ForumTouchy Subjects ► You must be beautiful
A tangent of the body-shaming discussion. I routinely see people referring to people as beautiful when they refer to traditionally* unattractive qualities. Eg: "I have a lot of acne and feel ugly", "No, you're beautiful". To me, what this indicates is not that everyone is beautiful, whatever that means, but that being beautiful is absolutely mandatory because to be otherwise is to have no value (or otherwise why would we be so quick to ensure that everyone is considered beautiful?). Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


* For current North American culture.
  
i’ll reply when i’m no longer on mobile cause typing on mobile sucks
  
Well, most of the time they're referring to qualities about them that aren't even that bad, like acne. It's just a few bubbles of white stuff that happens when your pores get clogged. It happens to everyone at least once in their lives, so why should we think that we're ugly because of it? The truth is, we're not ugly. We just think that. And, when our friends say things like "you're beautiful", it raises our self esteem and helps us get our minds in a more positive place.

Another thing is that we usually tend to look at ourselves and compare ourselves to people who we think are "more desirable" than us, for everything from looks to attitude. It's just kind of how we function has humans, but it's not a good way to look at the world. We should look at ourselves more highly, and not focus so much on our bad qualities, but our good qualities.

I know I unintentionally started this, so I might as well say something.
  
A tangent of the body-shaming discussion. I routinely see people referring to people as beautiful when they refer to traditionally* unattractive qualities. Eg: "I have a lot of acne and feel ugly", "No, you're beautiful".


they doing it because lots of people don't have that self esteem and they wanna reassure them because everyone deserves to feel self esteem
  
I think for me, the whole 'everyone is equally beautiful' is nonsense. I think it better to focus on body neutrality over body positivity.

My acne and my stretch marks do not make me beautiful. But neither do they make me ugly. They are just a part of me and it does not affect who I am. And every body has things that are desirable and things that are not, and that is part of being human.

It is ridiculous to me because the body positivity movement focuses on loving everything about yourself no matter what, and sort of discounts self-improvement. I think that it is good to like what is good about you, and work on what is not if it is something that you can change.
  
why make changes to yourself? working towards improvement is hard. wouldn't it just be easier to surround yourself with people who only give you superficial compliments to barely keep your self negativity at bay?

...sorry
  
Do those kind of comments ("you're not ugly, you're beautiful!") actually make people feel better?
  
it's just echoing these things you tell yourself back at you that unincentivized making an effort
  
I think you're right, value has been placed on beauty more often than ugliness. Beauty is even confused for virtue and ugliness is sometimes a trope to indicate somebody is bad.

I think it is important to declare certain things as beautiful that aren't/weren't seen as traditionally beautiful.

For instance there was/is the whole "Black is Beautiful" thing because pop culture so often demanded black people take on white characteristics, hair styles, etc. so it was revolutionary to just be regular black and celebrate that as beautiful without trying to make their hair look like a white chick's hair or something.

Could black people have taken the next step and questioned the whole emphasis on why beauty is valued? Sure! But you can only give something away if you have it. So, its really important for people to affirm their own beauty before they can relinquish it or let go of it.

As far as could being told you're beautiful if you don't seem beautiful make anyone feel better? I don't know. I am traditionally beautiful so it always feels good when people call me beautiful. Its because I know they are being sincere and its nice to hear. I've never been called ugly. I've felt ugly, but I've never been called ugly.

Nowadays if someone called me ugly I just wouldn't believe them. I really don't know how that would make me feel because I would doubt they were being truthful.
  
Modern days beauty has gone to "while, tanned, blonde, skinny".
I am told I am beautiful all the time, but it is hard for me to believe it because of social standards. I sometimes think to myself, what about foreign beauty? I mean, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, just people of color in general.

Many people complain about being overweight, but then there's them complaining about weighing 135 pounds and call themselves fat. In my opinion, people think looks are important because they're the first thing a person knows about you when seeing you, the way you dress, walk, talk, and treat yourself.

I mean not trying to fat shame if a person has fat rolls while wearing a two-piece and weighs 300 pounds, people will be disgusted.

Thus, the answer to the question, "Are you beautiful?" is yes, according to social standards and personal preferences.
  
I am not a particularly visual person when it comes to attraction, so oftentimes how society views beauty can feel very strange and foreign to me. I can recognize conventional beauty, and I even feel social pressure to adhere to it myself.

I find it harmful to equate beauty with worth, and the pressure to adhere to beauty standards harmful. I also find it harmful to try to just change those standards arbitrarily while still, effectively, saying that people SHOULD be beautiful - and if they don't feel like they meet whatever standard, then they are less worthy. And that can be true of different standards as well - standards for what makes people of different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are all kinds of different "beauty" icons within different demographics, but they all set themselves up as some kind of ideal.

I think we'd be healthier as a society if we focused on what we like about ourselves personally rather than "beauty" as a concept. Rather than aspiring to beauty, it would be better to encourage people to aspire to looking and feeling they way they want to look and feel. What do they LIKE? What makes them happy? What makes them feel comfortable in their body?
  
Don't beauty standards vary by country? I remember the show where the English family go to live with some Himba people in Namibia and the women were talking about how jealous they were of each other's ochre dreadlocks, that was their big beauty marker. They didn't think being white was good, they thought being red was good. The women would put ochre make-up all over their bodies. They also thought the fat English woman was attractive because she was fat. I think it's just like, whatever in the society denotes effort. In England, it's easy to get fat. But in their society, there wasn't any junk food and exercise was part of survival, so they thought a fat person was gorgeous.
  
That's pretty cool, Y Draig. Its interesting how the social constructs of beauty can change.

I was thinking about this thread the other day, and I came to a conclusion.

There are some beauty preferences toward health. While these can be problematic taken to certain extremes like ostracizing or bullying people who fall ill, I don't see an overall problem with a temperate preference for health.

Many people are able bodied and are capable of being more healthy. I don't like terms like "fit privilege" and stuff like that. Yeah there's privilege to being able bodied, but that doesn't mean every able bodied person takes advantage of the fact that they are able bodied.

Not everyone has access or resources for fitness, nutrition, etc. but I don't think that means the beauty standards around health are bad. I think its bad that its difficult for some people to find the extra time, money, and energy in our crazy society to take care of themselves.

That's the thing that needs to change, but I think its always a good thing when humans celebrate health and encourage it.
  
Many people are able bodied and are capable of being more healthy. I don't like terms like "fit privilege" and stuff like that. Yeah there's privilege to being able bodied, but that doesn't mean every able bodied person takes advantage of the fact that they are able bodied.

Privilege isn't about whether you take advantage of an advantage. It's about whether you have the ability to access it.
  
A tangent of the body-shaming discussion. I routinely see people referring to people as beautiful when they refer to traditionally* unattractive qualities. Eg: "I have a lot of acne and feel ugly", "No, you're beautiful". To me, what this indicates is not that everyone is beautiful, whatever that means, but that being beautiful is absolutely mandatory because to be otherwise is to have no value (or otherwise why would we be so quick to ensure that everyone is considered beautiful?). Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

* For current North American culture.
Maybe I’m not thinking hard enough into it, but I think it’s just a weird attempt at making someone feel better about themselves because most of the time people say stuff like that in a very self deprecating way. Like to me what that response notes is that the person who said they have acne is giving too much a shit about having acne and the person saying they’re beautiful can’t think to say “it’s just acne.”
Do those kind of comments ("you're not ugly, you're beautiful!") actually make people feel better?
I think they make shallow people feel better. Or people weird enough to seriously just fish for complements.
  
I feel like being beautiful has always been something that is not attainable. In Indian cultures being pale is like being tan in america because in India people all have darker skin, so being pale is harder. Like Y Ddraig was saying back in the olden days in the U.K. being fat was beautiful because people were impoverished, so being fat was harder to attain and therefore beautiful. This has never been something that has been a decision that was made by someone, but people see stuff that is hard to get and want that. It is just like when you went to your friends house's as a kid, and their stuff was so much cooler than yours
  
For me the natural human state, however that shows, is beautiful to me.

Acne? No problem. Scars? Sexy. Big body? Big hugs.
People are just really nice.
  
I've always found it to be disingenuous.
  
I think a lot of people in modern society too depend too much on what is or isn't a standard. I know when I say something like "You are beautiful." I truly mean it. But I am a person that finds so many things beautiful and I want to be honest with those things I find that way.

That being said, I have been met with backlash on comments like that from previous exes because it makes them feel like its disingenuous. I mean, what boyfriend would come out and say "Yeah, you are right it's ugly." to their loved one?

However, I don't think it is the fault of the persons involved. I truly think society has too much of a Lord of the Flies mentality of what beautiful is and isn't. Genuine compliments fade over the years. I am finding if the compliment is more specific (Example: Instead of "Your hair looks fine." say "Your hair looks really good today! I like how you did your curls." or "I am really digging the messy bed head today.") the compliment or comment is more genuine. I don't know, I could be crazy. I am also the kind of guy that truly does try to find beauty in everything. Call me mad.
  
thanks for the formatting

lord of the flies mentality! ooh give me notes i'm doing a homework on that
  
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