Idiot’s Metric

Posted on October 18, 2011 by


A few months ago, just after I proposed to Jess (my now-wife) on a lovely stretch of quiet sand on the Pacific Coast, I went to a purity conference for singles.  Despite the somewhat humorous timing, I found myself bunking on the floor in a room with five other guys, all brothers.  While they seemed normal enough, I was the odd man out and sleeping was a somewhat futile endeavor.  Lying awake, trying to drown out Katy Perry with a pillow around my head, the teenagers made late night nacho runs and stuffed their faces while rating the various girls at the conference and expounding on the attributes of their favorite NFL cheer squads.

It was pretty clear they were missing the purity point of the purity conference, but they managed to get met thinking all the same. These were young men in the raw, un-tempered by chaperones or expectations of good behavior. They were loud and obnoxious  and yet on a certain level, the world as we have always know it is wrapped around this pulsing, sex absorbed, psyche.  Beauty as we know it is measured by the idiot’s metric.

Now that I’m married I get to see the real world application of this metric in a whole new way. Three weeks into my married life, I am beginning to see that as an unmarried guy, the sum total of what I actually knew about the female brain fits into the period at the end of this sentence. Until you are sitting next to an incredibly gorgeous woman four outfits into dressing for work and they declare they don’t have any clothes, do certain specific truths don’t really hit you.  There are twenty two blouses, fourteen dresses, and eleven skirts in the colors of the rainbow swirling around my feet, but my baby is sitting there looking partially deranged with her lack of options.

It’s one of those things everyone tells you about, but you never really get until you’re there.  My baby is dying to look beautiful. The stress is giving her a stomach ache and she can’t think straight anymore.   She’s worried about the stretch marks on her legs and the rings under her eyes. Her nails aren’t quite right and that zit on her chin is quite possibly the seed of Cthuluh preparing to devour time and space.  As a guy, I sit there in bewilderment wearing the same sweater I wore last week with the same slacks I wore yesterday. For my part, my girl looks pretty amazing in an old tank top and baggy jeans.  What is it she’s looking for?  Who says whats beautiful?

Consider it.  As I am given to understand it, the vast majority of girls are not so much trying to attract men with what they wear as much as they are simply trying to fit in.  The flawless skin, the lustrous lips, the push-up bras, the low cut shirts, the high heels, the butt-hugging pants that draw men’s eyes are generally not about the men at all.  It’s about being cool. It’s about keeping up. It’s about fitting in and looking beautiful.

But who defines beautiful?

Back in the Renaissance when the western world got serious about putting pretty people on canvas, they were usually pale, pudgy, and frolicsome.  Back then beautiful meant you stayed inside, were well fed, and pretty much sat on your butt petting your tiny dog.

Push it forward a few more years and you needed an entourage just to make sure there was enough room to make it through the door with your six foot hips and five foot hair.

It’s the 18th Century now and we’re killing off the whales so that organs can be displaced by corsets and the more important bits can get a little more air time.

In the 1920’s, a beautiful woman was flat chested with cropped hair and cutesy boyish features.

And please, please, let’s not talk about the 70’s.

With the increased deluge of media, the standard of beauty has shifted faster and faster, changing from decade to decade, year to year, and season to season.  Keeping up with fashion is a full time job these days, even for guys.

The facts that few want to admit however is that all these women’s fashions were and are created for the benefit of men. Emancipated or no, like it or not, the trend setters, the celebrities, the designers who have always started the design domino that ends up in our department stores, magazines, and closets are businessmen and in the end, sex sells.  With few exceptions, our biggest modern stars are also fabulously good looking.  Few female celebrities survive past their physical ability to exude sex appeal.  It’s a meat grinder world no less cut throat and deadly than the Roman Coliseum and with no end in sight. Beauty is measured by people like my five roommates and my roommates were idiots.

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.  –  Proverbs 27:20

Ladies, by the worlds standard we will never measure up.  Man always wants more. The greyhound is chasing the mechanical rabbit.  The Spaniard is hunting his El Dorado. We are all going to die while Ahab is hunting his Moby Dick.  It’s just the way the world works.  Little wonder then that God wants our full attention.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  – Romans 12:2

We often treat God like we treated our parents as teenagers.  He doesn’t want us to have any fun. He just wants His way. When was the last time I got anything I wanted? Why is it always about You?  Just like the self absorbed teen, we never realize the limitations, the rules, and the expectations are actually there for our good.  It is in fact for our good that God calls us to follow Him. He can heal us. He can give us lasting beauty.  He can give us peace from the storm.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. – Hebrews 13:8

And so the question comes down as always to two options. Eternal peace or unending chaos, Jesus Christ or the idiot’s metric.

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