Actually, Esther is a character in the novel This Vacant Paradise. It is by Victoria Patterson, who I love, and who wrote the short story collection Drift. The mother in me can't stop thinking about this character. I think it's because she reminds me of so many young women that I've taught, women who, to this day, think their primary talent is looking good on some guy's arm. Their biggest ambition is marrying well, and yet, every once in a while they'll turn in some essay about how spiritually empty their lives are or how afraid they are of thinking too deeply because then their entire worlds will explode.
So for Esther, and all those young women like her, I give Gaia. Gaia is mother earth. Lonely, she created Uranus, the sky, and he became her partner. They gave birth to the Titans, a giant race of gods. Beautiful and strong, she loved them because they were her children. Her next children were not so beautiful: A giant cyclops, a beast with fifty heads, another with 300 arms. Uranus called them monsters. He thought they were so ugly that he hid them in the depth of Tartarus so they couldn't see the light of day and so that he wouldn't have to look at them.
But Gaia loved them. They were her children. Their appearances meant nothing to her. She worked with her youngest Titan son, Cronus, to destroy Uranus so that she could free her children, but then Cronus deceived her and kept them hidden. So she worked to topple Cronus, and she did, with the help of Cronus's own son Zeus. Zeus put the cyclops to work in his own forge, Gaia's other children he left hidden so that heroes would be able to fight them and earn glory (which seems kind of a bum deal for them, but I guess they saw it as noble work because Gaia seemed ok with it).
Gaia reminds us that the real monsters are those who conflate wholeness with beauty. Shame on Cronus, and shame on the fathers, mothers, and institutions who still tell girls covertly or overtly that they are nothing more than commodities. The smaller the nose, the slimmer the waist, the higher the price. Believe this lie all you want, but it is a game you cannot win. Good genes or plastic surgery may let you pull ahead for a while, but time will beat you. Guaranteed. You can age with dignity and looked regal, or you can make your lips look like sausages and pull your face so tight that you can't cry. How sad is that?
Channel this goddess: When your culture is lying to you and telling you that your looks are your currency, when it's tell you aging is a disease that must be stopped, so, basically, all the time.
Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining why you need or want a goddess. Then check back in a week or two and see who you got!
PS: Read This Vacant Paradise. It's got some of the best, most elegant writing you'll find, the story is terrific, Esther will make you cry (and I'm always looking for excuses), and it will give you a lot to think about.