There’s been an article creating a bit of a buzz recently by blogger Nathan Biberdorf, “Not Everyone Is Beautiful” and since a lot of what I write about has to do with beauty standards and body image I thought a response would be fitting. The article is well worth a read, it’s refreshing, honest, well thought out, and well written – and I can’t help but disagree. I realize that typically, especially in this day and age the term “beauty” refers to physical appearance, and the author makes some points about being unable to reclaim the word to mean more than that narrow definition, but I think that’s false. I think we need to continue to diversify and expand our definition of beauty, and that efforts being made by companies and organizations to do so are not in vain. Beauty is so subjective, and attractiveness is far deeper than mere aesthetics, for example:
- I find people with generic aesthetically pleasing looks, well, generic. I like people with crooked teeth, or a funny nasally voice, or huge permanent bags under their eyes.
- I went to camp with a girl who had a lazy eye that totally rocked it and was GORGEOUS. She constantly had guys interested in her because she was just such a cool person.
- I never really understood the big attraction to Channing Tatum, and then I realized he had an amazing sense of humour and was a really nice guy – it was like a light switch went off in my brain and suddenly I found him very attractive.
- A biologist would most likely find any human body beautiful based on the biological processes that our body is capable of.
- There’s a girl at my yoga studio who has an eye patch from some kind of accident, and she was self-conscious for a long time, but when she’s practicing yoga she’s so confident she glows with beauty.
- I am a master of making unattractive faces – seriously, try angry eyebrows and smile, then pull your face in for a double chin and you’ll look like a gremlin. While I can contort myself into incredibly ugly looks, I also have my beautiful moments – and I’m sure that other people do too.
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.