I have very sweet memories of being with my Grandma when I was a child.  She’s still alive, but we don’t live close to her anymore so I only see her every few years when we are back in America.  But we used to live in the same town when I was small.  From a child’s point of view, she was exactly what a Grandma should be.  She was soft.  Her lap was soft, her arms were soft, her cheek was soft. 

I have looked at pictures of her when she was younger, and squinted and strained to see my Grandma in those sepia tones.  She was pretty when she was young, but it was my soft Grandma with the white hair that I loved.  We women work so hard to maintain that youthful prettiness, but it’s our softness that will be loved.  For a woman, soft is real.

Fake is popular right now, as I imagine it has been since the days of Cleopatra, the Egyptian Pharaoh know world wide for her allure and beauty.  Fake is IN.  Fake breasts, fake lips, fake eyelashes, fake tan, fake hair, fake thin.  But without Photoshop, time erodes all such beauty.  (Don’t they ever get tired of fighting against time?)  Fake leaves a bad taste in your mouth- does anyone really like Splenda?  Fake is jarring and harsh, stiff and uncomfortable.

Real is what you are deeper down.  Real is underneath all that.  Real is what God looks at when he sees what is in your heart.  “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”  Time reveals what you really are when the paint chips and the plastic cracks.  Those who have given no thought to their depths can never be Real.

            “What is REAL?”  asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day…

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?”  asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.  “You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

  ~The Velveteen Rabbit

                                                               By Margery Williams

When I am old, those who love me best will be those who see me for who I really am.  Look at old married couples that are still in love.  In the eyes of the other, each one is more handsome than ever, lovelier than when she was young.  They are both soft and faded, loose in the joints and very shabby.  But they can’t ever be ugly, because they are Real.  That’s what I want to be like.  I want to be Real.

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