Coffee and Clothespins

“She’s beautiful.”

“She’s a metre across at the hips, easily.”

“That is her style of beauty.”

I spent some time in a local coffee shop recently. While I was there I saw many different styles of people, as is expected in a local coffee shop. I saw dreads on both men and women, dresses, colored pants, tattoos of animals, foreign languages, and maps, people who were well put together and others who were falling apart, athletic wear, beards, and more.

As the multitudes passed by my table on the way to their barista (either a large red head with a beard and holes for gauges or a woman with hair buzzed on the sides and colored differently), I read George Orwell’s classic 1984. The book is a distopia showing what it would look like for a power to absolutely control a people, culture, and society. People dress the same, think the same, do the same, and are the same. Variables are removed, pleasure is downplayed, and beauty is squelched.

During one scene, the main character looks out a window and sees a mother of many years hanging up clothes. She is not attractive, but rather shows the effects of mothering many children. However, as the main character continues his journey in seeing past the mirage constructed by the world’s dictator, he utters the quote which opens this article.

“She’s beautiful.”

His female partner replies, “She’s a metre across at the hips, easily.”

And he answers, “That is her style of beauty.”

That’s what I saw at the coffee shop that day. A variety of people from various walks of life with varied appearances, yet all with beauty. Though I would not sport the looks of every person I saw, I appreciated how beauty need not be constrained by a particular style or appearance.

We are made in God’s image, and we reflect his beauty. That’s what I saw in the coffee shop.

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