Looking upon Jacqueline Marie Evancho at any age thus far…but most especially the teenager, I see before me a “Classic Beauty.” I think many will agree. However, this got me to thinking: what is Classic Beauty? Really? “Classical” beauty is it’s own category of beautiful, like a rose it’s own unique form and fragrance in a garden of flowers.
So Class, how do we plumb the depths of the unknowable in the universe? Well first we GOOGLE! From two web sources on Classical Beauty:
“A person, usually a girl, who is elegant, regal, has good posture, an beautiful face, and an excellent profile. The proof of a classical beauty is to dress her in formal finery and take a photo, or paint her in profile. If she is classically beautiful, the resulting image should be stunning.” – Urban Dictionary
“It’s important to keep in mind that a face is a work of art constantly “in progress.” It might be called the very definition of metamorphosis. As it changes, we unconsciously change our criteria in defining its beauty. The image of a beautiful baby in no way resembles that of a young bride, nor that of our beautiful, aged grandmothers. There are some constants though. An angelic little girl seldom grows up to be anything other than a lovely young woman, then an attractive matron, and finally a sweet little old lady; and classic beauty survives very nicely this transition.” – Humanties Web.org
I would say Our Jackie qualifies on both these counts. But to my Mind’s Eye it is not that simple.
Ahemm…Maia’s Definition of a Classic Beauty:
It is not, as the artist’s say…that the person must have a symmetrical face. Although Purists may argue with me (especially those whom possess symmetrical faces) I would not place much stock in geometry concerning Beauty of the Classical persuasion. Yes, I will admit that a pleasing Kisser usually has some math involved, but if the other ingredients are not present it is like a cake left out in the rain. A woman or man can have a perfectly symmetrical face and not be any more outstanding to the eyes than a store dummy.
There must be….something else; and when we are speaking of “Classic” Beauty…something even more.
We all know there are people who are beautiful on the outside and not on the inside and those not attractive in face or form, but radiate an inner beauty. And then the few who have both outer and inner beauty, which Jackie certainly has, but this does entirely not make her a Classic Beauty.
Okay, so let’s dig a little deeper. Dictionary please.
a. Belonging to the highest rank or class.
b. Serving as the established model or standard: a classic example of colonial architecture.
c. Having lasting significance or worth; enduring.
a. Adhering or conforming to established standards and principles: a classic piece of research.
b. Of a well-known type; typical: a classic mistake.
3. Of or characteristic of the literature, art, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome; classical.
a. Formal, refined, and restrained in style.
b. Simple and harmonious; elegant: the classic cut of a suit; the classic lines of a clipper ship.
5. Having historical or literary associations: classic battlefields of the Civil War.
1. An artist, author, or work generally considered to be of the highest rank or excellence, especially one of enduring significance.
2. A work recognized as definitive in its field.
a. A literary work of ancient Greece or Rome.
b. classics The languages and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Used with the.
c. One that is of the highest rank or class: The car was a classic of automotive design.
4. A typical or traditional example.
5. Informal A superior or unusual example of its kind: The reason he gave for being late was a classic.
6. A traditional event, especially a major sporting event that is held annually: a golf classic.
Well, we can certainly rule out Golf. And in my opinion, quite a bit of the above. First of all, we are focusing on the Classical Beauty as a human quality. Narrowing it down to that, Classic then, is the finest of the fine by some standard…apparently that of ancient Greece and Rome. Those old Greeks and Romans were really hung up on beauty but not too observant of Human Rights – especially the Romans. Yet the artists of that crowd did create some true masterpieces displaying the human form and face in a realistic yet enchanting manner. It is a given they all liked to eat a lot and were not partial to counting calories, so their classically beautiful women were a bit on the plump side by the standards of todays Western beauty. No matter, as we are not looking for just another face and figure here, but something that takes hold of the soul when you gaze upon it. To me, that and that alone, is classical beauty, whether it be a horse, a man, a woman or the Taj Mahal. Yes, it may have perfect geometry ringing in your ears when you gaze upon it, but the exceptions can be just as profound…as “classical” to the senses.
In a human being it is not just an inner beauty, but one that communicates through the persona of that individual in an intelligent manner that they are what they appear to be. You can trust the beauty you see on the outside. It is not a false impression but a living testament to the inner being that is touching your soul. I will stop right here and say that a person can be incredibly beautiful on the inside and not so attractive on the outer, and this makes them no less a splendid human vehicle for an evolved soul. But the topic of my “dissertation” here is on Classical Beauty, so I am sticking to that. It is a perfect balance of outer and inner beauty that also radiates an intelligent presence. By that I mean in the way they express themselves. How they move, their facial expressions, eye contact, smile, laughter…all in sync with a marvelous inner rhythm that draws you to them. It is refined, but most of all it is authentic.
Okay, picture time! We will start with some way-back-when ladies that are not what we would call beautiful today, but try to suspend your Westernized, modern judgement for a moment, and see them through the eyes of their time, and the sculptor or artist that brought them to life in stone or on canvas.
First, Helen of Troy and our Smiling Lady, Mona Lisa
I would have liked a better picture of a Helen statue, but this is the best my Googling could provide. The real Helen had to be more than just a good-looker, if her appealing qualities are to be judged by history. Both ladies above have that soft, sweet (but hardly weak) smile. It is accepting of whatever their eyes are gazing upon. They seem to say, “This is Life, and I embrace you, with Love, Hope and Passion.” I see the same expression and poise in this photograph:
Now for some women more recent in time and therefore more familiar to us as living, breathing human beings:
Something these two screen stars, along with Jackie have in common is that they were exceptionally authentic in the way they conducted their lives. Both strove to make the world a better place. Garbo was the more reclusive, but if you read about her from people who knew her…she was someone who cared.
Men can be Classic Beauties as well. Beauty is not an effeminate term. A stallion can be as beautiful as a mare! For my example of Classical male beauty I give you Elvis Presley…a man I was in the presence of some 36 times. If you may doubt his spiritual presence, authenticity and caring I suggest you read the book I wrote about him, Blue Star Love. In any case, while there are certainly other Classical males I could think of, he is the first that comes to my mind.
Elvis with his fans – the people he sincerely loved…
Oh, and Classical Beauty is not just a White thing!
In conclusion, for me, truly Classically beautiful people inspire us through their visage to be better individuals ourselves. What we see in them pleases the eye, but it must also inspires the soul. There is nothing vague or superficial about them. They do not follow the crowd and for that reason, may be criticized by those for whom “crowd mentally” is a safety belt on the rocket ship ride into the unknown. The “Classics” among us will stand out in that crowd, not simply because of their face and form but because God has given them a visually-appealing beacon to open people’s eyes to a deeper beauty, which we all share.