BEAUTY IS AS BEAUTY DOES

WHO CARES ABOUT BEAUTY?

We used to say that, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and even as children we knew that meant someone, sometime would love us and see what we really are. Both boys and girls tried to make themselves -maybe not beautiful, but as attractive as possible. Girls could hardly wait to wear lipstick and maybe the boys would notice. If we complained to our moms that we wished we were pretty we were told, “Beauty is as beauty does.” By that we learned that character had as much to do with beauty as did looks. Both outsides and insides were covered.

I thought about all this because I went to get my hair cut yesterday. I wish words could adequately describe the “hairdresser” I was given. She had long “claw” bangs dyed neon pink, the sides of her head were dark and shaved about three inches up, the rest of her black hair was longer and ran down the center of her head like a dead animal. Added to that were the piercings just down from the corners of her mouth, which were shiny black. I didn’t check the tats. All I could think was, “Whatever happened to beauty?”

The question is probably more along the lines of “When and why did people deliberately choose to be bizarre, wild, weird, strange, unattractive or ugly, anything but beautiful? I know, I know, some of them are wonderful, love cats, and wouldn’t hurt a flea. Nonetheless, they make themselves so unattractive at times one has to wonder about their sanity. Even some naturally beautiful people make the worst of themselves.

Remember, you who are older, when NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC writers and photographers would travel the world and bring back stories of tribal customs that distorted bodies, particularly women’s bodies? The rings stacked up around women’s necks to make them long and “beautiful”; or the plates in female lips that made them stick out so far as to make them useless. Even the Chinese foot fetish that killed and maimed women for hundreds of years are examples of how far out of kilter people can get in search of supposed “beauty.” Funny, one thinks about genital mutilation today as being even more ignorant, and yet people tolerate it. I am not a Feminist, but one does have to wonder about men who have no respect for women and force cultural norms upon them that result in pain and degradation.

Men’s excesses today tend to be in the realm of huge body tattoos, which I personally find unattractive, and to ear gages and piercings. I had a friend who told me he once thought about getting tats, but decided to try phony ones first. He used the phonies one time and thought about living with them the rest of his life. He decided he didn’t need tats after all.  Good choice.

If beauty were just a matter of physical attractiveness, or lack thereof, it might be easier to understand, but to go out and hear filthy thoughtless language, hateful hand gestures, and loud pornographic music directed against women, UGH!

Ugliness seems to top all the charts today.

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