Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's in the eye


In the eye of the beholder.

However, beauty is also a collective thought - one that has been implanted by society.

We all agree that certain movie starts/models are beautiful.

We agree (for the most part) that nature is glorious - flowers, wildlife, waterfalls, rain-forest - and we appreciate it from a distance or we immerse ourselves in it.

My daughter and I visited a friend not too long ago and the subject of beauty came up, my friend proclaimed, "I've been doing beauty for YEARS! Ask your mom, she knows...I was the beauty and she was the brains."

It's hard to not accept a compliment from someone who thinks you are smart (considering the person who uttered the compliment is extremely smart herself). She said it and meant it with love, I know that.

My friend is beautiful and she knows it. There is always a story of some man hitting on her, some friends boyfriend/husband coming on to her. This sort of attention has given her a certain air of confidence that is hard not to admire. She is my friend and I love her for who she is, brains & beauty.

I'm not delusional - I know I'm not a beauty. I'm also not a troll, at least...I don't think I am? Statements such as hers have me standing in front of the mirror longer than usual...a task I don't like to do in a GOOD day. My critique is more critical, my evaluation of self more superficial.

I make the mistake of reading too much into conversation, like when a friend greats you and says, "You look great" or "You look so nice" and then proceeds to tell you about a friend who is "...just beautiful." Shouldn't "nice" and "great" be enough? And why does it feel as if it is always second best to "beautiful." Why does it feel as if the word beautiful is reserved and special and only used for those that truly are?

Does any of this make sense?

I have a feeling I'm NOT relaying it properly, not really saying what I mean.

I'm not ASKING to be classified as beautiful, that's silly and conceited.

I don't want this post to incite and influx of compliments on my looks.

No! That is not what I'm seeking.

Actually, I'm not seeking anything. I'm merely expressing, out loud, my inner conflict on how to perceive it all.

I've done it myself, although not with friends. I've classified people into those that are beautiful and not beautiful, according to societal guidelines. I don't expect that people won't do the same with me.

I think the reason I'm mulling this over so much now is that with age comes invisibility and the less glamorously beautiful you are, the more invisible you become.

The fatter you are, the less fit you are, the less stylish you are...the more invisible you become.

It's an observation, since I'm a people watcher. I see people watching other people and I see the sweeping glances and those that linger.

I've lived life as a wallflower and I prefer to stay that way. Being on display makes me extremely uncomfortable. Compliments fluster me and make me retreat inside myself, even though I've learned to accept them - it's still hard. Perhaps if I were a beauty I wouldn't feel this way, because I'd be used to compliments and attention.

So, again...I'm not seeking them (compliments...please don't try to boost my ego, I don't want that, I'm not kidding here). I'm just emptying the *often* complex set of thoughts that bounce around inside my brain. They need to go somewhere, because they are making dizzy keeping them locked up.

And, aside from my smarts, I have the gift of sometimes being able to put into words things that other people are thinking...but don't want to say. I don't know if this is one of those times, is is anyway.

Wishing you a beautiful day, whatever that means to you.


1 comment:

  1. I was beautiful, now I'm fat and old. hahaha But I'm OK with the truth, even though I don't like it. But it's hard to complain when I'm not doing anything about it.

    However, I do know exactly what you mean so instead I worked on my self confidence and self esteem. I was never a wall flower, just the opposite, but I did have my share of insecurities. I still do but I've reached a point in my life where I stopped caring about people's opinions who are of no consequence in my life. And the ones who are have accepted me for who and what I am; an extrovert, loud, funny to hilarious, quick witted, step on toes, opinionated, intelligent and smart, and last but not least somewhat attractive. And I'm OK with that picture.

    I try not to put labels on people because then I would just succumb to society's attempt to box everyone into their appropriate cubbyhole and thinking outside the box would only be achieved by total rebels and outsiders. So, therefore I try not to categorize people as pretty or beautiful, etc., but try to add more adjectives to it. For example, I could describe Lady Gaga as very talented, loud, weird, nice body, and an average looking face. However, would that description satisfy her if she asked me? I doubt it. I think she might be offended at some point and that's where the real problem with labeling comes in. We rather make concession and try to do away with some adjectives so that we can fit that person in the box THEY prefer to be in. But does that mean they are what THEIR label says? Well, according to society it does and I wholeheartedly disagree with society in that respect. Beautiful people can be ugly and vice versa and it is up to others to decide how they want to perceive that person, may it be superficial (acquaintance) or in depth (friend) whereas the latter takes some combined effort.

    But now I think I'm rambling and don't know if I made any sense to anyone beside myself. See, not everyone has the gift of written gab as you do (yes, this is a compliment and you better take it as a man) but that's another thing I'm OK with.

    And with that I shall say goodnight (1:50am here) to Mrs. Insightful, well spoken and eloquently written, good looking, quick witted, and observant Aiello.