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True inner beauty

January 12, 2009

by Jen Bakken

Well, it happened – I was sucked into one of those TV reality shows. Mondays on ABC, a new show “True Beauty” aired its first episode.

Admittedly, after seeing the previews for the show, curiosity got the best of me. While 10 contestants live together in a house, they are judged on their beauty.

Of course, each of the contestants claim to be perfect-looking, and most do look like models, but what they don’t know is they are also being judged on their inner beauty.

Secretly, they are given tests to see if their inner beauty matches their outer beauty. What will the gorgeous people say when a waiter spills on them? What will they do when someone needs help opening a door?

I know, I know – it really is a silly concept, but executive producers Tyra Banks of the Tyra Banks Show and America’s Next Top Model, along with Ashton Kutcher, the executive producer of Punk’d and Beauty and the Geek, must have done their jobs well because people are watching.

It was comical to hear the contestants talk about themselves, claiming to be the most beautiful person on the show, and hilarious to hear them secretly bash each other.

Aside from the entertainment of the show, it really is a bit disturbing to think there are people out there who actually believe they are perfect. People who feel there is nothing they need to improve upon. People who base everything off outward appearances.

I believe true beauty is what is inside a person. Hopefully, this belief is being passed on to my children.

While thinking about true inner beauty, it caused me to reflect on all of the truly beautiful people in our community.

There are so many around us, it would be impossible to mention them all, but there’s one couple I feel compelled to pay respect to in this column about true inner beauty – Roland (Rollie) and Pearl Starry. When I began working for the Delano Herald Journal, I had no idea that my job would actually bring a second family into my life.

Rollie draws cartoons for the newspaper, and since September 2006, I’ve been lucky enough to get to know him and his wife.

Eventually, they began referring to me as their adopted daughter, and though I have a wonderful set of parents already, I eagerly accepted my new “parents.”

Unfortunately, the Starrys have been going through a difficult time. Pearl was diagnosed with terminal cancer and is now living in a nursing home in Buffalo, while Rollie lives in their Delano apartment.

Their true inner beauty has, in my book, attracted the inner beauty in those around them. Many in the community have stepped forward to offer help to the Starrys in any way they can.

From phone calls and visits, to offering help with rides to church, the grocery store, appointments, or so Rollie can visit Pearl in Buffalo, there are many who have assisted this great couple.

Personally, I wish I were able to help them more, but they have a wonderful support group in the Delano area and they are grateful for it.

Yes, a person can look in the mirror and see beauty, but what’s inside a person is what really makes someone beautiful.

Yes, a person can look in the mirror and feel beautiful, but there is nothing more beautiful than the feeling one gets when they help another person.

In Pay It Forward fashion, if you give of your inner beauty, you will receive inner beauty. And, in Delano, there is so much of it being passed around it’s uplifting – from all of the organizations, the volunteers, and the churches to the individuals who step forward each and every day.

Though I may continue to watch this latest reality show for entertainment purposes, what I’m going to take from it is how great it is to know we live in a community overflowing with true inner beauty.