Sometimes I catch the eye of a woman wearing a hijab and smile a greeting.
She returns my smile and it reaches her eyes.
In that moment, I wonder if there is anything lovelier than a scarf perfectly framing her face.
No younger than sixty, she wore a sleeveless rainbow top, a nod to the ’70s.
She didn’t look young, but she looked comfortable and happy, grinning joyfully at her grandchildren.
Speedos, cleavage, post-baby bellies, and little girls with swim bottoms-only dominated the beach in France.
People rarely ogled, tugged, or whispered judgment behind their hands. “Fail’ photos did not appear on the internet.
Instead, they played, splashed, and laughed; not bodies to be judged, but people reveling in the sun.
I spied a woman at the park, her rust orange pants clashing with her bright pink shoes.
Our boys started to play together and we naturally gathered, as moms are want to do.
We talked and laughed, all supposed fashion faux paux slipping away into insignificance.
In France, you are not too old to wear brightly patterned pants. Make-up feels optional, even alongside an incredible coat or tailored skirt.
In England, pink hair has no expiration date.
Stepping into the world of European everyday fashion is a breath of fresh air.
Who am I to say someone is too old, too fat, too skinny, too whatever to wear something?
People are not objects.
They are not their clothes.
Children inspire grins where ever they travel.
Adults delight in crazy hair, loopy grins. and mismatched outfits.
They see little people, not objects. When do we lose this? Why?
Maybe it’s the hippie in me, but lately I’ve stood in awe of humanity around me.
People – diverse in countless ways – are beautiful,
with their crazy hair, loopy grins, and mismatched outfits.
They are “Can I help you?” to a stranger on a busy sidewalk;
a night time vigil in support of a woman they’ve never met;
a mom making a friend despite language barriers in the park.
People are beautiful.
Not in spite of or because of what they wear, but because of the way they love and help and hope.
Because of who they are.