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Twiggy. Christy Turlington. Heidi Klum. Gisele Bundchen. Naomi Campbell. Cindy Crawford. Linda Evangelista. Karolina Kurkova. Tyra Banks. Elle MacPherson.

As you read this list, you’re probably having one of two reactions: 1) If you’re a man, you’re in heaven right about now; 2) If you’re a woman, you’re feeling pretty ugly right about now.

Supermodels will do that to you. They’re so beautiful, so perfect, so stunning that you can’t help but have a visceral reaction when you catch a glimpse — a reaction often veering toward an extreme end of the emotional spectrum.

But today I want to talk to you about a supermodel that you may not be familiar with —  a fresh face from across the pond in England. According to her portfolio at London’s Models 1 Agency, she seems like a pretty average gal: Height 5’6″; Bust 34″-A; Waist 28″; Dress 10 UK; Hips 36″; Shoes 6 UK; Eyes Blue.

What sets her apart, in my opinion, is her attitude. She’s got a fearless independence and confidence. She seems to really know who she is and rolls with it. And she understands — as much as any supermodel could — that beauty is more than skin deep.

But maybe that’s just the kind of wisdom that comes with age.

Meet Daphne Selfe. She’s the world’s oldest supermodel, clocking in at a whopping 83 years old. Her signature gray hair and haunting blue eyes make her a beauty few ever forget, so much so that she’s enjoyed over 60 years of success in the modeling industry.

Daphne has been gracing magazines, runways and catwalks since the 1950s. She’s modeled for Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, GAP and loads of others. She’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the industry, and has somehow made it through with grace. She’s even resisted the astounding pressure to have plastic surgery.

Even hair dye was never very appealing to Daphne. She went gray in her 40s, but soon gave up coloring her hair and decided to go au naturale. Seems to be working in her favor, as she believes her long, gray locks have given her staying power in the modeling business.

So, what am I blogging about here? A wrinkly old lady? A grandma who still works in her 80s? A silver-haired gal who likes having her picture taken?

Come on. You know me better than that.

I’m writing about the possibility that true peace resides in that elusive place where we choose to accept who we are today, instead of longing for who we once were or who we might one day become.

To me, Daphne has found that place. She embraces her appearance (wrinkles, gray hair and all), and she continues reaching for the stars, even when most her age are seeing stars from an entirely different vantage point.

It gets me thinking about myself and how I view my current place in the world. As women, we often view ourselves in the future tense, like we’re in some sort of Jetsons fantasy. I’ll be this skinny by summer. My skin will be this smooth after another Botox injection. My thighs will be this slim after liposuction. My nose will be this pretty after I get it fixed.

And then what? Another procedure? Another lift? Another tuck? Living life under a magnifying glass is guaranteed to backfire on you, because the magnification only gets stronger over time.

Daphne has a unique outlook, because what others see as flaws, she sees as beauty. Another gray hair? Just a sign of newfound wisdom. Another wrinkle? Just a residual effect of happiness. Another pound? Just a compliment to the chef.

I wonder if Daphne felt the same as a young model in her 20s and 30s. I wonder if she embraced her place then, as she does today, or if this wisdom and grace have come over time. For me, my 30s have brought a new perspective with regard to my appearance. No, I’m not suddenly 100-percent secure and confident. But, I seem to view it all through a different lens than I did five or ten years ago.

So now, when I see a woman like Daphne Selfe, I’m inspired — to revel in the beauty of God’s creation, which, I must remind myself, includes me. And I’m inspired to take care of myself, as an act of respect for my creator. Not in the form of injections, surgeries and treatments. But by living daily to bring him glory.

When we allow ourselves to simply be who we were created to be, there is peace. I still struggle daily with finding that place. I wrestle with leaving the world where Hollywood rules, magazine covers dictate and diet fads manipulate, and entering the world where hearts feel, pressures fade and souls rest. My hope is that we can all find that latter place. It’s my hope for me, for you, and for Cindy Crawford and Gisele Bundchen, too. Because even though it might be hard for me to imagine, I bet they’d give anything to just breathe again.


{Photo credits: 1) Nick Ballon; 2) ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images}