Growing up is tricky for all of us. We like to believe that it is more difficult to age and mature as a certain gender, or race, nationality, or class, but we all face unique issues ranging from life-endangering to the mundane. We are exposed to varying levels of diversity, emotional intelligence, academic achievement, technology or definitions of success. This in turn affects what we perceive as barriers and what we see as goals. Folks who grew up with the importance of money, may have a harder time understanding the value of charitable work. Those who grew up with the value of image may have trouble connecting with those that are different or less able in some way. We all face our struggles. That said, nobody can fully agree on what beauty is. We wear filters that dictate the heights, weights, colors, voices, smarts, styles, or even eating preferences we find attractive.
However, it is very obvious to see what beauty is not.
Beauty is not bullying. It isn’t taking from the less fortunate. It is not lying or deceiving. It is not laughing at someone’s pain. It is not creating isolation. It is not mocking others or tearing them down. Beauty is not found in the act of defining it. It is not beautiful to tell someone that their brand of beauty is cheap, that it is undesirable, that it needs to change. Surely we can voice an opinion and comment on issues of health, self-esteem, practicality even, but not putting a hurtful subjective spin in commentary.
When individuals express themselves in this way, it shows how unattractive and cruel they are. As species that are naturally social, not only does it go against intelligent self-preservation to alienate others, it is a marker of a destructive nature. I can’t agree on who is more attractive than whom, or what is the right weight, or height, hair color or voice frequency, but I can say with confidence that the most hideous people on this planet make the active decision to communicate with hate.
Make yourself beautiful by making the world a beautiful place to inhabit.
[Image: “See something or say something: San Francisco” protected by a Creative Commons license belonging to Eric Fischer]