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.
The fact that You are thinking so deeply about it shows to me that You are not shallow at all. You just realized the difference between emotions and rationality.
It never ceases to surprise me how for all our “higher reasoning”, we are still so guided by emotions, instincts, and subconscious processes…
Also, thank you. I personally believe I’m quite shallow though, I’m just very aware of it. There is a difference between fighting one’s nature and not possessing said nature.
We all fall pray to what society has brainwashed us into thinking. I do it all the time. It’s the self awareness, the ability to check yourself and tell yourself to think otherwise that I believe is the most important.
I agree. So many problems could be avoided if people were more aware of the origin of their thoughts and beliefs. There is precious little in our behavior that is not somehow influenced by the society we live in…
I love it when people think they have free will over their thoughts and choices 😛
Hi!! *wave* I haven’t followed your blog in ages, I’m so sorry! This post is great, I wrote a very similar post I titled “beautiful mess.” I don’t know what else to say. You’re just like me in how you think about beauty. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the beholder is certainly preconditioned to appreciate a single type of look. I say this being tall, blonde with blue eyes.. It helps that society already loved my look, so maybe I’m not in a position to talk. But I do think that you’re right, you shouldn’t look at a disfigured girl and say “Oh my god you’re hideous!” but… I don’t know, I probably would get cosmetic surgery too. Great, now I do feel shallow. But I don’t think you are. You at least acknowledge your bias, that’s more than most people can do.