Beauty: the qualities that give pleasure to the senses
A month or so ago, Margaret Chos's new comedy show, Beautiful, was broadcast on Showtime. I watched and mostly was disappointed. I ADORE Margaret Cho, but this wasn't her best performance, in my opinion.
However, before the show even started, they did a backstage interview with her. Margaret talked about how much she struggled with her looks and her weight growing up. She says she always wondered when she'd get to be beautiful. How did that happen? Was there a certain compliment you had to receive or a contest you won and THEN you were beautiful?
Margaret Cho says she woke up one day and realized that no one was ever going to give her that honor, but that it was something she could bestow on HERSELF. She could be beautiful if she told herself it was so. And, it was.
I grew up in the 1980's, about the time that anorexia and talking openly about plastic surgery were hot topics. And, oh man, Cindy Crawford was pretty much the standard of all that was beautiful at that time. I read an interview with Cindy in some random teen mag that has impacted me like little else.
She talked about how she'd get scads of letters from teenagers who felt bad about their looks and how they talked about wanting to starve themselves and carve up their bodies to meet some impossible beauty standard. They'd all say that nothing was worse then getting up in the morning, looking in the mirror and realizing they STILL didn't look like Cindy Crawford.
Cindy's response? "Guys, when I wake up in the morning, I don't look like Cindy Crawford either."
None of my family is particularly attractive. It's just not in our genes. And every once in awhile, one of us will lament that we aren't thinner, or that our teeth are crooked or our butts are too big. Finally my Dad always pops up with a question of perspective: "Would you rather be smart or pretty?" Well. Smart. Yes. Always.
The group Joydrop has a song called Beautiful, and in the song, the singer says that her life would be different if she looked different. Nothing would ever be her fault and people would always try to make her happy.
The chorus rocks out with her own realization about beauty: I'm not beautiful like you, I'm beautiful like me.