Magazine Cover-Itus

I suffer from Magazine Cover-itis. Have you heard of it? Maybe I have made up my own name for what I have! It is a disease, that I think affects many creative people. Our thoughts tend to center around creating the perfect cover shot existence. For me, being an interior design consultant, I love to create beautiful surroundings, and help others do the same. In fact, I can become quite obsessive about it–rearranging this or that in my house until it looks like the cover of a magazine. On the other hand, some people I know are quite concerned about their appearance, needing to have the perfect body, latest fashions or super chic handbags. They aspire to that cover girl look.

Decorating books and magazines feed my obsession. Double page spreads of homes that photograph beautifully, or that are staged to appear picture perfect, inspire readers to buy the latest must-haves, redecorate, or experiment with this season’s colors and fabrics. Magazines are a feast for the eye and offer a wealth of knowledge! I love them!

However, while I think my affliction is incurable, I am learning to use it for good. I believe God created beautiful things for our enjoyment, so I feel blessed to be able to appreciate and use His gifts every day. Beautiful surroundings make me happy. They inspire me. While I still enjoy lovely things, and spend much of my time trying to inspire others to find beauty in their lives, I now find true contentment in what I call authentic living.

Authentic living, for most people, does not always look like a magazine cover. But there is something especially endearing and unmistakably charming about an authentic home. It is a place where children can run through the halls with messy shirts and dads can take naps in the living room. Moms can bake cookies and yummy things in an apron that doesn’t match her outfit, while dirty bowls pile up on the counters. Friends can come for a chat and they don’t care if there is laundry being folded on the footstool. Toys are scattered about and teenagers can do homework on the dining room table. Babies and dogs drool on things. Things get sticky and in a scramble, faster than you can clean them up.

This is life. Not a staged version where the mom is “cooking” in a size-two cocktail dress and three-inch heels, and there is not a dirty dish or dust bunny to be found. Real life isn’t always picture perfect in every way, and yet, there is a lived in beauty there! We are drawn to the indescribable warmth and humanity of a home that has history, life, happiness, spirituality and love within its walls. That should be our ultimate goal, the life behind the beauty.

You can have all the latest and greatest designer styles, find yourself on the cover of a magazine, and miss the most important things of all.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…instead, it should be that of your inner self.” 1 Peter 3:3,4

©2007, Melissa Michaels
Photo credit, Melissa Michaels

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