Monday, December 31, 2012

Not Everyone Is Beautiful: How to Accept Ugly


The meaning of beauty and the usage of beauty has been muddled with other desirable character traits.
Often, people are so used to calling each other "beautiful" that we feel entitled to being seen as beautiful, and that we are being treated wrongly or perceived wrongly when other can not see our own brand of personal beauty.

In writing this article, I would like to help you free yourself from the constraints of beauty and the prevalence it has taken over our modern culture. Freeing yourself from the illusory entitlement to beauty is a vital step.

Not Everyone Is Beautiful
Physical beauty can be measured. The ancient Greeks found phi, the golden ratio to beauty (which I highly recommend you read about...here.) We have the BMI, the waist to hip ratio, the lines of symmetry, the angles of one's facial features, the condition of one's skin.

These features all provide us with information- from a biological standpoint, beauty is a highly coveted trait which means that the genes which cause it can be spread through proliferation. Those who possess beauty are given more chances to breed and spread their genetic material. This does not only happen in the human species, but in all living organisms. Beauty signals fertility, a more desirable gene pool, an opportunity to give predecessors the benefit of attracting many partners.

Beauty is also pleasing. Not all appearances are equally aesthetic. Some people have faces which you find actual pleasure from staring at, whereas others possess faces which you might describe as "nondescript" and unremarkable. Others have a face which you become fascinated with because their features are so different, so out of the norm, so odd looking. Depending on your geographic location, certain faces are exotic.

Yet, regardless of being appearing foreign or not, some people just have very unappealing faces. Some people just possess features which are not pleasant to look at- albeit being very interesting. In simple terms, some people are just ugly.

The point is that not everyone is beautiful, not everyone is remarkably attractive, and not everyone is a sight for sore eyes.

Empower Yourself: Embrace the Diversity
Beauty truly increases one's quality of life- but you do not need to wear beauty in order to benefit from beauty. You can surround yourself in a beautiful environment, and you will greatly benefit from it regardless of how much physical attractiveness you have to offer.

Beauty is also in the eye of the beholder- your face will never appeal equally to everybody. This is actually advantageous- from a biological standpoint, if everyone only found one "look" beautiful, then the genetic variation needed to increase survival would plummet. People are wired to be attracted to certain appearances- some of it has to do with their DNA and some of it has to do with their culture.

Embrace the diversity.

Don't Rate People, Including Yourself, for Emotional Boosts

People subconsciously rate others on many levels- it is a way of processing information about the environment and the people we will interact with. Again, we have genes that give us these instincts, and these instincts allowed our species to survive and evolve so far- to discount them would be to stop being human.


The danger of rating people's appearances lies in the conscious practice. People pick apart other people's appearances in hopes of raising their self esteem. This really has no benefit- nothing good or productive or educational comes from comparing the measurable physical attractiveness between different people.

People just look the way that they are- because of their genes and because of their lifestyle. You may find it useful to gain information about others based on deduction, but to constantly derive self worth from this process is destructive.

We all have days where we feel we look extra incredible, but that usually comes from a better self care regime and embracing that which enhances our appearance. These extra steps are choices, which others can pick up on and gain insight from, but ultimately, our looks don't change from day to day.

Our bone structure remains the same-we will always look like the same person, except we age. Unless we undergo cosmetic surgery or master the art of makeup, we can not change how we look. Your face is the only face you will get- and if you want to change it with surgery or makeup, that is your rightful decision- but before you decide to do so, know that there is nothing WRONG with not being gorgeous.

And if others hold your lack of beauty against you, know that you can not control how others behave, and that beauty is not the only quality which others can judge you by. Ignore them and do not let yourself be so affected.

Beautiful Is Not the Best Thing You Can Be
When has beauty, solely beauty, ever accomplished anything?
Although beauty definitely possesses its nurturing and pleasing qualities, beauty is not the best quality the possess and it certainly isn't the trait that leads to the most success.

Can you think of another trait which seems so tragic standing solely on its own?
The person blessed with intelligence, or determination, or compassion can offer the world more service and value than the person who only possesses beauty.

The Point
Beauty has and always will be a highly coveted trait. When one does not accept their level of beauty and is greedy for more, when one is too attached to their beauty- we call this an excess of vanity. Vanity can be extremely destructive. You have better things to do with your time and resources than invest them all in looking beautiful.

Accept the level of beauty you have- and take pride in the fact that your behaviors and your willingness to work on your other traits and to maintain a healthy regime of self care can surpass the initial level of physical attractiveness your genes endowed upon you. You can offer the world more and make yourself more desirable by accepting what you have and nurturing yourself and truly understanding your strengths and weakness and the value you are most equipped to offer the world.




10 comments:

  1. I am considered very attractive. Men in my life and throughout my life such as coworkers, managers, teachers, etc. will admire me based on my appearance and display of humility, and by all means I'm secretly very pleased with it. I wear plain clothes and don't draw attention to myself, but somehow this increases my so-called "noble" character for simply not being ostentatious. Any normal person exhibiting the same behavior I do would not be considered "humble" or "noble", but just being.

    Often times I'm angry at myself for becoming vain; I go to the bathroom and catch a glance of myself in the mirror and think, "Wow, I am attractive." Then I stare, or I compare myself to celebrities on the internet late at night. So I have a secret vain side of me, and part of it was inspired by my subservient third-world-immigrant mother who married my attractive sexist chauvinistic alcoholic American dad for his money. "Looks are the most important thing!!!" she would yell at my shy scared self as a child (she was so mean).

    What I really want is to be focused in college, and be a well-rounded academic scholar who is only curious about the world around her (and not self-absorbed in looks). I also want to do this as a woman, and I want to identify with being a woman (being that is what I am). So when I wear makeup and lovely skirts, I straddle that line of temptation which already exists for me toward vanity (plus the positive attention - I tell myself: "Don't bathe in the flattery, don't bathe in the flattery. They'll say you're a wonderful person, but they're only giving me more credit than I deserve because of my beauty." Then when the temptation becomes too much (meaning I give into lack of productivity), I resort to jeans and a t-shirt. But then as a woman, I desire to express beauty, so I go back to the skirts and makeup. Then it becomes too much, and I draw back to jeans and t-shirts.

    It is the weirdest conflict, probably perpetuated by my dysfunctional abusive alcoholic culture-clash upbringing.

    I'm also 26 years old, and don't have a lot of time left to figure things out.

    I sometimes almost wish I were born an average-looking dude named Joe or Bill, pursued my curiosities about the world in an academic above-average manner, married an average woman, then grew up to be an old average gray-messy-haired man with lots of wrinkles who didn't have to worry about a wardrobe or the desire for beauty, and who instead could see the beauty in science or math or the world around him, and who was able to substantially produce for the greater good.

    But, of course I only almost wish that. Because after all, I am still a woman who desires beauty of expression in myself. But the temptation of overindulgence gets in the way of even greater fulfillment of curiosities about the world and nature and literature and whathaveyou.

    But maybe you've already answered my question: maybe my problem lies in that I am greedy, and have been taught to be greedy for more beauty in myself.

    And because I have heard that discipline is like a muscle, maybe I just need to keep trying for balance.

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  2. P.S. YOU, Wynona, are beautiful. How do *YOU* deal with that? Assuming you're an introvert (because you seem so reflective), is it ever difficult or a conflict to handle?

    And, for the record, I am NOT biased toward people based on their physical appearances. In fact, throughout most of my life I have been drawn toward people who are not physically attractive, because they seem so innocent and free of the demons I struggle with. In that regard, I am fascinated by them and their ability to always be so externally curious (like children) - and so I therefore find them very attractive.

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  3. Perhaps a good future post would be: "How To Deal with/Accept/Balance Beautiful or Attractiveness" or whatever the politically correct term is. So many possibilities for exploration, a big one being sexuality and its conflicts.

    Sexuality is so complicated, being that we humans are inherently sexual (and isn't sexuality the basis of so many of our human struggles? the extreme advocate of this idea being Freud). If you ever wrote a post on sexuality, I would just love to read it.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sue,
      Sorry for not replying to your comment on my other post. Blogger doesn't allow me to see my comments in context half the time, so I am very glad I was able to see these comments of yours.

      From what you describe, you seem to be suffering from a pendelum effect- going from one extreme to the other. I know exactly what that feels like. I also know exactly what you mean by being tempted by vanity and feeling like that humility others prescribe to you is only caused by good lucks. First off, I think it is just natural for people to notice attractive people more and put them on a slight pedestal in the least- it is a part of our genetic makeup- when we see attractive people we prescribe onto them genetic superiority or quality, but this is all relative to the individual. This happens subconsciously and also consciously and will continue to happen, so if you accept that others do it naturally on autopilot, you might give it less thought. Secondly, it is perfectly alright to feel vain. As women, we've been raised to want to delight others with our beauty- it is an inherent part of our makeup, I believe. So go ahead and dress and look however you feel.
      To address the pendulum effect you suffer from, I would suggest that you let go of your attachment to beauty and perception and in doing so, your pendulum will lose momentum. Accept that your beauty is existent and can delight others and that you will behave in a way to preserve it, and that doing so is perfectly alright. Just try to explore other areas of your being, not just your outside beauty.
      You can allow yourself to focus more on your studies and allow appreciation of that knowledge and process of understanding knowledge take up more of your attention.This will show you your own innocence- the kind that you prescribe to the physically nonattractive people. Just know that beauty is an inherent part of our human makeup- it has deep roots in survival and tribe mentality- and it also delights others, so keep allowing yourself to express your beauty but try to release your moral implications on beauty- just let it be raw.

      Hope that is some good food for thought, and I will definitely look into writing that future article,

      All the love,
      Wynona

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  4. So what I gathered from your response is: detachment. Which is what you described in some of your other posts (e.g. detachment being part of the process of loving yourself).


    Thanks again Wynona,
    Sue

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  5. thank you very much. this is very important for me to read as someone who gets abuse in the street from men for being 'ugly'. i have to try to not see the word as a problem and that can be hard when 'other people' laugh if i have been insulted (I feel more ashamed by their response). really there is nothing wrong with being ugly but it gets used as a weapon parrticularly against women.

    Gina.

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    1. Hi Gina,

      I'm really glad to read that you're trying not to see the word as a problem. I think the more that you de-establish the word "ugly", the less abusive experiences you'll have, or so I hope.

      Oh yes, the word ugly is frequently used as a weapon against women, but fortunately, we can realize that it is a petty, meaningless strike if ever used against us.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a great comment!

      Wynona

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  6. Thanks Winona for your wonderful article, GOD BLESS YOU.

    After reading your another article yestertday ( and also today) about how to overcome obsessive infatuation and succeeding to a significant level in doing so, I bumped into this one. I'm a guy 29 years old, gaunt, balding, thin hands and legs, dark circles and crow feet around eyes that are sunken and wrinked cheeks, in short the last guy any girl would expect to have beside her. I guess the reason why we guys ( I don't know about girls) are so much insecure about our looks is that we think ( especially ones that have had no luck with girls) that our facial features/body structures repel the romantic possibilities. My self confidence is hitting a significant low due to this. Nonetheless, I found this blog piece really inspiring and I hope this will change the way I perceive myself as. As with girls, I hope if I can boost my confidence level, maybe I can be lucky. Or perhaps, the universe has some plans for me. Besides, although I acknowledge that my facial features, head shape and hairline won't ever change ( unless I go with plastic surgery and hair transplant, which I don't think I'll ever do) , with proper diet and exercise( also facial yoga) I may look different, if I persevere.
    Please keep on enlightening the worried souls with your simple but awesome articles in dealing with their life's problems. Bisous.

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