We’ve all heard this phrase and most people I know including myself agree. Its origin can not be confirmed (3rdCentury Greek some say) though William Shakespeare expressed a similar sentiments in Love’s Labours Lost in 1588.
Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
Not utter’d by base sale of the chapmen’s tongues
What one finds attractive or beautiful may be exactly the opposite or another and I’m talking about people here, not cars or paintings or sculptures. When we hear the word beauty, initially we think physical beauty not overall beauty inner and outer. Now it is built into us as humans to select a mate based on a potential mate’s health (for obvious reasons) and physical attractiveness. Why physical attractiveness you ask? Well I don’t want to come off like I made this up or discovered this myself so here are some links to blogs written by some really smart people (then you can go on reading my blog): www.psychologytoday.com/print/550 and www.psychologytoday.com/print/589
Have you ever been very attracted to someone who isn’t traditionally beautiful by society’s standards? Or have you ever done what we’ve all done and blow someone off who may not be as attractive as you’d like and never even give them a chance to show you they may actually be a beautiful person? Have you ever kept someone in your life because they were physically attractive but not treating you well? Do you know someone who is very attractive and you perceive them to have an advantage in areas of life like social and career? Well that actually is factual. Physically attractive people are more successful but how did we let that happen as a society when we know that is wrong?
Working in a very lucrative business that makes physical attractiveness and outer beauty seem like it is very important, well then maybe I am being a hypocrite here. Does having bad skin make you an ugly person? Is aging, wrinkled skin ugly? Does the beauty business (and the diet industry) pray on men and women who have low self esteem and think a jar or bottle is going to transform them into a truly beautiful person? Have we completely lost focus on what characteristics of a person are important? You see how I’m feeling right now? A bit conflicted. I know. That was a lot of questions.
Take this time to think of some positive, descriptive words to describe a person that have nothing to do with the way they look. These are the ones I came up with. Some are even questionable because some of the following words describe characteristics that may not even be in someone’s control.
. . .
Any more you can think of? What characteristics do you look for in a potential mate and are any of those listed there? How many of those words describe you? Shouldn’t we strive to achieve those characteristics for ourselves as a priority well above thin, wealthy and good looking? What does it say about ourselves when the reverse is true? Just a little something to chew on.