Beautiful Creatures

I was recently paging through one of my favourite photography books. Every page is filled with a masterpiece of line, form, colour, light and many of the other properties that are deemed to make a photograph spectacular. One section, however, made me pause a while longer and that was the section on photographing the human body.

One photograph particularly captured my attention. It was of a young woman. In the photograph she is nude but draped discretely with an earth-coloured scarf. Although her body isn’t perfect, she is beautiful. It made me consider the breath-taking natural beauty humans have.

Every human being is amazingly unique. It is easy to lose sight of one zebra in a herd or one fish in a school but every human has the power to stand out in a crowd. Our hair comes in every shade and texture from elegant red gold waves to fanning ‘afros’. Our eyebrows are perfectly tinted to suit our faces and come in every shape from bushy to a fine pencil line.

The human face is another tribute to beauty. It is so perfectly aligned that the distances between our features are mathematical wonders. Our eyes are perfectly curved and the iris that floats in the centre is not only a unique colour but is unique in the tiny specks or rings that decorate it. The vivid blue of some eyes rivals the ice-blue skies or Caribbean seas. It is said tat all blue-eyed people are descended from one man who lived many thousand years ago. That the blue is still so strong and not at all diluted is a wonder to me.

I have always considered the figure of a pregnant woman the most beautiful. Her stomach is a perfect curve that encompasses all the live-giving organs inside. She is the ultimate image of health and fertility. Ancient goddess-like sculptures echo the figure of a woman with swollen breasts and a rounding belly. It is tragic that many women today resent pregnancy for its effects on the body.

The newborn child that enters the world through such a mother is yet another beautiful wonder. The soft down that lines an infant’s head is as beautiful and natural as a ripened peach’s fuzz. A baby’s hands are perfect with unique prints stamped on each perfect digit. Each tiny finger is adorned with one perfectly formed nail. The feet that will soon be eager to explore are covered with a network of tiny creases that spell out the path this new human will walk.

Even the aged are beautiful. It is a miracle how hair turns to the purest snowy white. The wrinkles that adorn an elderly face seem to accentuate the frailty of the human body on its final stretch. Although the body starts to fail there is a beauty that comes with the years of wisdom an old man or woman possesses.

What is wonderful is that across every culture in the world our bodies follow some heaven-made, ancient blueprint. Every body in the world passes from that of a babe to that of an old person. It doesn’t matter whether our skin is porcelain white, peachy cream, mocha-coffee, olive or ebony. We are beautiful.

It is time that the world stops trying to achieve some unattainable ideal. We are beautiful. We are unique. And how magical would it be if every human would pause a moment and consider that?

We are beautiful creatures.

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