What is true beauty?

July 06, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I remember some time ago a friend and fellow photographer asked me if I had ever met anyone I thought was ugly and my answer was yes. Ugliness, just like beauty, is subjective. Also like beauty, ugliness is not something that is always physical. I guess the appropriate question would have been have I ever met anyone I thought was unattractive. Again, my answer would be yes. Is that harsh? I was just being honest. He was quite taken aback and said that he had never met anyone he thought was ugly or unattractive. I do commend him for his outlook on the outward appearance of human beings, but I just don't see it that way. 

Before I go any farther I would like to explain. I, like anyone else meeting someone for the first time, tend to notice their physical appearance. That's all you know about them. Nothing else. So you'll take what you see at face value. If you get to know that person, your perception may actually change. I know mine does. A person's physical appearance doesn't show who they actually are. It's a facade that they were given by their parents'. A happenstance of genes intermingling and creating what you see before you. Sometimes it can be difficult to not judge someone by the way they look, but if that's all you know then it's bound to happen. 

I once dated this guy, whom I didn't think was attractive. How did that happen? Well, I got to know him. He seemed like a very nice and funny guy who cared for me exponentially. I liked having the attention. You're probably wondering if he became less unattractive to me. Kind of, but not really.  What happened was that his physical features meant much less to me than before I knew him. This is because I had more information to go on. Our brains try to help us out by making decisions easy for us. There are people we think are attractive for whatever reason and people we don't think are attractive, for whatever reason. I think the important thing is for us to get past the exterior to know the interior of a person, then make a decision.

In my life, I have met people who I initially perceived to be beautiful on the outside, but man did their personality and attitude suck like a Hoover vacuum. Others I have met who were not to my physical liking, but were the sweetest individuals you would ever meet. Funny how that works out. I remember one time I received  a really nice surprise. It was my last few days working for IBM in Midtown and I was test driving a new car for a few days. Because of this, I got to park in the parking garage, because prior to that, I was riding the bus and train and then walking about a block to get to work. During my test driving time, I met the man who manned the parking booth in the garage. We exchanged pleasantries for about 2 days and on my last day as I was leaving the garage for the last time, he handed me a card. I was perplexed, considering A) I didn't know him very well and B) It wasn't my birthday. Regardless of why he gave it to me, I thought it was sweet. Since this was soooooo many years ago I can't remember exactly what it said, but it was something like, "You're the only nice and pretty woman I have met and I hope you stay that way."  To say I was surprised would be an understatement. That had to be one of the sweetest cards I have ever received. It truly blew me away.

My dad would always tell me to leave  people better off than I found them and I try my best to do that. Basically beauty is where you find it or create it. Don't write someone off because they don't look how you'd like them to look. See who they really are and then determine whether you want them in your life or not. To me, true beauty is something inside. Because if you have ugliness inside, it will eventually creep it's way onto your face. 


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