By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, September 17, 2012
First and foremost, there is no agreed-upon definition of beauty. It is an invisible mystery. No one can deny that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as many have claimed from time immemorial. Yet, every time we bring up the issue of beauty, we shun the real truth about beauty and its real effects on people who are born with or without it.
We choose, instead, to console ourselves by claiming that beauty is that of the soul, not that of the body, that every one of us is born with his or her well-deserved ‘portion’ of beauty and it is no use complaining or finding fault with one another’s beauty. Yet, is that enough to prove that some people are not more beautiful than others, or that there are no ugly people on Earth? Are we born equal in terms of our beauty? Personally, I do not think so.
Some people are born with beauty, whereas others are not. Such is life! We are not necessarily talking about spiritual beauty as some people do while trying to avoid the issue of physical beauty. Have we not heard people in their everyday lives uttering familiar expressions? “Oh! How beautiful that girl is!” “Oh! How handsome that man is!” “He is so lucky; he got married to a very beautiful girl.” “Her husband is such a handsome man!”
In this regard, if beauty were everywhere, as many of us claim, why would people not utter the same statements about everyone they come across in life? For instance, doesn’t the statement, “He got married to a beautiful girl” imply that there are men who get married to ugly women? Logically speaking, yes, there are.
We care for beauty no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that beauty is just skin deep and that it doesn’t matter. For example, think of advertising policies and strategies. Why do some advertising companies choose some women and ignore others to present an ad? It simply means that viewers, along with advertisers, tend to appreciate a product presented by a beautiful girl.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as many of us stress, why don’t these advertisers choose any woman to appear in ads, regardless of their beauty? Is beauty not in the eye of ad viewers? Do viewers not appreciate some women who are not deemed beautiful by the companies? Put frankly, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is just a flimsy excuse many people use to explain ugliness. Here, it is a pity that advertising companies, albeit mercilessly capitalist, are franker than us upon this point.
At this point, what is also worth bearing in mind is that there is a huge difference between the real world and the idealized world. Our problem is that many of us tend to resort to the idealized world to discuss the notion of beauty, whereas we attempt to conceal our real perceptions of beauty as they are manifested in the real world. Perhaps, we must excuse ourselves for always looking for solace for our problems in the idealized world or utopia. Many of us, for instance, say that real beauty is that of the soul, not physical.
Yet, when the day of proposal or marriage comes, we set physical beauty among the conditions. Frankly, we couldn’t agree more over the fact that spiritual beauty is more important that bodily beauty. But, the truth is that we do not usually abide by this principle. When a beautiful woman passes by, some men stare at her, uttering “Oh! How beautiful!” In a similar vein, when a handsome man passes by, some women stare at him, uttering “Oh! How handsome!” These onlookers stop commenting when other people pass by. Isn’t this proof that some people are more beautiful or handsome than others? Realistically speaking, the answer is yes. What is worse is that we do not practice what we preach when it comes to the notion of beauty.
The point I am getting at is that, whether we like it or not, some people are more beautiful than others. When we say that some people are born ugly, it does not necessarily mean that they are deprecated. It is we, members of the society, who view them as ugly. When we say that others are born beautiful, this doesn’t necessarily render them good people. Similarly, it is we, members of the society, that deem them as beautiful.
Many unattractive people are morally better than attractive people. Our tendency, however, is to relate beauty to one’s morals. If they are morally good, then they are automatically beautiful, and the other way around. However, we must be bold enough to admit that beauty is inseparable from morals, and it is a mistake to shroud beauty in morals and morals in beauty. It is a pity that we are usually hypocritical towards each other when we talk about our beauty. Most of the time, we tell the truth about beauty behind each others’ backs.
In practice, our society is unforgiving with regard to beauty, whereas in theory, it pardons people with no physical beauty. When a suitor knocks on the door of a family with some girls inside the home, he usually has in mind the prettiest of the girls. At heart, families, themselves, know the pretty from the ugly, but they prefer not to reveal that for fear of facing and causing embarrassment. Many suitors have been turned down on the basis of ugliness. Similarly, many girls have been welcomed and accepted on the basis of their beauty.
Here, we have to stop to utter the usual, hypocritical statements. “Beauty is that of the soul.” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Beauty is not a big deal.” Yes, we all agree that the statements have multi-layered meanings. However, I strongly believe that we shouldn’t discuss them as if we live in the above-mentioned idealized world. Let us remind ourselves that we are still living in the real world and be realistic about the notion of beauty.
Edited by Ryan Mc Allister