Being a beautiful woman is always portrayed in the media as appearing physically perfect. Teenagers, who have yet to face the physical challenges of womanhood, think that being beautiful is all about what you put on. The media's models and actresses reinforce that idea, yet in many cases those women make being attractive a full time job. Women in Danbury know that being beautiful is far more than a pair of high heels or a new dress.
Jennifer Kraemer was out grocery shopping with her two sons Jackson, nine months, and Dylan, three and a half. Having two sons under four would run any mother ragged, but Kraemer, who was cool, calm and collected with the two boys in a shopping cart, said, “When I am out running like I did this morning, when I am out alone on a beautiful day, running, that's what makes me feel beautiful.”
Most mothers of small children have little time to focus on themselves throughout the day. Sitting in the Danbury Fair Mall, wiping chocolate from the face of her adorable three-year-old daughter, Madeline, June Shaw said, “Music makes me feel beautiful. I love music. I love Donny Osmond.”
Shaw's tiny daughter chimed in, “I love Donny!” Shaw laughed and said, “I also love Frank Sinatra. Music, and my daughter Madeline, make me feel beautiful.”
Danielle Leonard has three children ages eight, three and two, but it doesn't take more than the bare minimum to make her feel at her most beautiful. “A full night's sleep and a shower that lasts longer than five minutes,” Leonard said.
Standing with Leonard was her friend Lucia DeThomas, who said that getting compliments from her husband did the trick. However, she said, “Men only compliment you before you're married. After that, never.”
Husbands take note. Women agree that if you want a wife who feels good about herself, complimenting her and telling her that you love her goes a long way. Feeling loved is feeling beautiful.
Sitting together and having lunch at the mall were close friends Kemena Donald and Jean Baptiste. Donald is nine months pregnant, but her swollen belly has not changed her self-esteem in any negative way. “I feel proud of my stomach,” she said. “I feel beautiful. Once you get past the first six weeks, the morning sickness and the hormones, it's nice to be pregnant.”
Donald is lucky because her husband is supportive. “He tells me I look beautiful,” she said.
Donald's friend Jean Baptiste has two teenage children, and is not going through the same physical blossoming as her friend. However, with two teenagers, the blossoming of a garden can work wonders in the life of a busy woman. “I like gardening,” Baptiste said. “I like nature, and it makes me feel good about myself to make things grow. My children laugh but I talk to my plants and it makes me feel good. Being outside, watching things bloom, that makes me happy.”
Perhaps nothing makes a woman feel more beautiful than being at peace with her surroundings, her family and her friends. Donald and Baptiste met a little over a year ago, after both of them had relocated to Danbury from the West Indies. Their comfort level and ease with each other could lead one to believe they were sisters or cousins. Baptiste said, “It's always good to have one good friend. If you have just one good friend, that is all you need.”
And what could be more beautiful than that?