Am I good-looking? This is a question often asked by women, but not exclusively. On the contrary we live in the world, where also men are already pushed to look better and better every day. Yes, true, we can feel better, when we look better, but mostly when our happiness grows during the others appreciate our look.
Obsession with the visage has always existed…but nowadays we live in a very special period. We are manipulated by lifestyle magazines, TV shows. Our family and friends come up unceasingly with some suggestions concerning our “visage upgrade”. Surveys try to persuade us how important it is to be attractive in everyday life and communication. We are said that the attractive ones are helped more often and better, when they for example faint in the street, the attractive ones sell more, to be attractive is more or less a mantra for some of the “representative positions at work”.
True – physical appeareance is a part of our nonverbal communication. And we evaluate up to 75 or 80 % of the communication with our eyes, which is a paradox. We all evaluate one another all the time. Among others we analyse what are we (or they) wearing, what to wear for this and that occasion, what to do with the hair, make-up, if a man should wear a tie or suit or what…and do I have a chance with my face? With my babyface? Which – again the survey tells us – is a sign for the others “don´t give this person any important position, don´t let him be the leader, it´s a child” 🙂 Should I go for the audition with my belly? Will I ever find a partner, when I suffer from acne and the others uncousciously think that I am ill? These are the thoughts that a very average, let´s use the unpopular term “normal” person has…why not to verbalise it?
Once I saw a B movie – Johnny Handsome from 1989. Mickey Rourke plays there a man who has a genetical malformation of face. The only person who speaks to him as with a “friend” is a criminal, desperate guy, hustler…and his girlfriend – a hooker. They practically abuse poor Johnny for criminal activities. Once he gets to prison and there he gets beaten, so that he has to go to the hospital. His doctor there offers him participation in one project – he wants to make him a new face, Rourke´s face, and let him start new and better life. The authors of the movie react to a survey, that said: people very often meet the “wrong” friends, because they are frustrated from their own physical qualities and they think they don´t deserve anything/anyone better. The doctor is interested in the experiment and patient accepts it.
So there is a question coming to my mind…if anyone would give you a chance to change your life (physically), if anyone offered you plastic surgery for free, would you do it? What would be the real motivation? Where do you want to succeed, but you can´t, because (you think) you are limited by your physis? Can we balance physical imperfectness (which is a very tricky term) with our psychical power, intelect, inner energy? Or is this possible only till some percentage of physical imperfectness?
Maybe that the time when the body becomes the nice, but extrinsic quality, comes. Consuming (and also consuming the physical beauty around) seems to not fascinate people so much anymore. I mean the real people. WHY? Because many people start to resemble each other in a very weird way. Thousands of overdimensional lips meet the same square nails, too long hair, not really moving bigger boobs… The desire for perfection makes its seekers and its consumers kinda tired already… Perfection is an illusion, its parametres change or are different land by land, continent by continent… Plastic surgery and botox stop fulfilling their functions at some point. On the contrary, it can transform from the solution to the real problem.
It would naturally be beautiful, when all of us could say – I am a part of the principe, that ancient Greeks called kalokagathia. I am good, beautiful, I have demanding values and I promote them the nonviolent way. Or also I am beautiful, becase I am good, kind, spunky, virtuous. So why not so many people consider themself as kalos and agathos? Is the beauty of our bodies a requirement for the beauty of our souls and reverse – as the ancient philosophers said? Can the good old plastic surgery really change our life and maybe change us innerly in a better person, because we are happier, more satisfied and maybe more succesful for some time? Is our time really prepared for the imperfect perfection?
Everything is connected with the tolerance to diversity. We can discuss what we want to, but the fact is, that this quality exists more often in bigger cities than in smaller villages, in more colourful then in more homogenous collectives and so on. The other source of “problems” is photoshoping everything and anything. It doesn´t matter that the model sometimes doesn´t have some fingers, when she holds her perfectly formed hips and her too thin waist. It doesn´t matter, that the model is Asian and has some “non-asian” eyes and her legs are soooo long.
We are continuosly bombed by perfect pics in perfect settings. Also the sea is kinda more blue, the sunset more impressive… And we prefer to have more beautiful to “not so beautiful” pics in our photoalbums. It is like a big gallery of human bodies and faces, a big gallery of perfect settings. And some of them get “liked more often” We know about it and we play the game, too. We confirm the asocial character of social networks.
If we want to know more about non-physical parametres of other people, we have to engage in real social activities. We need to see people, to be aware of people around us. It seems banal, ha? 🙂 But how many of us have some regular social activities? Do you contact also some other people than only the ones that you know? Just so? Do you talk to people? Do you smile on them not because it is polite, but because you want to? Are you really every day looking for some other values than “measures”?
Real social life helps against the fixation on physical perfection. It helps us to see the different qualities of people and shoddy qualities of false nails or hair… Well – under the condition that our socialisation is not realised in environment, where exactly this is a standard for a “good person”. If you are a part of such society, I can only wish you from my heart, your purses, nerves and counsciousness of your real values last as long as possible. 🙂
P. S.: Do you know about www.faceresearch.org ? A very interesting project, which shows how does it look like, when you take the faces of typical citizens of different nations and create an “average face”. This project started due to Collin Spearse.