Text Illustrations
A successful beauty product company asked the people in a large city to send pictures along with brief letters about the most beautiful women they knew. Within a few weeks thousands of letters were delivered to the company.

One letter in particular caught the attention of the employees and soon it was handed to the company president. The letter was written by a young boy who was obviously from a broken home, living in a run-down neighborhood. With spelling corrections, an excerpt from his letter read: “A beautiful woman lives down the street from me. I visit her everyday. She makes me feel like the most important kid in the world. We play checkers and she listens to my problems. She understands me and when I leave she yells out the door that she’s proud of me.”

The boy ended his letter saying, “This picture shows you that she is the most beautiful woman. I hope I have a wife as pretty as her.”

Intrigued by the letter, the president asked to see this woman’s picture. His secretary handed him a photograph of a smiling, toothless woman, well-advanced in years, sitting in a wheelchair. Sparse gray hair was pulled back in a bun and wrinkles that formed deep furrows on her face were somehow diminished by the twinkle in her eyes.

“We can’t use this woman,” explained the president, smiling. “She would show the world that our products aren’t necessary to be beautiful.”


Alice Gray, More Stories to Warm Your Heart (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 1997


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