Monday, December 31, 2012
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.
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.