Cross-posted from FnC College Ministries
My senior year of high school, particularly the latter half of it, was filled with meetings and obligations, ceremonies and hand-shaking. There’s a lot going on for most seniors, but between Speech & Debate, National Honours Society, running computer technical support at our school, having to both set up for and then attend these events, Baccalaureate, a slew of other things… I was busy, a new Christian to boot, and working hard to retain my priorities. I’d always put people first (and grades nearing last), so it was no surprise that I was late for a senior banquet honouring Speech & Debate students because I was talking on the phone with an old friend. When I did arrive (just a minute or so before the formal beginning), Danny Haase, the preeminent senior on the squad, asked where I’d been. “Talking to a girl,” I replied, and he paused for a moment. “Yes, that about sums up your Speech career,” he said.
It didn’t really hit me until a conversation with Ryan a few months ago that I was, apparently, something of a lady’s man. We were talking about life experience, both in travel and dating, and as I talked about my various relationships, I realized that I’d had quite a few. All these names and faces, all these memories, all the drama coupled with a lot of good times. Few of these relationships were serious, but there were a lot of them, and I was startled by the fact. I had always viewed myself as a lonely nerd, both misunderstood and misunderstanding.
Despite my confused perceptions about myself, some very valuable lessons came out of my high school relational experiences. In a conversation with a good friend of mine several years ago, we were discussing what we found attractive in women. I’d had dozens of relationships and he’d been dating a girl for a year or two who was smart and very attractive, though somewhat clingy. When we both looked around a room, we might notice who the most attractive women were, but we didn’t care a whole lot. We’d note them, but we wouldn’t stare. “She’s just another pretty face,” he’d say. “Just like all the others.”
Of course, the implication (which you might not derive from these words, but I assure you was the case) was that, until you got to know someone, their physical beauty was relatively insignificant. We’d both dated, known, or had some level of relationship with a bevy of beautiful women, and it didn’t impress us anymore. Who cares about physical beauty if you can’t have a good conversation?
This morning when I signed onto Facebook, I saw some new photos of a Christian girl I know who is also a model. I’ve known some very awesome models before, but I have trouble respecting this girl after seeing the type of life she leads: jetting around the world, wearing very little clothing, dozens of guys hanging off her and, essentially, throwing herself at the highest bidder. In the same way that I have trouble understanding how a Christian can be a politician, I have trouble understanding Christian models. Even so, I know it’s possible… but when you embrace the lifestyle so completely (for a politician, by lying, cheating, and double-dealing; for a model, by wantonly throwing money around, giving in completely to vanity, and essentially selling your body to be idolized), I lose all respect for that person.
It makes me sad, but she’s become just another pretty face.