I’ve been planning a post about beauty for a while. Lots of different aspects of it. But then I started feeling Ugly. Real Ugly. I was lying in bed last night, very tired, just trying to experience my body from the inside (not like that). Feeling and sensing the limits of my body. Where my flesh stretched out to.
Without looking mind. Just trying to figure out what my shape was.
It felt twisted and wrong.
I don’t know. It’s not always that way, but I felt like I must be incredibly unnattractive. Lumps and bumps and a stupid face. I kept on focusing on my face, the way my face felt, everything seemed out of shape, bent and wrong.
Now, really, this is probably all just a response to lots of tiredness (haven’t slept properly for ages, and I’ve been working lots), and general depression. So that’s cool, it’s a passing thing, but yeah. I feel totally rotten and unpleasant lately. Which doesn’t lead to joy.
Perhaps the sun will shine down and blow the shadows off my face and leave me secure in myself away.
Only I’m going to spend most of the day locked away at work.
Legs. We’ve probably all seen those horrific adverts. The one’s for Razors that talk about the Goddess within. The implication of course being that a few tiny hairs are the main obstacle to being a goddess.
Feminine victory is always achieved through beauty. To be a complete woman, an empowered and powerful woman, you must be beautifully made up, long eyelashes, perfect skin, plump breasts and silken smooth legs.
So many huge piles of bullshit.
I want to tell women that hairy legs can be sexy (albeit irritating at the recently shaved stage where it’s all stubbly rather than anything else) and that legs in general are pretty damn gorgeous and that it’s certainly not something to worry about.
But then I’m doing it.
I’m projecting a male view of beauty onto women. I’m still assuming that you choose to shave or not on the basis of being attractive for me (as much as I am representative of a type…the man).
It’s a bollock.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I think that’s the problem. It’s harder to feel beautiful than it is to feel ugly. Generally speaking you need someone to tell you you’re beautiful, and you can be all on your own and feel ugly as sin (in fact it may be because you are on your own that you feel like that…or it may be the reason you’re not leaving your room).
The standard dynamic for men and women is for the men to define the beauty of the women. It’s the men who do the staring. Women, are often taught to be insecure, by being made to focus constantly on their appearance (by, for example, the ad mentioned above). Men don’t have the same kind of lessons (though it didn’t stop me), though we often have a whole bundle of other stuff to do with macho, security, strength, power, and a need for as many blades as humanly possible on anything we rub against our face.
But women are cast as objects. On top of all of the stereotypes they have to battle, and all the assumptions they need to challenge, all of the roles they are asked to fill, they have to be beautiful. It’s not enough to be powerful, strong willed and get somewhere in life. You’ll still be called ugly by guys, and it’ll take away some of the power you’ve earned…in it’s strange little way.
So we need to learn to define our own beauty. Don’t wait for other people to do it. Be you, and feel good about it.
Much easier said than done.
Right, that’s it. I’m gonna go take a look in the mirror.
So my nose and lips are huge. And my eyes are small (but a beautiful shade of blue…if I do say so myself…..which is the point here). My chin is pointy and covered in reddish hair, the beard is a bit messy, but not swamping the whole face, so I think my laziness wins out. My hair is a big bouncing mess of curls, flying out backwards. My eyes are suffering from huge black bags, but my slightly angular black rimmed glasses kinda distract from that.
As I noticed myself analysing my face I smiled. It kinda jumbled everything up. Lines flying everywhere. It didn’t look good, but at the same time, it looked great.
My teeth stick out in all kinda wonky directions. I hate opening my mouth, but I think it might just be when I look best.
I still feel ugly.
But I know somewhere that I’m not.
I know that that face is there, and when it’s happy, people can see that. It may not make me any more sexy, or ‘attractive’, but it shows people that I like to laugh, that I love it when I see people having fun, or spot something that stands out as a miracle, or as something beautiful, or just nice.
Maybe that’s the key. Beauty isn’t about how we look, it’s about how we look at things.
But not even in the way that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is the way we behold. If someone beholds me beholding something amazing, then I’m infinitely more beautiful than usual.
Because you’re seeing something different to how others see it. You can see something new and exciting, in the general malaise of the world.
I smile a lot at work (at the lie berry more than the internet cafe) because there’s lots of lovely things to see. People are beautiful. And not because of the way they look, but because of the things they do.
So in conclusion (of a sort), don’t sit at home feeling ugly, go outside and look for something beautiful.