Feb
27
2014

Beauty is a Matter of Perspective

Everyone I know has had self image issues at one point or another in their lives, even if they don't want to admit it to themselves.  I know I have.  There has been a great deal of focus recently on fighting this self hate, and I admire what dove has been doing to help.

It's an interesting look, seeing a professional forensic artist draw two portraits of a person, one from their own perspective, and one as described as a stranger.  They are two completely different people.

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2 Responses

  1. Lars says:

    I have spent a good deal of my life feeling uncomfortably like I smacked into every branch on the ugly tree on the way down, so I’m certainly not immune to this, but I’d like to pose instead the question, why is so much of our sense of self-worth tied up in our looks at all (whether or not we are prettier than we think we are)? Why are my chunky behind and my frizzy hair not balanced out by my goofy sense of humor, my amazing chef skills, or the fact that I am an awesome daughter/sister/partner/friend? Why does the compliment “You’re so pretty” hold so much more weight to us than the compliment “You’re so kind”?

    • Nathan Barra says:

      I think it is because it has to do with our biological programming and our ability to make instant decisions. I once read an interesting article (one that I can’t find now…) that implied that many if not most of the traits that we look to as “beautiful” are really indicators of health in the other individual, evaluations of their biological fitness and their potential to produce offspring. For example, a lean figure may be an indication of lower risk of obesity related health problems. Shiny hair may be an indication of good nutrition. Wide hips and a large bust may be an indication of ability to carry and bear offspring. The other part of the problem, as I see it, is that physical looks are easy to evaluate quickly, while personality and other skills take time and effort. Therefore, it is part of our biology to filter the pool of potential mates by looks first, then delve into that smaller pool to find “the one” based on a number of other characteristics.

      I think that the focus on the filter, rather than the deeper issues, is a sign of immaturity as well. As I grow older, I am less impressed with looks in the long run than I am with other aspects of a person. I have found that looks are more easily changed than a person’s personality, and that those aspects are what will stick around in the long term anyways. Looks are still important, I want someone who takes care of themselves, as grooming often indicate other good habits, and sexual chemistry is often based in physical attraction, at least at first.

      I actually wrote a post with many of these same thoughts in it, earlier in this sequence. You should take a read and let me know what you think, Lars.

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