When I redesigned my site over a year ago, I decided to add a tagline. As it happens, "Wildly Convinced You're Uncommonly Beautiful" was an easy one to pick: having written a book about beauty and photographed hundreds of people, the statement wasn't just a platitude -- I had truly become wildly convinced that each person is uncommonly beautiful.
I'm sure many people who see this phrase at the top of my site regard it with some skepticism. I hardly think you've met everyone in the world, they might muse to themselves. I mean, you haven't met my ex-husband. There isn't a drop of beauty in that guy. And perhaps that's true; certainly I've run into my share of folks who are capable of some ugly behaviour. But the fact remains: my experience tells me if I take a moment to breathe, and really look at someone, I mean really look at him, I am invariably able to see beauty. Sometimes it's physical -- like striking eyes, or a broad smile, or elegant hands. Other times, a person's beauty might manifest in a talent: a passion around a particular hobby, say, or a facility with kids, or even an ability to tell an amazing story. And sometimes, the beauty isn't tangible at all; it's just an aura. His spirit.
But nonetheless, the beauty is there.
Yesterday, I visited the site of one my favourite photographers, Hailey Bartholomew. I've been a fan of Hailey's for a few years now (and her philosophy on gratitude closely mirrors mine), so I knew that I was going to find some lovely little gem of beauty when I landed on her site. I was right: she had just published a very sweet video about finding rocks shaped like hearts, ostensibly to show her kids that "what we see mainly depends on what we look for."
Here, you should watch it -- click on the image below (just under 3 minutes long):
Sweet, isn't it? In that lovely little video, she has encapsulated everything I believe about finding beauty -- and, for the record, finding ugliness, as well. You find what you look for.
I remain wildly convinced you're uncommonly beautiful -- and that life is uncommonly beautiful -- because I'm looking for it, man. And I make a dogged, determined, practice of looking for it. I view this site as my tool for capturing and recording it. And invariably, I've been able to find it. Almost every time time.
Because it's there.