My friend's beauty inspires me to try for my own best look. She reminds me, just by being herself, that caring for the whole body is a holy act. A way of blessing the people we love, ourselves, and the world around us. Because beauty is a gift meant to be shared.
Not everyone is interested in receiving that gift, however, and physical beauty has as many - or more - naysayers within the Church as architectural beauty. So many faithful Catholics want to leave behind the grand, rich, artful buildings and make their holy places streamlined, conference-centers housing a toned-down tabernacle; and many more - especially women - fight beauty in the bodily temple. They want to know why we bother with make-up at all, why we work to make our bodies living canvases for the Beauty of the Divine Love.
It's not that I believe that people who are less than pretty are out of God's favor, or that the ridiculously good-looking are holy simply because of their looks. I don't insist on - or even necessarily encourage following the trends of the day - molding our bodies to the ever-shifting standards of perfection. What I do believe is that my body is a temple to the Holy Spirit, and that it is not enough to merely sweep the temple clean and wash the windows. The effort taken to dress and decorate the altar, to hang lights, and fill the walls with Icons and images is a holy effort - it glorifies God and gladdens His heart.