I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Remember when Ray Stevens sang the lyrics “everybody is beautiful in their own way”?
There is also a line in the song that says “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” Apt for what I am going to blog today.
Colleen McCullough, known by many as the author of The Thorn Birds, one of many achievements in her life of 77 years, and has sadly passed away.
What is troubling is the obituary the newspaper thought was fit to write, print, and be called acceptable to its readers.
Let’s look at her public life:
- As a small child, Colleen wrote poems and stories. She also drew and painted.
- She was a model student who excelled in most subjects and possessed a particular talent for English expression, art, maths and science.
- At Sydney University she studied neurophysiology (the science of the electrical behavior of the nervous system.)
- After graduation she set up the department of neurophysiology at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital and ran this department for five years.
- In quest of a higher degree, she left for London. She studied and worked at the Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street (associated with London University) and at a neurology unit in Birmingham.
- McCullough’s scientific work was considered to be outstanding and she was invited to move to the US to run an expanding research laboratory in the medical school at Yale University. Here she taught neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurological electronics. She also worked on microsurgical techniques.
- She decided to write a best-selling novel. She named it Tim. It was published by Harper Row in 1974 and became an instant success.
- Her second novel, The Thorn Birds, proved even more successful with the paperback rights being sold for a world record breaking $US1.9 million. It went on to sell 30 million copies in paperback, 3 million in hard.
- McCullough was an obsessed writer publishing 25 books. Most readers would think of her as a novelist with an historical bent, but she also wrote two cookbooks and a biography of Sir Roden Cutler VC.
In spite of that list, and no doubt, many successes in her private life including marriage and living with blindness in one eye, the Australian thought fit to write as the first part of her obituary:
COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.
The inappropriateness of this hasn’t been lost on a few, with some twittering their own “obituaries” and comments under #fatladyobit.
The hashtag was started by Seattle-based freelance writer Ijeoma Oluo, who said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she first read the obit.
“It thought it was a joke because it was so appallingly offensive,” she said. The point of the hashtag, she said, is to show “what it looks like when we write about women this women.”
“It took off,” she said. “People said it was really cathartic.”
The Australian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
What have we become in a society that would reduce a whole person’s life down to his or her looks, or in their opinion, lack of looks, and think that people would accept that as truth?
I never knew Colleen McCullough, I’ve only read one of her books that I know of, but seriously, in these days of political correctness, just pick a card. Pick an ISM to define this one, and tell me why it fell through the cracks!? If they haven’t found an ism for what they define as obesity or plain looks, it’s sexism at the very least. My daughter remarked they wouldn’t have written such a thing about a fella.
Like a snowflake, every person is unique. No two are the same. God sees you as a masterpiece; and when you look in the mirror, He wants you to “know that full well.
When will people learn? The beauty is in the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
As for the media elite, The Australian?
I’d like to write their obit, when everyone stopped reading it.