Friday, May 12, 2006

Beauty

Here's another quote from Can Love Last by Steven Mitchell:

"The experience of beauty, Scarry is suggesting, entails a transcendence of ordinary reality. We tend to assume that ordinary reality is factual and objective, which makes the transcendence that transforms the ordinary other into an object of desire a fantasy-driven illusion. But if ordinary reality is understood as a construction, useful for some purposes, useless for others, its transcendence in the creation of the desirable is not a contamination or masking of what is really there, but an alternative construction, a window into what is really there."

I've done posts about my body issues, in the past...but this is a new take. I'm having people (whom I desire) tell me that I am pretty and beautiful. People who tell me that they are nervous or excited to meet me.

I grew up without being told that I look beautiful. I don't know if this is because my family was not given to compliments or if they really did not feel that I was beautiful. I was startled to find, one day looking in the mirror, that I actually found my face to be attractive. And I have always loved my hair; especially the way that it is now.

And I do not have a conventional body shape. My top is rather average, but my bottom half is pretty exagerated. Growing up, it was rather difficult to feel beautiful when you couldn't wear clothes that were fashionable for girls your age. As I've said before, I hid my body.

Most of the compliments that I've received in my life have been accompanied by the addendum "Have you lost weight?"

So to find myself in a position where there are people telling me that I look good, as I am, is strangely difficult. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. But then I read the quote above.

I've had to read that quote many times to fully take it in. But what I am taking from it is that beauty, my beauty, is not something to be disbelieved or dismissed as delusion. It exists as a reality. The subjective is true. It is not true for everybody, obviously, but it is true in my eyes (at least to some extent) and in the eyes of my friends (such as HippyChick, BeeDragon, P'tit Loup who are always complimentary), and in the eyes of those men I have been dating.

This is good. This feels healing.

5 comments:

Hyde said...

I love that... "the subjective is true."

Hammer and I were talking about something along these lines this morning. Glad to hear you're feeling good about yourself. Must be nice...

:)

h

Hippy Chick said...

ooh i like this post a lot, hope some of it rubs off on me :)

MrMystic said...

I have always said you are a good looking chick.

Whats the matter , you didn't believe me?

spinsterwitch said...

Mystic - it's hard to get past the other messages sometimes to hear the reality. I know, it's crazy.

Aravis said...

Every photo I have ever seen of you has shown the type of beautiful, vibrant woman whom others want to be around. You're attractive not only physically, but some essential You comes through hinting at an equally radiant personality. I hope that if I ever make it out to California to visit my relatives, that I can perhaps catch up with you at some point as well. :0)

When you mentioned never being told that you were beautiful when you were little, it reminded me of some of my family members. One aunt in particular used to called me "Ugly" as if that were my name. I found out as an adult it was because she thought that I was so beautiful I was likely to get a fat head over it, so she felt it her duty to keep me right-sized. Having never had that many compliments from peers back then, it sure would have been nice to know my aunt's reasoning at the time. :0P