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The past week I’ve been fighting an ugly case of writer’s block. It’s not only affected this little blog, but also some more pressing matters like my pending book proposal. It just seems that every time I sit down to write, my mind is completely blank. I finally know what Paris Hilton feels like.

The only things crossing my mind were the plots of the many made-for-TV Christmas movies I’ve watched over the past few weeks. A Princess for Christmas, 12 Dates of Christmas (Zack Morris!), Christmas Mail, Snow (Ed!), A Christmas Kiss… and the list goes on. But instead of following cheesy storylines on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels, I needed to get my head out of the clouds and start to write!

Well, this morning this problem kind of took care of itself. Sitting in stop-and-go traffic on Route 66 on my way into work this morning, I flipped through radio stations and landed on 101.1 FM, locally known as “DC 101.”

As I sipped my coffee, I listened to an idiot morning show host babble on about a bunch of female celebrities. Turns out this host and his team were talking about a recent Men’s Health issue listing the “100 Hottest Women of All Time.”

My blood started to boil.

You may have heard that Jennifer Aniston “won” first place in this little contest. I’m sure she’s thrilled to have gross, sexist men like DC 101’s Elliot picking apart every inch of her body live on the air. The analysis was relentless. Elliot has an opinion and he’s not afraid to share it.

He defended Aniston’s reign at #1, as well as the ratings of Marilyn Monroe (#3), Britney Spears (#4), and Madonna (#5). Really, Elliot? You think Britney Spears is one of the hottest women of all time?

But when Elliot didn’t agree with the list is when he got nasty. You see, super handsome and put-together Elliot thinks:

  • Betty Page (#7) is nasty
  • Raquel Welch (#2) is overrated
  • Shakira (#18) has small boobs
  • Anna Nicole Smith (#17) should be higher on the list
  • Kate Hudson (not listed) has the best rear-end in Hollywood
  • Jenny McCarthy (#15) is disgusting because she picks her nose
  • Angelina Jolie (#10) looks scary
  • Heather Locklear (#19) is hot for a woman in her 60’s (she’s 50)
  • Beyonce (#33) has a huge butt

And the comments went on…

At this point, my hands were wrapped in a vice grip around my steering wheel. What gives this lowlife the right to pick apart women like they’re pieces of meat? (Disclaimer: I completely understand that these women are celebrities and choose to put themselves in these situations. But the fact remains: they don’t deserve to be marginalized or judged based upon their size or shape.)

The real knee-slapper came when Elliot said he finds Jennifer Aniston beautiful because she’s “attainable.” Oh really, big guy? You think you actually have a shot with her? I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jennifer Aniston would file an all-out restraining order against you in a nanosecond.

All of these “beauty lists” really tick me off. This one in particular is so flawed. I mean, Audrey Hepburn at #82? Give me a break! And Grace Kelly beat out by porn star Jenna Jameson? I can’t even talk about it.

But before I get trapped in the ratings game myself, I must remind myself—and you—why this list is so flawed to begin with. The very premise is off. You see, it doesn’t actually name the “100 Hottest Women of All Time.” What it does attempt to name, in fact, are the “100 Hottest Celebrity Women of All Time.” That one word makes a huge difference.

These women happen to be the women that everyone knows, because they acted in a film once or sang on a stage. They pay a lot of money to “improve” their bodies, to meet the Hollywood ideal of beauty, and to be photographed in full make-up on a regular basis. We must remind ourselves—for the sake of our sense of reality—that these women are not real.

I’m not taking away from their beauty. Yes, I believe Jennifer Lopez (#60) and Brooke Shields (#42) are beautiful women. There’s no doubt about that. But I’d like to believe that what makes them beautiful is more than skin deep.

Psalm 139: 13-14 says: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

True beauty is not something we attain through Botox, butt lifts and boob jobs. It’s not something that a man-made list can define for us. It is something we own that was given to us before we were born. It’s something we strive to grow through loving God and loving the people around us. When we get that down, the outside becomes simply a reflection of the true beauty on the inside.

Well, I guess my writer’s block is cured. Give me a hot topic and let me roar! The truth is that, sadly, I’m guilty of falling into the Hollywood beauty trap, too. I’ve compared myself to celebrities, longing to have their bikini-ready bodies or their glowing, poreless skin. I’m only human and it’s hard not to feel less than perfect in today’s beauty-obsessed world.

Today, though, I strive to care about the opinions that truly matter. Not the opinion of an outspoken, dirty radio show host. Not the opinion of Hollywood or Men’s Health. But the one opinion that isn’t really an opinion at all—the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Because on his list, I’m #1.

And, here’s a little secret… So are you.

~Ruth