Monday, March 23, 2015

Truly Beautiful People

For some reason, I’ve stumbled across at least three different online articles in the past week or so which all list a number of “Ugly Celebrities.” What a horrible thing to list! Simply because these people don’t conform to classic standards of beauty, some anonymous online list-makers felt the need to hold them up to public scrutiny and mock their physical appearance. Actors and other celebrities certainly open themselves up to some degree of public scrutiny by the nature of their business. But to make a list of ugly celebrities is cruel and unnecessary.

So I’ve decided that it’s time to make a list of celebrities who may not conform to Hollywood’s image of ideal physical beauty, but who are truly beautiful because of their actions. 

Rupert Grint’s childhood ambition was to drive an ice cream truck. So one of the first things he bought with his earnings from the Harry Potter movies was an ice cream truck. Once he realized that children were always chasing him down wanting ice cream, he decided he’d better keep it stocked with ice cream at all times. But since he doesn’t have a vendor license, he can’t sell his ice cream. So instead, he gives it away. He drives around local villages looking for kids who look like they could use some ice cream, parks, and hands it out. He also personally supports multiple charitable organizations. That’s beautiful.

In 1992, Chuck Norris launched an organization in his home state of Texas called KickStart Kids, which uses the study of martial arts to give middle school students the tools and skills to resolve conflicts, avoid gang membership, stay away from drugs, handle peer pressure, and finish school. That’s beautiful.

Elton John hosts an annual fundraising ball in his own home to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which he established in 1992. He also hosts post-Grammy and post-Oscar parties to raise funds for his charity. In addition, he gives generously to many other charitable organizations, including such varied causes as supporting equal rights, diabetes and breast cancer research, food banks and homeless shelters, rainforests, the arts, anti-bullying, and many children’s causes. That’s beautiful.

Gary Sinese is a familiar face in the world of supporting veterans’ causes. The Gary Sinese Foundation, which he began in 2011, supports multiple programs to assist wounded veterans regain their physical independence (including building custom wheelchair-accessible homes and providing specialty vehicles accommodating multiple physical limitations); to assist veterans and their families in dealing with the emotional trauma of returning from combat; to provide scholarships, training, and outreach to first responders and their families; to provide hearty, healthy meals to veterans and current military members; and to establish arts and entertainment outreach programs throughout the country. That’s beautiful.

Kelly Clarkson founded the Fruition Fund, part of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, to direct funds to existing organizations in support of medical research, children’s charities, and food assistance. She recruited more than a dozen fellow celebrities to perform in the Fund’s inaugural fundraising concert in December 2014. In addition, she personally supports dozens of educational, medical, children’s, and veterans’ charities. That’s beautiful.

None of these celebrities regularly hits the "Most Beautiful People" list in any magazine. None of them quite conforms to Hollywood's standards of classic beauty and pristine perfection. And yet, they are among the most truly beautiful celebrities alive today, at least in one sense of the word "beautiful." The most important sense, I'd say. 

So tell me: which list would you rather be on, the “Most Beautiful People” list or the “Most Truly Beautiful People” list?

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