Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Aesthetics. Beauty. The Sublime…The truth...

The romantic poets wrote and based their life upon the pursuit of aesthetics. There are magazines devoted to it. Billions of dollars are spent every year on the quest and upkeep of it. Beauty. Really, what is it? Who decides what is beautiful and what is not?

As a girl, a confident self assured girl no less, I have to admit the pursuit of beauty is something even I constantly think about. I own thousands of dollars worth of beauty products, makeup, “pretty” clothes, even books about beauty. However, if what a woman really wants most is a guy to look at her in her pajamas, no makeup and messy hair and tell her she is beautiful, why then is using outside forces to make us (what we think is) more beautiful so important? I wonder if one day women can see themselves in their truest form and see beauty. Instead we rely on that perfect blend of eye shadow, concealer, some nice lip-gloss and a hair dryer. We feel naked and ugly without some shimmery eye shadow or something so simple as a hair straightener. It is not a man’s fault. It is ours. We torture ourselves to be polished and pretty when it is the guy who really loves us who will see us frazzled and love it.

If you read a “girly” magazine, 60% of what is in there is devoted to teaching us how to “make us better looking.” Well what the fuck is wrong with us in the first place? Not every girl should look like a plastic Barbie doll. Every girl is different and maybe that is what makes us all so pretty.

Probably the other 40% of these magazines is how a woman should lose weight. Now I admit, diet advice is ok (if done in a healthy way) because as a whole this country is getting unhealthily fat. But again, who decided that every woman had to be skinny to be pretty? For a long time in my life I was obsessed with being skinny. Genetics tell me I will never be anything but small and petite, however, I was obsessed with being skinnier than everyone. The smallest of the bunch. So I set out to lose more weight than my body could ever handle. I was on the verge of starving myself, I even threw up food a couple of times, and 80% of my thoughts revolved around what I was planning to eat and do in the way of exercise in a given day. Why? For a compliment from someone who would never love me for me anyway because all they see is a skinny body? It took me a long time but I finally figured out my body is just fine the way it is. I got it into my head that it is ok for a woman to gain and lose 5 pounds in a year. I got it into my head that my body, at its normal weight like it is now, is pretty just the way it is. Of course, I am still skinny, I just don’t look sick. Problem is, if a woman who is slightly chubby, has more curves than the average model, or is healthy but just naturally big boned, they think something is wrong with them. This is all bullshit. I have a friend who will never be “skinny.” She just naturally has bigger bones and with eating healthy and exercising she is still what most would call “of average weight.” She is one of the most gorgeous girls I know. She radiates beauty and yet by “model” standards those magazines would tell her she needed to lose weight.

The romantic poets could look at a volcano and say it is beautiful. They saw beauty in any forest and all types of bodies. We could learn something from them. We can see beauty everywhere and actually just love us just the way we are. It is our differences that make us that way anyway. Besides our parents think we are gorgeous. Our friends all think we are gorgeous. And, like I said, any man who loves you will see you clean faced, in your baggy PJ’s and see the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Maybe if we started to see ourselves that way, we WOULD get healthy.

If eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being. – Emerson

If to her share some female errors fall, Look on her face, and you'll forget them all. – Alexander Pope

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. – John Keats

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