I am always amazed at the lengths to which people go to make sure they appear “beautiful.” People shower daily, wash and condition their hair and use all kinds of products and add-ons to enhance their hair. We use flowers, and bows, and jewels. People spend a fortune on clothes that they spend more on to make sure they are clean and pressed. They worry about make-up and accessories and skin care and diet and even surgically altering their body. From the time children are small the messages are daily constants until we are sure that something has kicked in and they are on the treadmill and have demonstrated a life long commitment to the continuation of making every effort to be beautiful.
We are obsessed with it.
What is the point of beauty? We take from beauty that something/one is of more value? We assume things about the person they are? We like the reflection it has on us, if we are with beautiful people, we must be beautiful too? Beauty is the packaging, meant to suggest that there is something of value inside that package.
But who has time for the inner workings when our life is consumed with the outer?
We don’t put an nth of the same effort into teaching our children to be honest, kind, have integrity, compassion . . .
We are saying the outer subterfuge will pay off more than the inner truth. An ugly person who is lovely is never going to get as far as a beautiful person who is empty.
I have participated for the past several years in a virtual reality called Second Life. It fascinates me. It does because it is not at all what I expected when I went in. I was expecting to find a hot bed of sexual sin, and a sinister effort to steal people’s minds from reality. Instead I have found an incredibly interesting expose on human beings. That is not to say there are not all the things you have heard about . . . but there is so much more than that. One of the immediate observations is the tearing down of some of the walls between us, such as those based on what we look like. Everyone creates their own avatar so even if you meet someone who is not your typical human form, or who chooses to be unattractive, the idea that the image in front of you may not represent anything more than an aspect or idea the real person holds, takes away from “judging” to the extent we do in real life.
It is a nice feeling to not have to deal with that. I have based relationships solely on the idea that people are either people that share an ethic or interest with me, or are interestingly different. Taking time to get to know people without being encumbered with appearances seems incredibly more meaningful and real. It has been real enough that now I put it into effect in real life. I have never been particularly conscious of choosing/not choosing people because of appearance but now I make a point of forcing myself to focus on anyone I tend to want to gloss over. If I don’t know them, or know nothing about them, how can I just exclude them??
The intent is not to become a slob and forget about appearance. The intent is to act with duty and responsibility to my appearance, while making my priority the inner me. I don’t want to ever worry again about what I am going to wear somewhere, more than I care about the people I am going to spend time with. I want to enjoy my clothes and getting dressed up, like I would enjoy anything that is part of me. I just refuse to let it dictate my life, or ever occupy my concern or time any more. If I am going to worry or fret, please let it be over people and not things, and certainly not my own vanity.