself. Consequently she had never even considered what clothes looked good on her or how to apply her makeup.

As I placed pretty colors close to her face, she began to blossom, though she didn’t seem to realize it. After applying the finishing touches of blush and lipstick to enhance her coloring, I invited her to view herself in the big cheval mirror. She took a long look, as if she were surveying a stranger, then edged closer and closer to her image. Finally, staring open-mouthed, she touched the mirror lightly. “Jeannie,” she motioned, “come here.” Drawing her daughter beside her, she pointed toward the image. “Jeannie, look at me. I’m beautiful!”

The young woman smiled at the older woman in the mirror with tears in her eyes. “Yes, Mother, you have always been—beautiful.”

Charlotte Ward

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