Permission To Shine

by Karmel Larson

Thanks for commenting Amy on my previous post regarding Botox and welcome to my blog.  I’m not sure who you are but I welcome your thoughts and opinions.  I agree whole-heartedly that women should put an emphasis on their physical beauty.  In fact, having decided to participate in Mrs. Utah in April to promote Decency, I would definitely consider myself a student of physical beauty and how to improve my own appearance.  I believe that how I am received physically not only has bearing on my own self-worth and level of confidence but also impacts my ability as a leader and to attract others to join in my non-profit work and to be interested in supporting and following the various causes I feel compelled to promote.

My current mentor, Cherie Burton, produced a CD entitled, Permission to Shine.  I highly recommend it to EVERYONE.  You can purchase it through her website at or feel free to borrow my copy.  She promotes seeking beauty on a higher level than I have ever considered and is very spiritually based in her reasons as to why we should seek after it.  If our intentions are to promote self or to have sex appeal for a broad audience, then we may be misguided and constantly fall short of our perceived societal expectations.  If our motivations are spiritually based and we are able to exude radiance, confidence, light and charity in an effort to improve the world then hopefully our quest is not purely vanity.  My current efforts to improve my beauty are focused on health, nutrition, weight training and an intense study of spirituality, soul purpose, personal mission and educating myself on hair, makeup and wardrobe. I have a LONG way to go!

I do believe that our society places an unhealthy emphasis on wordly beauty and I am especially concerned about the message it sends to younger women.  A mature and spiritually refined woman can certainly use her wisdom and judgement to know if a certain procedure is the correct choice for her.  I don’t think that younger girls have developed that discernment and can easily be misguided into a “fixation with fixing”-to quote Cherie.  We have to be very careful about how much physical fixing we seek after if any.  I think it is better to focus on self acceptance rather than fixing.  My heath and fitness mentor, Liz Rosenbaum, wrote a great blog post on self acceptance.

I admit I’ve been tempted to take a little off my nose and add a little to my chest, but I don’t think I want to go that route? (although I have many family members who have gone that road whom I adore and love) I would rather she take the “Permission to Shine” route rather than the “Pressure to be Sexy” message relentlessly hounded upon in the media.

Having pontificated on all of that… let me add that I accept the criticism that maybe I’m judgemental.  And it wouldn’t be the first time!  I hated sister missionaries and swore I would never become one of those “girls who had nothing going for them and so they “had” to go on a mission because no one would marry them”.  Yep-changed my mind about that and served a fantastic life tranforming mission in Spain.

Later I felt pretty strongly about homeschooling families… that they were, “Back woods extreme conservatists who were ruining their children’s lives!”.  Yep… I joined them too!  After learning more about what a home education REALLY was about, I became a homeschooling mom for 3 years and consider it to be the greatest education I and my family have experienced together.  Our kids are in public school now, but I’ll always be a homeschool mom at heart and love to apply the many principles of home education as a supplement to the public education.

I remember one night pitying a mom who decided to work a few hours a week as a waitress to supplement that family income (while her husband was at home with the kids).  I was just so wrought with distress for her that she wasn’t truly a “stay at home mom” any longer.  And yes… you guessed it- a few months later, I got my Real Estate License and partnered with my husband in job sharing.

Pageantry was never high on my list of respectable programs too support or participate in.  I viewed contestants as hollow shells in high heals with a fake purpose conjured up in order to win a self-promoting title.  How’s that for judgemental?  Now look at me… one of THEM!  Although, hopefully, those of you who know me well will hopefully agree that I have a little substance to my character and I really do believe in my platform.  Since embarking on this pageant path, I have discovered that once again, my notions of pageantry were incorrect.  Although there are some who fit my previous description and are misquided in their efforts, the majority of women I have met are powerful, well meaning, spiritually motivated, service oriented, leaders with a mission and a message that they want to promote on a grand scale.

I admit it!  I have been and probably will continue to be judgemental!  I fight against it and hope that I can recognize it for what it is and change.  Nonetheless… there you have it-I’m TERRIBLY FLAWED!  Each of my “transformations” to becoming a Sister Missionary, Homeschooling mom, Realtor, and Pageant Contestant have been very spiritually based decisions that I confidently know were right for me and my family.

So… who knows, maybe I’ll be the next one lining up for Botox.  It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve changed my mind about something.  For now though, my beauty efforts are based in 36 man push ups by mid-October, no more of those wimpy push ups on my knees.

I welcome your comments…