If you had that house… car… bottle… jar… Your lovers would look like movie stars!
Every two or three days, I see an article or blog post or forwarded inspirational quote about beauty. It’s usually something affirming like…
“You are beautiful, whether you know it or not.”
“We are all beautiful.”
“Everyone is beautiful to somebody.”
It’s cheerful stuff. It builds the self-esteem, makes people feel valued, and spreads joy and happiness across the internet.
It’s also bullshit…
I live in Hollywood where beautiful people seem to congregate like roaches in your first apartment… you can’t get rid of them!
But Hollywood isn’t the real world… it’s the one I live in but it’s not real! My neighbor across the hall is a Russian clothes designer named Boris. He’s beautiful in some “can’t figure out why” kind of beauty. Maybe he’s more exotic with his silver hair and leather pants that look like the seats from a ’78 VW Bug… the ones with the tiny little ventilation holes all over them. Anyone that wears leather pants in the summer in beautiful in their own right. There’s beauty is some forms of insanity…
But in reality … there’s more people that look like me… middle aged and average. So why do we use the word as a catch-all for any sort of positive attribute?
Nobody says, “Everybody has a pleasant laugh.” Nobody says, “Everyone is athletic to somebody.” Nobody says, “You are an amazing writer, whether you know it or not.” I keep waiting, but they never say it.
Beauty is the only trait that everyone gets free access to. Why?
Because we have created a culture that values beauty above all other innate traits…for women, at least. Men are generally valued by their success, which is seen as a result of talent and hard work, despite how much it depends on luck and knowing the right people. There’s a lot of ugly guys with beautiful women …. but it doesn’t work in reverse!
So long before I was born… society decided that everyone is beautiful… because if everyone is beautiful or everyone can be beautiful or everyone is beautiful to someone, it’s okay to base our entire civilization around a worldwide game of Hot or Not.
Think about it … can you remember surfing the web for “ugly porn”… no, I didn’t think so…. Pornography generates billions of dollars a year selling you a sexual experience with people that are, in terms of looks, permanently out of your league. My neighbor is a porn mega star … I know what I’m talking about on this one!
Listen to me … Let go of “beautiful”. Not everyone can be beautiful, just like not everyone can climb Everest or play saxophone or be a good kisser or tolerate reading my blog.
I know what you mean when you say “Everyone is beautiful.” You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them interesting and important and someone to be loved. And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say keep at it.
I want to tell you something, whoever you are. I don’t know if you’re beautiful, funny, smart, friendly, musical, caring, diligent, athletic, or if you make a mean crème brûlée. But I know this:
You are valuable.
You are important.
You are interesting.
You are worth loving.
So forget about “beautiful”. It’s become an ugly word anyway. Just be you and I’ll be me!