image of God

The Tragedy of Human Ken & Barbie and The Gorgeous Image of God

My 12 year old son got braces this week. Not long after, I was shopping in Walmart and overheard a woman talking to her daughter. "God made everyone beautiful," she said impatiently. The daughter looked about 13. She was short, plump, with pigtails and---braces. I smiled, knowing exactly how it felt to look like that----except I would have killed for the braces. My crooked teeth would not see braces until well after I was married. I would hide my teeth and try very hard not to laugh.

      I wonder what the daughter asked. Maybe, 'Why am I not beautiful like other people?" Or, "Why are some people ugly and some beautiful?"

      The mother could have given another answer. She could have said, "Well honey, if you don't like your looks, you can undergo a series of expensive, risky surgeries including implants, nose jobs, liposuction, gel fillers and so much more.  You can reach perfection dear! You too can look like a doll! You go girl!" 

 She could direct her to one or all of the Human Barbie's now vying for our attention. This newest one, another from Ukraine is only 16 years old. She explains her attempt to look like a Barbie doll this way:

"I started dressing up like this (as a doll) because I want to look perfect. I think that all women should be well-kept and immaculate. I wanted to be my own inspiration."  

She's late on the scene, though. Another Ukrainian woman, Valerie Lukyanova has held the title of "Human Barbie" for several years:

She underwent radical plastic surgery to achieve her goal, to be "the most perfect woman on the Internet."  Just last year, she announced she had become a Breatharian, forgoing food and water to live on air and light alone. (This is for real. More here:)

      This sweet mother in Walmart could also have directed her to the Human Ken, who is proud of his now 140 surgeries to attain his plastic-doll looks:

And here's the lovely couple together:

       Justin (Human Ken) has had a few complications. When being injected with gel to create fake muscles, his body reacted. He was partially paralyzed for a brief time. Now, he's helping to pioneer what all beauty-seekers will soon be clamoring for: six-packs, biceps, deltoids, all the muscle definition you want without a moment of sweaty exercise. You simply get gel implants, like Justin's:

With muscles sculpted from plastics and silicon, with a blank face, he's clearly closing in on the doll!!

    A couple of weeks ago, I attended a documentary film festival. The first film I saw was,  "On Beauty." It was the rare kind of movie that elicited from the audience a spontaneous burst of applause that would not stop. I was among the applauders. Here is why:

I've become a huge fan of Rick Guidotti and his organization Positive Exposure.

Here are some of my favorite portraits:

Thomas Merton has written,

“We are what we love. If we love God, in whose image we were created, we discover ourselves in him and we cannot help being happy: we have already achieved something of the fullness of being for which we were destined in our creation. If we love everything else but God, we contradict the image born in our very essence, and we cannot help being unhappy, because we are living a caricature of what we are meant to be.” 

                                                     ― Thomas MertonA Book of Hours

We are living a caricature of what we were meant to be.

     I dont' know if Rick knows Jesus, but I want to see through  my own eyes as he sees through his camera. I want to see and witness to the stunning image of God in all people.  

 Do you not see it too, all around you? The ravishing glorious beauty of God in human flesh?

Let us all open our God-made eyes to see as He sees.