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Friday, July 04, 2014

What is Beautiful?

(Warning: My brain is tired today, so this post might ramble just a bit!)

There are a lot of us bloggers who feature cosmetics and clothes and, well, all things "beautiful". Male or female, all of us want to be liked, loved, attractive, appealing. It's just part of our in-built need to feel connected. If we feel attractive, we feel that we have something visible to offer others on a (shallow) immediate basis.

After scrolling through a bunch of photos the other day - photos of friends and family - something dawned on me: many of those people were posing and putting out a show-off-y vibe.

If you are on an online social network, just check out all the selfies by regular folk. (Celebrities don't count. Self-promotion is part of their resume.) Most of those selfies are of folk trying hard to look like they aren't trying hard to look really good. We've become a nation (world?) of desperate-to-be-beautiful people.

I bet most people don't find certain things "attractive":

  • Too much makeup
  • Too much skin
  • Too much weave
  • Too much posing
  • That stupid "duck face" thing people do
I really hate the duck face. That's a real sincere look, right?

We've distorted what is really most attractive in any person: being genuine.

When I see stories about this woman, who transformed herself into a doll image, I just wonder.

She's a living, breathing... Barbie?

And another one

Barbie & Ken?
What is going on here? (By the way, there is a suspicion of a tinge of racism in one of these cases. I don't think it's racism. I think it's complete body-image ignorance.)  I've read stories of people trying to change their appearance to downplay their racial features. That's some real self-hate there.

There are more of these "human Barbies" than I thought. Enough for a slideshow, apparently. I found a black "Barbie" without looking too hard. Their are no racial lines when it comes to distorted body images. 

I wonder about the sanity and character of a person who is attracted to a person who looks like a plastic doll.

Growing up, I used to have the normal (?) pre-pubescent fantasies of being with whichever boy was the cutest in my school, a popular band, or on a TV show. Because I did grow up (and because I had great parents and other role models), I learned to appreciate people for their whole selves: personality, character, and motivations.

I have made some mistakes in judging some people but, overall, I am mostly attracted to people who are comfortable with who they are and how they look.

What's beautiful?
  • A genuine smile
  • Kindness in the eyes
  • Intelligence
  • Humor
I am sometimes socially awkward, so I relate to that in other people. It's also really cool when someone is socially comfortable -despite their looks, bank account or connections (or lack of).

A lot of us are attracted to people for reasons we can't put our finger on. We explain our attraction to certain people by saying that "there's just something about" him/her.

Instead of buying into and promoting shallow attributes, we should learn to find that "certain something" that is in all of us.



  1. Nice post Trudy. I agree with your thoughts and I find it amazing that so many people worry about their looks. I never thought of myself as very pretty or perfectly ladylike. I've always been the tomboy and there's a definite liberating feeling to being comfortable with that. I've learned that putting the majority of one's focus onto the well being of others eliminates being overly concerned about those insignificant things we normally fuss over. I believe that being healthy and happy are the two most important things that give us the strength needed in our lives to then refocus and help others to achieve those same goals.

  2. Thanks Joan. I loved how you hit the nail on the head with "being healthy and happy are the two most important things that give us the strength needed in our lives."