Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Mirror of Aphrodite

As the most stunning of all female creatures in the cosmos, one can imagine that the mythic Aphrodite would be a rather vain creature. How could she not be with every man in the cosmos falling over his feet to have at her. But, does Aphrodite want us to be vain? Is that fact that Aphrodite is mythically portrayed as vain mean that that should be an emulated behavior in humans? Should man steal things because Hermes is mythologically portrayed as a thief by stealing the herds of the Apollo?

I have always wondered at what point do we human beings see the mythological portrayals of the gods as encouraging behavior or warning against behavior. But, when it comes to Aphrodite’s vanity, I have to wonder what it is that she is actually looking at in that mirror? Is she looking at herself and being overly proud of her appearance, or is she looking at herself and acknowledging a truth? That she is the most beauteous of all women. Is it truly vanity to acknowledge your own beauty?

Aphrodite would seem to be saying “Take a look at yourself and acknowledge what you are, do not hide behind false modesty, which is itself a form of vanity.”

For those of us who are beauty challenged, though, what should we be seeing in that mirror?

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