To Look

If you look at something you categorise it, I don’t really mean put it into a box but you say that is beautiful, that is wrong-looking, that is pretty, that is boring, whatever. So we look and we react to beauty. But we don’t just percieve with our eyes, we talk to people and smell and listen to them. They can be beautiful on several levels. Inanimate objects, beauty, but is it a different kind of beauty? I don’t think so, the perceptions that I have and the reactions that I have are pretty similar whether it is personal, physical or whatever beauty or whether it is a chair or person. Admittedly these are my initial reactions that I’m talking about rather than my further reactions, for example I might end up asking the beauty if they want a drink if they’re a person rather than a chair.

All beauty is to some degree subjective and subjective to time and place as well as personal , I don’t want to put taste here becuase taste I think implies intellectualisation, so ‘something’. For example last night, I felt horny and I dressed to reflect my personal perception of beauty at that time, I dressed to feel good…now had Zoe been there she would have noticed that the top made my breasts flat (and they don’t need any flattening), the lipstick started clotting towards the beginning of the evening, there is a certain amount of tummy that was emphasised by the lace…etc. etc. I could go on, in short I looked probably like a ho who doesn’t get too much business. But damn I felt good. I looked beautiful to myself, I felt beautiful to myself and I had a good time in reaction to that beauty.

Here I think is the problem we have with me thinking that beauty is important. I do, I really do and I think that my own beauty as well as that around me is important. This should be explained, I have an average figure, some cellulite on my thighs, excema and dry skin all over the place, pretty decent boobs (which I complain about too often because I want them to be bigger), spots and slightly greasy skin on my chin and watery eyes that are often red, in short I’m no Sophie Dahl or Kate Moss. But gods I love the way I look. Does that make me vain? Well I don’t, contrary to popular belief obsess about looks – this entry is, but standard wise it’s not an obsession.

Vanity, the vapid obsession with making yourself look pretty. Or with thinking that you’re Gods’ gift. Nope. I got what I’ve got like it or lump it and I like it. So is perception of beauty all about self-confidence? No, its about noticing, it’ about embedding yourself in and really, really looking, when I say look I do mean ‘look’ with all the senses. So there is beauty in all things? Does that make the concept of beauty meaningless? No becuase there isn’t beauty in all things, or all people for that matter. Some beauty is hard to see, so I make a habit of looking, a lot of beauty is subjectiv but somethings just aren’t. I still haven’t defined what beauty actually is. Drat.

I’m meandering through these thoughts. They’re occurring to me in no real logical order, I shall have to try organise them. Should we treat things and people as we perceive them? I think common courtesy would be nicer. I met some rather drunk people for the first time last night, who treated me as I was dressed, it pissed me off a bit, then made me amused, then made me feel sorry for the girl that they thought I was. I was not beautiful to them, if I met them again I wonder whether I might mention to them that I noticed the cattle market comments, and the street corner comments and all the other sly and oh so subtle things they said? Probably not. But it’s strange how true ‘cogito ergo sum, non Pulchra sum ergo sum’ is and yet how many people act as though ‘pulchra ergo sum’ is true.

Surely beauty must be important if it affects intelligent people so?

6 thoughts on “To Look

  1. Beauty is extremely important. To me, it’s similar to the feeling you get when you close your eyes really hard, stretch out whilst lying on your bed, tense up all your muscles and then finally relax.
    Beauty is comfortable.
    Whatever you find beautiful makes you feel comfortable and relaxed and peaceful. Beauty is lying up at the priory on the grass and watching the sun set, the sky turning pink, causing everything around to glow. It’s knowing that everything at that moment, is alright.
    I think it has something to do with feeling connected to something. if you are deprived of beauty in your life for some reason, you begin to feel very lonely and start looking for beauty in places you never thought to look before.
    I think this was the point made in the film American Beauty, where Ricky, the boy next door was deprived of a happy, beautiful by the abusive, strict father, so he began to look for beauty in other things, like a paper bag dancing in the wind…
    I feel that the kinds of people who enjoy making derisive comments about things they don’t think are beautiful are generally unhappy about something in their life and that unhappiness is making them lonely, and they lash out because nobody will listen to them or help them with their problems.
    Cellar door.

  2. Thanks Goat, you made me smile…and if you’re who I think you are you have a habit of doing that.
    American Beauty is one of my favourite movies and thats something I never considered; why the boy looks for beauty in the dancing ba etc.

  3. Searching is paradoxial. If you search for love, you will not find it. But if you engage with other activities it often finds you. The same could be said for beauty … if we spend too long looking for it in our clothes or our make-up or in sunrises or paintings, we might miss the simple beauties that lie unnoticed all around us. like smiles, or fumbled words from a dear friend or paper bags floating in the breeze.

  4. I don’t think you have to search for beauty Yellow Dart. I think you just have to be aware of it else life becomes grey.
    As for searching I think that there is a difference between not obsessing over one little thing and sitting back not doing anything to achieve what you set out to.

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