Thursday, July 08, 2004

The beauty of reality

I found this on a website, written by a Dave Winer. Whoever you are, thank you for your words. I need to read this every day to remind myself...

About beauty in women

I had a flash of insight on a flight from Boston to Seattle last week on American Airlines. I picked up the inflight magazine and leafed through it. It had been a while since I had done that, as its been a while since I watched television. This time I noticed how incredibly polished all the pictures are, how devoid of humanity. In contrast to the pictures you see on weblogs, they are so perfect, but so lifeless. Then I considered the writing. It also is perfectly polished and totally soul-less. Now according to some these are the most beautiful photographs and writing, but to me they are the least beautiful.

I like photos taken by people with weblogs. I like weblog writing, rough and rambly, even angry and reckless. See, I think people expressing themselves honestly is where beauty comes from. We all need love, to be heard, appreciated, admired, cared for, but so few of us accept that we're entitled to it. We see our imperfections and want to erase them. But when I see an imperfection, I see something real, and to me that's beautiful. I'm not just saying that, I didn't feel that way when I was 24, but now that I'm 48, that's what's inside me. I don't love women for the attributes that the inflight magazines idealize, quite the opposite. I find the airbrushed, silicon-corrected bodies to be worse than ugly, they suck life out of all they come in contact with. Beauty is in the reality, in the expression of reality.

I don't really know why some women like to dress up, wear clothes that call attention to themselves, say silly things that I don't understand, spend hours getting ready to go out, cleaning everything and then cleaning again. I like that kind of stuff, but it kind of scares me. In a way I wish women were more like men. But on the other hand, I'm glad that they're not.

But please -- why does it bother so many women that some women like to be feminine, that this way of expressing themselves is threatening to them? They seem to confuse their girlishness with the idealized form of beauty. Hey, the women I love aren't like that. But get this, they aren't men either. They're different. And dammit I'm glad they are because that leaves me room to be who I am, a hairy guy with a big laugh. They can make more money than me, they can be smarter than me, and at the same time they can wear high heels and perfume and go out with their friends, and laugh a lot and watch Legally Blonde and think that's pretty good stuff. I watched The Godfather and felt that way. And we can go see Casablanca together and think that's it's great that there's more than one way to be, and feel safe that it's great to be who we are and nothing more and nothing less.

So many people need to hear this. The inflight magazine view of the world is a lie. Nothing is like that. Don't measure yourself against that. And do what you enjoy, and what you can do, and then and only then will you be beautiful. And don't worry so much about the little things, even the ones that seem really big. The things you think are imperfect are the things that make you so pretty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jenna, this is good stuff, particularly coming from a man. I kinda thought all men liked the "perfect" look. For years we have all heard about inner beauty and I think when you are young it is hard to get your arms around that. But I so believe that. Even us oldies want to look as good as we can. But when we are happy with our God relationship (and I am not always there) and living to our fullest we are truly beautiful. People see that inner beauty and not the newest blemish that pops out when we least expect. But when we are obsessed by our outward stuff people see that too and are so turned off by that. I think our focus is so crucial. Others focused vs. self focused.
I always want to look my best. I always want to do my best in whatever I am involved but more importantly I want my inside self to shine thru to others.
Last night at clown graduation I know that my love shone thru to the people even though I was so darned funny looking on the outside.
Maybe we should just kill all the models!!