Sunday, August 7, 2016

You're So Beautiful

atheist blog
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about human beauty called Beautiful. In that post I talked about how I personally respond to beautiful people and how humans in general tend to give extra credit to those people who are considered truly beautiful. 

I wondered why no one commented on that post; it is because such a confession is too weirdly TMI? Is it because it's an awkward reality that many of us can relate to but prefer to not discuss? Is it just that the post wasn't interesting or didn't seem relatable?

Anyway, I haven't stopped thinking about beauty and human attractiveness. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that beauty is also a cultural phenomenon. What is beautiful here in St. Louis might not be the same beautiful in Mali or Uruguay or Nepal or Finland or Siberia or Unalaska or Laos or Hokkaido or Kyrgystan or the Ivory Coast or Djiouti or Patagonia or the Maldives or Egypt or Togo or Turkey or Tunisia or Texas. But I wonder if the truly beautiful and youthful people still experience that star struck thing from people around them, regardless of where they live.

Me and my sister Linda
What about we normal folk? We don't get those perks. We don't have the benefit of being assumed to be successful. We are hired less often and get lower wages and get better raises. Children are less trusting of us. We don't get the privilege of the truly beautiful. No fair.

Back when I was younger I was fairly pretty. At that time I was able to talk my way into and out of trouble. People did do things for me because of my appearance at times. I did get perks. I did get attention and I knew it. I also noticed when it stopped as I got older, heavier, less attractive. It was weird how hard it was for me to lose it in the beginning. 

So I've been on all sides of this thing and I still don't understand why beauty is such a powerful thing for us. And why can the absence of beauty actually lower our opinion of a person? Plainness is frowned upon. It's WEIRD and such a waste of humanhood. So many of us are your average-looking human being...yet so many of us are remarkable as hell in our various ways. 

Unattractive people, how dare they inflict this aesthetic neutrality on other people. 

Actually, there are interesting and very real benefits to being plain. When someone likes me, I know that they like me for the person that I am. I also know that I am less likely to think I need plastic surgery or any sort of surgical body improvement because I sincerely know that I am just fine as I am and that I have no one to impress. I have discovered my value and what I have to offer that have absolutely nothing to do with my appearance. I know a few attractive people (and a few people craving to be attractive) who still have this to learn.

When I was younger and cuter my sister was always commenting on my appearance. She was like a cheerleader to my hair, my face, my eyes. I was always so uncomfortable with that in those days; her cheers seemed to come out of the blue. Nowadays her compliments mean so much more to me: You are an amazing mother. You have such a good heart. I can always talk to you honestly.

It is inevitable for all of us that we lose our youth and our attractiveness. It is all very fragile. For the truly beautiful, unless they have had time to deal with the psychological nature of appearance and have learned to appreciate their inner beauty, getting older and less attractive is a difficult journey.

If our beloved country would work to stop objectifying young bodies and young faces, I think that more of the beauty of the hearts of our unseen plain people would begin to shine. Imagine that! Valuing the heart, the mind, determination, the character. Now those are qualities that don't fade; they only grow.


  1. I was the heavy one and my other sisters were the thin and pretty ones. My brother's wedding when I was 21 hit the message home. My younger sister had a picture taken with my brother and all the groom's men as she needed to be protected. My older sister had her picture taken with all the groom's men because she had dated all of them. I was left out. I was okay looking as a kid but by 17, was really struggling with the weight and that hasn't changed. Struggle a lot with self confidence because of it.

    1. For example, YOU, Janeen, are an amazing woman!
      If we could simply see people for their character, Lady, you would be absolutely gorgeous.
      Therefore, to me, you ARE.

      Back when I know, cute, often when people would compliment me on my appearance I would actually say, "Thank you, but I had nothing to do with that."


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