Beauty in Our Eyes

There is a woman who sits quietly near the street corner by the International school. I walk by her almost every day and often catch her knitting or embroidering, mostly likely during her work break. When I took her photograph, she was embarrassed and turned away, saying, “Wo hen chou.” I’m very ugly.

I think she’s beautiful and I wish I knew her story. Perhaps some day she’ll share it with me. In the meantime, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is one of my favorite photographs that I’ve taken in Shanghai.

8 thoughts on “Beauty in Our Eyes

  1. Indeed, this is one of the best pictures I have seen. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    I bet she is a migrant worker struggling for a better life just like many others. Great shot!

  2. Wow. That breaks my heart. She is beautiful. The topic of women and beauty and how they feel about themselves has been on my mind a lot lately. So many women struggle. Would that we could all see ourselves with Heavenly Father’s eyes.

    • I agree. It’s interesting that all women struggle with beauty and its ideal. I wonder what she considers “beautiful.”

  3. So many women struggle with this issue. I think this woman is so beautiful. If only she could see herself as others do. I, like you, would like to hear her story. You really caught her beauty in this wonderful picture.

  4. I know what she meant. She is in work clothes, sitting on the street- not her prettiest style or pose. It’s easier to say “I’m ugly” than to convince you that you’d get a better photo if she were cleaned up, wearing something nice and feminine. Many women who live a hard-working life don’t feel pretty except when wearing something soft, lovely, glamorous or somewhat carefree in style.
    Labor = ugly
    Leisure = pretty
    If they work all the time, well…
    Thankfully, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Nice photo!

    • La O, I think you’re probably right. I saw her again today and she is a street cleaner, carrying around a broom and dust pan. However, there is a growing trend here for enhancements like bigger eyes, eye lid surgery, bust enhancement, skin bleaching and dental corrections. I think the younger generation has learned to judge “beauty” based on western standards. So much for almond eyes, eh?

      • Tsk! Tsk! And when the beauty pendulum swings the other way, doctors will be doing reversals…going more “natural”. Wealth stirs up strange, vain imaginations.
        Luckily, there will be some of us to represent the natural, unsculpted versions of humanity-big, small, short, tall, wide, thin, tan, fair, almond, round, etc. I think our natural existence might demonstrate most of the versions of size and shape by the time we’re through!! Beautiful!!

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