Nobody says a Taoist has to look homely while practicing the Tao. In fact, we Tao Babes unashamedly stick to our lipstick ways and our beauty regiment, even as we follow the broad and easy path, and we do it with the understanding that it is part of what makes us Tao Babes.
There is nothing wrong with find ways to cultivate the Tao, and still look mighty good while doing it. A pretty Taoist is not any less deserving of the benefits of good karma than a homely one.
Still… I must admit that at times, I feel a bit guilty.
I look around me at all those wonderful selfless Taoists who are willing to forgo all the physical wants, eat nothing more delectable than boiled cabbages and rice, put on a plain simple robe, climb a mountain, sit under a banyan tree, and meditate for years.
I certainly could not do that. I would miss my hair stylist too much as she is a great conversationalist. And besides, my blonde hair would get dark roots! My nails would become ragged and unkempt!
I would turn into a homeless ragged ascetic!
All kidding aside, it is true that the I Ching does not often place importance on outer beauty and grace. In fact, it is usually the inner essence that Taoists are taught to observe and place great importance on.
The bulk of the I Ching talks about the fact that the weightiest decisions should be made based upon profound principles and morals. It should not be based upon the outer appearance or the pomp and ceremonies that surround a situation.
But what if the choices are not so profound? What if the choices that we are required to make are not life and death, not immediately important to our lives? What if it the choices that are before us are smaller concerns?
Let it never be said that the I Ching does not value beauty.
Tao Babes get a guilt-free hexagram, at last. When the question is of lesser importance, the external beauty is not only allowed to be taken into consideration, but also actively encouraged! This is shown in hexagram #22 – Pi – Grace/Adornment.
Grace is defined as seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion; a characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement. Sounds like the definition of aTao Babe, n’est ce pas?
Hexagram #22 – Pi – Grace
Grace has success
In small matters
It is favorable to undertake something.
Fire at the foot of the mountain:
The image of Grace
Thus does the superior man proceed
When clearing up current affairs.
But he dare not decide controversial issues in this way.
With all choices being equal, we are given the chance to indulge in the external, luxuriate in the outer pomp and ceremony, we are given the liberties to do it in a way that best suits us. We see the prettiest thing or the thing that smells the nicest, sound the prettiest, and we have the luxury to choose that which pleases us the most.
So, when hexagram 22 comes along, go ahead and indulge yourselves, Tao Babes. Pick the prettiest one of the bunch. Wear the most lavish dress, the highest heels, put on the silkiest of stockings, choose the most expensive perfume, and use the deepest, darkest red lipstick you have. When Hexagram 22 is given to you, go for what pleases your senses, and live life to the fullest.
As you say, inner beauty is what matters most. That said, there’s nothing wrong with using outer beauty to advertise your inner beauty! In fact, you can attract others by use of the external to introduce them to depths of the internal.
Of course, I don’t happen to follow this tact myself. My wife would tell you that I’m a fashion nightmare. :D) I sport a buzz cut, so I don’t have to fuss over combing my hair. And I wear the same “uniform” everyday: hickory-striped overalls, a long-sleeve T-shirt and colorful Converse high-tops. So, it’s safe to say that I am anything but a glamorous Tao Dude.