The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Not One Of The Pretty People, You Dare Say

on August 29, 2013

Beauty has a lot to do with character.

– Kevyn Aucoin

A dear friend keeps telling me that she is not one of the pretty people.  She tells me that that’s ok, and that not everyone can be a raging beauty, but I think that she is gravely mistaken. I will try not to be too saccharin, but the truth of the matter is that I believe that every one is and can be beautiful.  There are countless articles written about beauty and ideals and how we should mimic them or eschew them dependent on the lean of the author.  What I have never understood however is that for all the ranting about beauty and fashion magazines and how they make us feel bad about ourselves and help to ruin our self esteem and self worth and so on I have no idea what the definition of beauty actually is.  I’ve been told it’s about facial and physical symmetry, I’ve noticed that most fashion models are beyond thin, and some gentlemen prefer blondes, but I look at my friends and they all look very different from one another and I swear to you they are the most gorgeous creatures I have ever set eyes on.

There was a video going around recently put out by Dove soap and it depicted a sketch artist who drew pictures of people from their own descriptions and then again from the descriptions of others.  It was kind of sweet and despite some backlash the moral was that we are harder on ourselves and see our own flaws much more clearly than those around us.  Now it wasn’t that scientific an experiment because the sketch artist knew what he was hoping to see as the end result as opposed to a double blind experiment which would limit bias, and I suspect that unconsciously or not he went out of his way to make the self described image a little less attractive than the one based on the description of another.  But consider that while there was a difference, none of the drawings were shockingly unpleasant to view and for some the two sketches were not all that different from each other at all.

Each country, each culture has an idea of what is beautiful.  I recently stumbled across a story about how young girls In Mauritania are force fed to fatten them up for marriage, in fact the video is quite disturbing showing young girls being physically punished until they force down large bowls of milk and food.  Men in Mauritania want heavy set women and they seem to eroticize stretch marks and rolls of fat.  This is in stark contrast to some North American brides who choose to undergo gastric bypass and plastic surgery to look like stick bugs in cocoons of satin and tulle on their wedding days.

I once knew a woman who some might say is unfortunate looking.  I remember the first time I met her that I noted that some of her features seemed too big for her face, some too small or crooked.  She wasn’t something out of a cartoon, but she did look a bit like a caricature drawing.  Then I got to know her a bit better and she was funny and sweet and kind and I recognized her great beauty.  I was telling a former love about her and how pretty she was and then showed him a picture and I could see that he was confused, but until I saw his reaction and looked at her again through his eyes and remembered my first impressions I would have been dumbfounded if anyone called her ugly.

This is not a rant about not judging books by their covers.  This is a rant about how the definition of beauty is less to do with the physical and more to do with our perceptions of others.  Like new mothers who don the equivalent of “beer goggles” or “baby goggles”, as one friend puts it, and think that their babies are the most beautiful things in the world, if you love someone then they are beautiful. Kevyn Aucoin was a famous make up artist surrounded by models and “pretty people” every day of his short life and he believed that beauty was related to character and I agree with him fully and completely.  I have known people who were thin and pretty until they revealed their true natures and their “ugly behaviour” and then I no longer saw their beauty, only their poor manner and lack of character.

So, my dear friend you are beautiful, accept it and stop talking nonsense.

– the Goddess


2 responses to “Not One Of The Pretty People, You Dare Say

  1. Thank you for the link to the Dove beauty sketches. I found it really interesting to compare people’s self perception with other’s perception of them. I still have trouble working out why the image I see in the mirror doesn’t match the image I see in photos.

    • I get that you’re talking about something else, but have you ever noticed that you look different in your pics than you do in the mirror? It’s because we’re used to see ourselves in mirror image. In pictures we look backwards to ourselves. . .just a little science for you 😉

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