Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Beauty Myth

I have mixed feelings watching this. I sympathize with her because when I was in primary school and high school I was bullied sometimes mercilessly. I accepted it because my church going bible believing parents also bullied me and treated me like shit sometimes.

Some of my strongest memories from  that period were the ones where I was abused, yelled at, beaten and made to feel like a sack of shit.

But I watch this video where this rather fat lady wants to let everyone know that she is a swimsuit model and that she is beautiful and I have mixed feelings about it.

In our "visual" society - beauty is often ranked equally with one's self-worth. That shouldn't be the way. But it often is. I confess that I'm guilty of often judging people by how they look.

Polite Society wants everyone to feel that they are beautiful and that you should accept who you are. For fat people - the Spin goes - there is more of me to love.

I'm not sure about that. I think part of this desire to want to be "beautiful" stems from a desire to be accepted and loved - therefore she seems to be saying "I represent the average woman, I am beautiful."

Beauty to me - well physical beauty - has certain rules. Beauty first off is in the eye of the beholder. But there are certain aesthetically qualities about beauty that is commonly accepted.

A certain level of fitness is commendable.

A certain level of discipline with regard to eating junk food is also commendable.

And people's idea of what's beautiful has usually a set range.

But what I really want to ask her is - "Why are you doing this? Are you trying to compare yourself to Kate Upton or some popular swimsuit model?"

There are certain standards for judging beauty just as there are certain standards for judging intelligent or health. 

Some people might find that repulsive. But hey, so does flunking math. Will you laugh derisively at a pretty lady or a handsome man who can't calculate the amount of cash he needs to buy his lunch and catch a bus back home? I bet you would.

That woman saying that she is beautiful seems a bit like me coming out and saying, "I'm a great math genius." (I'm not).

Maybe the approach should be to accept who you really are - "I'm OK but I'm absolutely shit in accounting."

or "I'm OK! But I'm naturally clumsy. But I'm doing part time ballet classes to improve my posture and sense of grace."

or "I'm OK! But I sometimes shy, withdrawn, insecure but thats me and I'm finding ways to deal with it."

or "I'm fat. But I am exercising to become lean and fit." - which I was at one point in time.

or "I'm not attractive, or beautiful in the conventional sense but that's OK. That's me. I have other gifts. My self-esteem is not related to how people see me or how I look."

Everyone seems to want to find something in their life in boost their own level of self-esteem.

I'm beautiful. I'm smart. I'm rich. I'm cool.

Maybe a better way than trying to tag ourselves to something elusive - is to simply say - I'm OK. I'm OK because I'm a human being. I have a soul. I have life. I might be fat, not great at math, clumsy, socially awkward, unpopular, but that's who I am. And if there is something I can do about it - I will try it. I don't care whether you accept me or not because my self-worth is not dependent on the popular view. I am who I am. Don't mock me. That's rude.

But I think her problem is to equate physical attraction with personal self-esteem. Not all of us are clever, not all of us are agile, quick, smart etc... we all have different gifts.

No comments: