Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beautifully responsible

I was reading Seth Godin’s blog the other day: “It turns out that beauty is an important evolutionary byproduct. (…)We treat people and products differently when we think they're beautiful. (…) Beauty is a signal, not just a physical state.” It made me think about the effects of beauty.

When I was in my teens I didn’t consider myself beautiful at all. I was bullied by meany youngsters, bad mouthed by other teens who thought my white rim colored glasses looked stink (they did) and it took awhile for me to get into self appreciation mode. Stupid how other people’s remarks can influence one’s self image, but it does.

It was quite a bit later that I realized the power attractiveness brings. People can definitely approach you differently because you look more attractive than the average person, are easy to get on with and have a bit of brains. I can literally feel the change in behavior sometimes. It makes me feel embarrassed as my intention is not to ‘hook people in’. I like to be appreciated for my personality and abilities, not because I happen to be a “babeliscious” (one of my friend’s names for me). Not that I consider myself to be anything so dramatically enticing, goodness me.

I have pointed out to someone else last year that behavior which makes the most of beauty and charm, that draws people in, can create side effects you have to take into account. Being more attractive than the average person brings the responsibility to use this attraction ‘talent’ wisely. (I know this sounds really silly and most people would probably not consider this to be a topic even! Tell me, why are we even discussing this?)

Beauty creates an image in people’s heads. I have found that upon getting to know me behaviors can change because they realize I’m as human as they are, and therefore imperfect. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and it can change in a day. Why are you liked? What makes you like someone? Because he or she is unique and by getting to know them, wonderful. At the same time you can be pushed off that wee pedestal you’ve been put on, because expectations aren’t met. Hello! Do I look like Barbie to you? Nope.

For me beauty in people, or the attraction, for liking them is seeing someone’s vulnerability, their genuine strengths and weaknesses, their potential. In short: the real deal. It is what makes us human. It’s the story behind the everyday mask that grabs you which makes it personal. Outside beauty can be incredibly boring, it’s only amazing when the substance is intriguing.

1 comment:

  1. hey, interesting story.... the tale of being aware of others ...
    in my opinion this word "aware" is the key...

    see Concise Oxford Dictionary: aware=Old English: gewaer...=Old saxon european: giwar,
    which means: well-informed, not ignorant,
    more precise go-into-are, go-ware
    thus: being-with-consciousness-in-the are-

    So, together with the other personen we are in same state of being...
    and you know...same field of force...out of time and space...

    there you are ! its simple: togetherness in being there ;-)

    kees waaier