Of Beauty, Society & Rebellion

Why is it that visual aesthetics are so inseparable from the concept beauty, that more often than not, they dominate the way we perceive a person?
Even though the idea of beauty is subjective in any case, why does our mind create a little bias for those individuals we find visually attractive(by our subjective standards)?
I do not know if my observation stems from the possibility of my own insecurities or whether there is a rational reasoning behind it, but those who are considered beautiful by the standards of society adopt a sense of self-entitlement that dictates the quality of their life. As Madonna said, “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want” or when Meryl Streep said, “It’s amazing what you can get if you quietly, clearly and authoritatively demand it.” That sense of entitlement to believe that you deserve what you ask for is what I struggle with from time to time. Growing up as a teenager who received a fair share of bullying in school, be it for my weight issues or for having excessive hair on my body, I never completely got over the anxiety of not fitting in. It’s obvious that being bullied for physical appearances comes with blows to your self-confidence, and then opportunities for you to recover from a self-doubting mindset to nurture the other qualities in you. Once you face the scrutiny for your outer shell not conforming to that of an ideal feminine one, you struggle to imitate that holy goddess image handed out to you, and when that fails, you get with it. That’s when you decide to look into the inner shell and hone that instead.
For me, school got over and I found another life. I was lucky to be constantly surrounded by the most wonderful and inspiring people, and opportunities that really helped me explore myself. I grew through all my adventures and found a burning light inside of me. But even today somehow, those nights I go to bed feeling proud of myself, don’t retaliate the ones that my teenage-self spent crying in frustration, confusion and self-loathing.
Although maintaining beauty is way easier now as an adult because I don’t have to face my mom’s constant disapproval to wax my arms or remove my facial hair as was when I was too young to make my body go through the torture, the feeling of disgust for my own body hair still remains. And that sucks, because why do I hate things my body makes for me? Do you see the conflict between trying to be body positive and the reason for contradicting it? I might have a mind that’s expanding and enabling me to achieve things I never imagined, but I will never have porcelain skin, I will never have a skinny frame, I will never conform to society’s idea of beautiful. And honestly, as glorifying as being a non-conformist may be portrayed, it get’s a little kinda-sorta-miserable on the rebellion road sometimes. In those moments it seems easier to just pretty-up somehow and be treated with lesser resistance from around​. when you’re easy on the eyes, you have lesser burden to impress someone (given that you want to attract their attention) solely through your wits when your looks are giving you the leverage. It just helps. Do you see what I mean?

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Musings From ‘The Little Prince’

“But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the ground fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think of how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…” -The Fox to Little Prince (Chapter twenty-one, The little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry)

Amongst the other intricate lessons of life, if there’s one thing that The little Prince has taught me, it’s that there is such cryptic beauty in being tamed by someone, as much as it is in taming them. I for one don’t know if I’ve had a fox of my own, but I’ve had my rose. I’ve had my rose, my lily, my dandelion and even the flowers that bloomed in the lap of wilderness whose sight I never saw again. So now the spring greets me with sweet fragrances instead of allergies.

I’ve never had lovers, just almost lovers that left a taste of unrequited love in my mouth as they kissed me goodbye. Closures only help so much to break the habit of being in love with them, until you see a smile that reminds you of a lost one’s smile and in the next moment bring you such agony when their eyes, nose and being don’t match. It’s almost as if the fate teases the feelings out of you with no outlet to channel them into. What do you do with that love?

I’m so grateful for all the memories I made through my travels or even the unexpected adventures in my mundane institutionalised life. I’m so glad for the music, movies, places and cultures I got exposed to and developed a taste for thanks to the people who introduced me to them. But I can’t help the nostalgia that comes gushing in or the craving for that friend when I encounter a song that we’d danced to like crazy children. The music is still here, but the moment’s passed and they’re gone. Do they even miss me? Do they even remember those moments with me? Am I the only one wearing the leash? Am I the only fox here?

 

 

what do I do with all this love
That I’d saved up for you
do spin it into a blanket of remorse
and wrap it around myself?
or cut it into paper hearts and give it away?
Would somebody else accept it with mutual affection?
Or would they reject it with the same grace
Like you did, with all your innocence
oblivious of the hurricanes,
of the storms that you’d been brewing
deep inside my head.