Thursday, November 17, 2011

Society's Idea of Beauty is Beastly

My brain is noshing on the notion of beauty today – what it is, how it differs for each of us, how society shapes our ideas on what’s attractive or sexy.

Tawna Fenske, a writer I follow online, recently posted a fun blog entry called “Not so hot boys who make me want to get naked.” She talked about men who have a certain charisma that transcends societal norms of attractiveness. Case in point: Lyle Lovett. (yummy)

Then, last night, I had dinner with my dear friend, Joelle, who is dog-sitting for someone. Sissy, the sweetest little bulldog you’d ever hope to meet, isn’t pretty by anyone’s standards. But to me, she’s BEAUTIFUL. I couldn’t stop kissing her mushed in face. I can’t define in words what attracted me to her but I wanted to scoop her up and take her home.

Joelle and I then talked about how our ideas of beauty have changed as we aged. She’s an avid (i.e., obsessed) road- and mountain-biker so naturally her cute little body is muscled, lean and athletic. She finds the ‘strength’ in her legs beautiful and thanks them for bringing her so much joy.

I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of my hands. I type all day, every day, so I look at them a lot. My fingers are long. My nails have always been really healthy. And now that they are professionally manicured, I can’t stop staring at them! Not only are they utilitarian but they’re sensual and expressive.

What’s beautiful in your world today? Do you find you buck society’s idea of beauty?

To Deonne, my writer friend in Taos: would Billy Bob Thornton make your sexy man list?


  1. It's so true that beauty is in they eye, etc. Actors like Willem Defoe, Tilda Swinton, and yes, Billy Bob (swoon!), aren't beautiful by most people's standards, but they are to me. (Well, and a few other people, too, I'm sure.)

    In fact, I admit to a huge bias *against* those who are classically beautiful. I assume that since they're so pretty they must not have had to develop other parts of their personalities or intellects, since we as a society give the beautiful so much favor. Sweeping generalization alert: Pretty folks can coast.

    It's like that moment when a beautiful person opens his or her mouth, and what comes out is drivel. You think, Yep. Just what I expected.

    I know there are exceptions to the stereotype - Brad Pitt comes to mind, though I'm not sure about Angelina Jolie, since we rarely hear her speak outside the movie screen - but I'd say it's a stereotype for a reason.

    Thanks for the shout out, Mandy! I obviously have an opinion about this (ha).

  2. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  3. Let me start off by saying I absolutely LOVED this book! I first wanted to read this book because I saw the trailer for the movie and I thought the book might be interesting to read first. I watched the movie right after I read it and was extremely disappointed. The movie leaves out so much of the story. This book is a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast and is told from the beasts point of view. Kyle was the ultimate rich boy, who was popular and cool.