Kate Upton: Beauty Gone Ugly

Sports Illustrated cover model, Kate Upton, has been in the news quite a bit lately. The 19-year-old bombshell scored the coveted swimsuit issue cover, appeared in a movie as a nun (oh, the irony) and then recently had a video of herself, uh...dancing, reinstated by youtube. Triumph of the beautiful woman? Is this the revelation of the truly beautiful or is it grasping for attention? (and as an aside, where is her father? What is her dad doing?)

Let's review the facts. The world worships physical beauty. If you are physically attractive, the world pays you special attention and then proceeds to worship you. What is this attraction to physical beauty? It speaks to something much deeper. It is really a longing for heaven. As we live on earth, we are given glimpses of eternity and beauty (especially in a woman) is a glimpse of heaven. But what happens when beauty goes ugly?

Upton competed with many other attractive women to win the prize as the cover model on this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (read: hardly wearing anything) Issue. The blond beauty is featured on the cover (photoshopped, no doubt, but still beautiful) gazing luringly into the eyes of all who pass by. Scoring the cover of a magazine like that gets one a lot of attention.

From there, Upton is featured in the movie The Three Stooges. She is cast as a nun. A bikini-clad nun wearing a black veil. Many people in Catholic circles condemned the producers of the movie for including such an offensive scene. My issue didn't lay with the producers as much as my disappointment in the female gender. Why would such a beautiful woman waste her gift and give it over to something so ugly? For attention? Fame? I bet it's something much deeper.

The latest sorrow in this trilogy is Upton's recent video that was initially banned by youtube. It features a scantily-clad Upton dancing to a popular song. It was so indecent that youtube banned it, citing it to be a violation of their nudity policy. It was later re-instated, and youtube apologized for the incident. Apparently since she wasn't actually naked, they couldn't ban it. The video and controversy sent Upton's star into the upper stratosphere of fame. But is it true beauty? I say no.

I guess when I see Kate Upton, I see a young woman who doesn't really believe she is truly beautiful. I see a young woman who is giving herself up to be lusted over by men and she will be ultimately used up, chewed up and spit out when her "worth" is consumed. I see a little girl who is looking for attention.

True beauty is something that is life-giving. When visionaries see Our Lady, they weep over how beautiful she is. She is full of grace. She is lovely. Archbishop Fulton Sheen says that she is the woman all women want to be. A woman full of grace- the divine peak of beauty. Beauty isn't meant to be devoured and squandered, it's meant to be uplifting and eternal.

My prayer for Kate Upton is that one day she uses her beauty to heal the hearts of men, rather than destroy them. I pray that one day she realizes that the depths of her beauty comes not from her youthful and shapely figure but from the essence of her soul. May Jesus embrace her beauty and fill the empty places of her heart.

God bless you, Kate.


Beautiful post... unfortunately some people have an entirely different understanding of things like "success," "decency," "grace," "beauty," and "dignity." Many women today think beauty, dignity, and respect to be physically beautiful, to be able to flaunt it in public, and consider success, doing whatever you want whenever you want, as long as it gives you a buzz or makes you temporarily happy. I wish Kate the best too, and I hope she patterns her soul after the Blessed Virgin, but with people like that whose values are so skewed that they consider it an honor to be posing naked or nearly-naked in a magazine, and a privilege to put themselves in the minds of millions of men thinking unspeakable things about her, I'm not sure how much good you can do except pray..
Regarding your comments on the portrayal of a nun by this young actress who seems to have no sense of modesty at all...it is so sad that the media must make fun of the sacred, and it is also sad that so many people are amused when the followers of God are set at naught. Thanks for this thought-provoking post. I totally agree.
Anonymous said…
Interesting post, but it rings of immaturity and jealousy to me. (no disrespect intended.)

When someone has chosen a separate path than our own, and is met with a degree of apparent happiness or success, it seems that a common tactic is to attack the validity of their happiness or success, or to predict an unfortunate consequence in the future.

In this case, because you disagree with Ms. Upton's choices, she therefore must be misguided and actually not happy, or on an inevitable course of destruction.

But is that the truth, or is that simply what you want to, or need to, believe in order to make yourself more content in your worldview?

No one knows what will happen in Ms. Upton's future. When we see someone make "immoral" choices, there is a degree of ill will or hope that there actions will be met with inevitable unhappiness or pain.

Why? How does this fantasy of the ability to know what is inside her heart or what will occur in the future give you solace?

In my opinion...that is truly ugly.

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