28.11.06

Self-Beauty: In the Eye of the Beheld

I love watching a less than “gorgeous” man and woman who is wrapped in tender affection for his or her spouse. These individuals are mirrors of a deep love. They are free of their own compulsion to be attractive and beautiful—free even of their own preoccupation of attractiveness (as some form of ideal, owned or observed)—and are content with a beauty withheld in the eye of the beholden.

By contrast, individuals of compelling beauty and physical appearance somehow never seem free of thoughts for their own appearance. Such are constantly about the smoothing of a shirt or dress, the twisting of a hair, the batting of eyes, the waggle of hips, the raised chin, the cut gaze, or some other action of ornamentation. That awareness seems to seek the eyes of the beholder for a chance to glimpse the insignificant reflection of self in the glaze of longing eyes.

Such love is questionable, deliberating whether to draw attention to self or not. Can it be that beautiful people are self-fulfilling in their beauty by the ornate-ness of their appearance and compelling distraction of their actions? But plainer people—and I do not mean ugly or homely, but those of a softer beauty than Hollywood has ever known—theirs is a freer affection.

Note how insanity in plainer people bends a doubting affection that loves in order to be loved. Pride in the beautiful produce a corrupted affection that loves as an expression of self-love. Given the opportunity, I would watch simpler people a hundred times in repetition, rather than set my eyes upon the most beholden this image-frenzied culture has ever put forward. For when "the bride eyes not her garment, but her dear bridegroom’s face,” (and vice versa) something transpires that exceeds pornographic candy and heart-borne emotional platitudes. It is a beauty never seen on the cover of any magazine.

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