Barefoot Doctor on the Existence of Inner Beauty
Last week Miss Venezuela chairman Osmel Sousa told the New York Times he fully approves of women having cosmetic surgery, explaining ‘if it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it? I say inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.” (Guardian) Barefoot Doctor took exception . . .
Barefoot Doctor: “Talking about beauty is like talking about love or happiness: it’s OK as long as we remember the experience of beauty is entirely subjective.
One person’s beauty is another’s ugliness – and even on an individual basis, you’ll find someone or something beautiful in one mood, from one camera angle as it were, lit in a certain way, and find them ugly in another mood, from a different angle, in a different light.
Hence why beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In terms of aesthetics, it’s obvious symmetry is easier on the eye, big beautiful bright eyes are more alluring than narrow, lusterless ones, smooth skin more inviting than rough, a magnificent head of hair more tantalizing than a bedraggled mop, and so on. But there have been enough times I’ve met aesthetically media-perfect looking women and not felt moved.
Similarly I’ve met people over the years who wouldn’t get a look in at a casting but were mesmerizing in their brightness of character.
So though it’s a clever quip, in a slightly cruel but witty Dorothy Parker-ish sort of way, “inner beauty is something ugly women use to justify themselves”, and I’m sure was meant merely as a quip, I’d have to say inner beauty does exist as a force, and it can be expressed no matter the aesthetics.
Obviously those rare instances the two come together are a major blessing both for the person themselves and for everyone who gets to enjoy being in their company.
At the deeper level we appreciate that combination for being an unabridged expression of the pure quality of beauty, fully expressed even on the surface of the person, but it’s the quality rather than the looks we feel and resonate with.
After all, external forms change over time, and no matter how aesthetically beautiful someone looks when they’re young, nor how much cosmetic surgery or other interventions people undergo, aging causes people to lose their aesthetic luster.
Yet there can be something incredibly beautiful about someone in their more mature years provided they still have that mysterious sparkle – all those stories, all that experience, and all that wisdom that leads to self-acceptance – that combination can be utterly intriguing despite the lines and wrinkles.
As far as attempting to fake youthfulness through cosmetic surgery and so on, the effect it has on others is only marginally different than the effect of make-up or hair coloring. No one actually believes it.
For though essentially narcissistic and neurotic at root, if it confers whatever extra confidence is required to make them feel comfortable expressing their inner beauty, (and is done well so they don’t end up looking like ventriloquists’ dummies), why not.
Though much better in terms of going the holistic way, for instance, to do the Taoist ‘Psycho-Energetics’ I practice myself as these naturally increase vitality and that glow of beauty from within.
So yes, let’s vote for inner beauty as an authentic force and let’s all do our best to channel more and more of it, as it’s surely that which makes the world a beautiful place to be – and not the way people’s faces look.
Questions by Skrufff.