Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More on Beauty and appreciation.

Over the years I've read a number of articles, journals, message boards etc where one of the rallying cries of those who loathe the fatties is "don't force me to wanna do you".

Now being that usually these are followed by varying levels of non nonsensical ranting let's get a few things straight shall we?

Attraction and lust are strange sometimes complicated things. Now granted I don't have the research at hand but, I firmly do not believe that anyone can be forced into having serious attraction for someone else. That is absurd to me and nowhere have I ever seen (whether it's fat,race, etc related) anyone saying anything akin to YOU MUST THINK I AM HOT YOU MUST DO IT DO IT DO IT.

This is not A Clockwork Orange, no one is going to clip your eyelids open and flash images of fat asses until you get a chubby.

Believing that people should not be harmed or demonized or treated shitty because of how their physical body looks or how they present themselves in a physical sense has nothing to do whatever with you or your homies thinking someone is hot.

That said, I think there is nothing at all wrong or weird about maybe making an effort to change your own perceptions of what beauty can be.

I don't believe that it is threatening your autonomy to accept the suggestion that someone outside of your normal parameters for beauty is in fact a beautiful being. Or even if you can't go that far, why not look at a piece of art say a photograph and think "wow that is a really gorgeous shot."

Personally I have a philosophy that widening one's horizons when it comes to appreciating the diverse wonder that is humanity isn't a bad thing and it's not just about sex and attraction.

For a minute let's take this out of the context of people since that seems to hang people up. Let's talk about nature.

Let's say you are a dyed in the wool city dwelling bug hating person, you don't camp, you don't want to go on eco tours of some wild enviornment, you dig your pavement and sky scrapers and whatnot. Got your character?

Who's to say that you as this person can't look at a picture of a forest or waterscape and say, holy fucking shit that is beautiful?

You don't have to of course, but would that be horrifying? If someone showed you a beautiful picture of a mountain would you then get irate and start yammering about how, "I DON'T HAVE TO LIKE MOUNTAINS YOU ASSHOLE WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME LIKE MOUNTAINS?"

Maybe you really really love apples and someone offers you a slice of blood orange, does that mean you have to love the orange? No. Does it provide you an opportunity to maybe find something you really enjoy? Yes.

I believe it behooves us as humans to learn to use more of our brains and I believe that involves developing an appreciation for each other that goes beyond, "Oh that is a hot ass" or "ZOMG gross fat ass".

For instance.

Look at some of the photographs here. (some NSFW)

And this art.

Look at this photo (one of my personal favorites of all time).

Look at the Illustrated BMI project.

Not one of these images needs to (nor am I asking for) sexual approval or excitement.

What I am talking about here is very simply appreciation.

   /əˌpriʃiˈeɪʃən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-pree-shee-ey-shuhn] Show IPA Pronunciation
1. gratitude; thankful recognition: They showed their appreciation by giving him a gold watch.
2. the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.
3. clear perception or recognition, esp. of aesthetic quality: a course in art appreciation.
4. an increase or rise in the value of property, goods, etc.
5. critical notice; evaluation; opinion, as of a situation, person, etc.
6. a critique or written evaluation, esp. when favorable.
1600–10; earlier appretiation < LL appretiāt(us) (see appreciate ) + -ion, or < F appréciation

You do not have to approve of anyone, you do not have to want to have their love children and frolic with them naked.

But give yourself the chance, give yourself the opportunity to see other beautiful human beings for the things that make them unique and wonderful. Appreciate the skill in capturing even a hint of that awesome beauty that many artists have.

And in that, maybe count yourself a part of the diverse wonder that is humanity. You never know, you might catch some happiness. You might decide you don't have to embrace what passes for beauty and wonder in our society. Maybe, instead of being angry when faced with someone who is different from you, you might smile. You might not want to do it with them, you might want to. That makes no difference to me whatsoever.

I am not a scientist, I am not a sociologist, I am not a doctor of anything but I do wholeheartedly believe that taking a minute to slow your roll and reel in the venom, take a breath and appreciate something or someone who is wonderful and beautiful is good for the soul.

I'll leave you with this bit of poetry that I love:

Beauty XXV by Khalil Gibran
And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.

Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."

And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."

But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."

And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."

All these things have you said of beauty.

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

Homo Out.



Anonymous said...

My gOD you are BORING!!

Stayathomeslutt wuz right, u do look like Biggie Smalls with shitty makeup!!

Anonymous said...

Ha, I was just thinking about this topic this morning. Personally, I don't give a flying fuck if people don't find me attractive -- I just want them to get the hell out of my way.

Cindy said...

It's amazing to me that "please respect me as a human being" seems to translate into frat-boy as "find me fuckable."

Because those concepts are both exactly the same thing and equally desirable.

Madelyn said...

That is such a beautiful poem, thanks for sharing it. :)

Maybe it's the artist in me, but I really can't understand sometimes how others just completely (and militantly) can't conceive of someone finding a fat person attractive. That maybe curves and rolls and softness can be JUST as attractive as angles and flatness and hard bodies. Maybe not to that particular person, but it's NOT like this is some mythical, unheard-of viewpoint.

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