I just realized that I’m incredibly shallow.
(Ok, fine, I already knew this. I only got reminded of the fact.)
There was this post on FB of a girl who had gotten horribly disfigured in a car accident, and she shared her story to warn people not to text and drive. And my first thought, literally my first thought, was: “I hope she can get reconstructive surgery. That looks nasty.”
And then I wondered at what I just thought and I was like… Wow. I am one miserable human being. That girl survived such a life-wrecking event, and she’s being incredibly brave by coming out in the world and trying to prevent the same thing from happening to others… and the only thing can I think of is that she needs to get her face fixed. Fuck that.
However, I do know that looking decent again would be my main concern if something like that happened to me. Isn’t that pretty hypocrite for someone who claims to appreciate the beauty of “ugly” and unusual things?
I’m all for a society where it doesn’t matter what you look like… but in the end, when given over to my first instincts, I will want to “fix” people, “make them pretty”, make them conform to this subconscious model I have of what a person should look like. It’s not just for big things like deformities. I sometimes catch myself thinking things like, “If only she would wear heels, her legs would look so much better.” Or, “If those pants were properly fitted, he’d look seriously fetching.” Or, “What an unfortunate nose.” It’s like an internal autocorrect for people; in my mind they automatically get a red line and a couple suggestions for correction. My own mirror image isn’t exempt from that, but that’s my business. Other people’s looks most definitely aren’t.
Isn’t it strange that my mind does this, without me even consciously thinking about it? Part of my brain is constantly judging and grading things and people around me, as if I have any right whatsoever to do that. (Hint: I don’t.)
It doesn’t matter that I’m totally ok with a lot of things other people are vocal about… In the end it’s still just my opinion. I don’t instinctively accept those things because I am really open-minded and free of prejudice, but because they happen to fit into what I think is pleasing to the senses. And that is… well, shallow and hypocrite.
The only way to go around this, is to be aware. I have a certain esthetic, and part of me would like the entire world to be filled with things and people that fit with this esthetic. It’s a fact I have to accept. If I give this part of me free reign, I become an obnoxious, judgmental and entitled person. I can only try to be better than that by forcing myself to accept that what offends my sense of esthetics, by calling myself out on judgmental thoughts like I have learned to call myself out on paranoid, irrational or anxious thoughts. If I do that, I can grow. And if I can grow… maybe one day I’ll be able to beat my subconscious at this game and become truly open-minded.