Not Everyone Is Beautiful

Every two or three days, I see an article or blog post or forwarded inspirational quote about beauty. It’s usually something affirming like

“You are beautiful, whether you know it or not.”

“We are all beautiful.”

“Everyone is beautiful to somebody.”

It’s cheerful stuff. It builds the self-esteem, makes people feel valued, and spreads joy and happiness across the internet.

It’s also bullshit.

And you know it’s bullshit, because you really wanted to laugh at that video.

Everyone is not beautiful. Some of us have tumors the size of a second head growing out of our ears. Some of us have skin like the Michelin man. Some of us lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific factory accidents. We have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows.

Yes, the word “beautiful” has many different meanings. But by and large, the primary definition of the word refers to physical attractiveness. So why do we use the word as a catch-all for any sort of positive attribute?

Nobody says, “Everybody has a pleasant laugh.” Nobody says, “Everyone is athletic to somebody.” Nobody says, “You are an amazing writer, whether you know it or not.” I keep waiting, but they never say it.

Beauty is the only trait that everyone gets free access to. Why?

Because we have created a culture that values beauty above all other innate traits…for women, at least. Men are generally valued by their success, which is seen as a result of talent and hard work, despite how much it depends on luck and knowing the right people.

But women are pretty much a one-note instrument. Society says, you’re hot, or you’re not. Your looks affect your choice of mate, the friends you have, and even your job. And this factor that will affect every part of your life is something you have next to no control over.

This, of course, is a horrible thing to say, and society knows better than to tell this to your face. Because if we acknowledge that physical appearance is your primary scale of value, we have to acknowledge that this is an unfair and unreasonable way to run things.  So society reassures you that

everyone is beautiful feet

Because if everyone is beautiful or everyone can be beautiful or everyone is beautiful to someone, it’s okay to base our entire civilization around a worldwide game of Hot or Not.

And we have based a civilization around it. Movies, television, and music thrive on the young and attractive. Fashion and cosmetics industries thrive off lowered self-esteem, selling product after product promising to make you beautiful and valuable to society. Pornography generates billions of dollars a year selling you a sexual experience with people that are, in terms of looks, permanently out of your league.

And these industries aren’t going to do anything to jeopardize that. They’ll make a few concessions, sure. American Eagle will promise not to Photoshop their models…by being sure to hire people who are naturally photogenic.

aerie no photoshop ad campaign

Yes, the real you is sexy…if, you know, you’re born that way.

Or Dove will use their Real Beauty campaign to widen the narrow standards of beauty by showcasing models with a diverse range of body types.

dove real beauty models ad campaign

Lots of diversity there.

So what can we do to overthrow the system once and for all?

Honestly, nothing. You and I can’t take on corporations and multibillion-dollar industries on our own. They’ve stacked the deck against us in more ways than we can count, and will counteract every move we make.

When you’re playing a game where the rules are unfair and everything’s twisted in someone else’s favor, it’s time to stop playing.

Let go of “beautiful”. Not everyone can be beautiful, just like not everyone can climb Everest or play saxophone or be a good kisser.

I know what you mean when you say “Everyone is beautiful.” You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them interesting and important and someone to be loved. And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say keep at it.

But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and little more. To use “beautiful” in our wider, deeper, more important meaning only confuses the issue. It sends our young women mixed messages, telling them that everyone is beautiful, and sending them into despair when the boys flock after someone with a thinner waistline and a wider bust. It tells us we have value because of our looks, and leaves us to worry where our value goes after those looks fade.

It’s semantics. That’s all the issue is, down at the roots. But semantics hurt more than we realize. So let’s try to step past them.

I want to tell you something, whoever you are. I don’t know if you’re beautiful, funny, smart, friendly, musical, caring, diligent, athletic, or if you make a mean crème brûlée. But I know this:

You are valuable.

You are important.

You are interesting.

You are worth loving.

So forget about “beautiful”. It’s become an ugly word anyway.

NOTE: Chester Lee Ridens (the guy from the video up top) is a really cool guy that gets a lot of douchey comments on his videos. You should stop by his Youtube channel and spread some love.

The Aerie and Dove ads are owned by their respective companies. I did not take the Everyone Is Beautiful foot picture. My feet do not look like that. And I don’t have dem camera skillz. The photograph was taken by Karen Wolrund, for the book Everyone Is Beautiful, by Katherine Center.

*     *     *

If you enjoyed hating this blog post, you may also enjoy hating Say No To The Dress, an essay that pretends to be about an internet phenomena to trick you into reading about philosophy.

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735 Responses to Not Everyone Is Beautiful

  1. Sunanda says:

    You’re beautiful
    You’re worth loving
    You’re interesting
    As well as an amazing writer.

  2. Pingback: Stop Saying “Everyone Is Beautiful” | Yuka's Years

  3. Leigh Burns says:

    Thank you. I needed to read this so that I can learn to be ok with not being ‘beautiful’. So I have changed my ‘currency’ to ‘value’ and that helps me learn to love myself.

  4. sumy124 says:

    I thought I wasn’t going to like this but it’s one of the best articles I have ever read. I didn’t agree with you at first but you won me over. It’s well written, insightful and very interesting. From now on, I will tell myself that I am valuable, interesting, important and worthy of love rather than hoping that I’m beautiful. Thank you

    • Thanks! I’m glad it spoke to you. The title and opening are meant to elicit that defensive reaction: It makes it easier to examine the reaction, as well as the emotions and philosophies behind it. And hopefully produce some quality discussion about the topic.

      And if I can make anybody out there feel more valued, I’ll feel that I’ve done a worthwhile thing.

  5. Geralt says:

    Have you ever thought about the possibility that beauty isn’t made imprtant through a concious process? There’re several studies showing BABIES (far from influnced by movies, ads, etc.) having a strong preference towards attractive faces and the opposite with unattractive ones.
    In my opinion beautiful people (actually beautiful, not just slightly above average like Ryan Gosling) were meant to spread their objectively superior genes, their faces being just like a mark telling everyone else their genetic worth.
    And by the way, FACE is infintely more important than body. It’s only in the Average and slightly above/below range where there needs to be a secondary marker to help boost your reproductive prospects. Someone like Zayn Malik, for example, doesn’t need to ever hit the gym because his face is just that unique.
    TL;DR: the relevance of beauty is more likely than not hardwired into our primitive brains, as a way of streamlining the natural selection process.

  6. justloafing says:

    I admit, I was primed for some condescension disguised as “tough love” when I read the title, but I actually agree with the major critique the made, i.e., that we all feel the need to be physically beautiful because far too much value is placed on beauty.
    That said, it’s still true that everyone can be physically attractive to someone. Sometimes that attraction may come second, after other bonds have been formed, but it’s still there.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. Very well written and gets to the point without hating and rrogance. Well done dude

  8. Anonymous says:

    You are a good writer, almost insanely wise. Thank you for letting me regain hope for humanity. Sincerely, Amanda

  9. bellofpeace says:

    Self acceptance is a beautiful inner sunrise .gedeprama|bellofpeace.org

  10. charles says:

    it’s really, your philosophy is well presented, thank you alot, keep doing good work, God bless.

  11. Anonymous says:

    thank you just thank you

  12. Anonymous says:

    I get where you’re going… But unlike athletics or smarts or the other things you compared beauty to, beauty is objective. Yes, there are beauty standards and I suppose you could argue that if you fit into them, society considers you beautiful. Beauty standards though are constantly changing, and cannot be measured in the way you can time how fast someone can run a mile or make someone take a math test. There may be exceptions when it is very clear that someone is not beautiful, but for the most part, everyone will be considered beautiful by somebody. Also, I feel like you should reword the article to make clear you’re specifically referring to OUTER beauty. Honestly, this kind of reminds of a nicer version of the vital Nicole Arbour video.

    • Anonymous says:

      Viral*

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, people laugh at the video because it’s meant to be funny. It’s not convincing because it’s not a video of someone who is naturally ‘ugly’ without making faces

    • Geralt says:

      Nonsense, the standards you mention have changed throughout time are merely bodily features, like heavier women being prefered some centuries ago. The facial traits are still pretty much untouched.

  13. Reblogged this on Miss Cassiopeia and commented:
    Every two or three days, I see an article or blog post or forwarded inspirational quote about beauty. It’s usually something affirming like
    “You are beautiful, whether you know it or not.”
    “We are all beautiful.”
    “Everyone is beautiful to somebody.”
    It’s cheerful stuff. It builds the self-esteem, makes people feel valued, and spreads joy and happiness across the internet.
    It’s also bullshit.
    I want to tell you something, whoever you are. I don’t know if you’re beautiful, funny, smart, friendly, musical, caring, diligent, athletic, or if you make a mean crème brûlée. But I know this:
    You are valuable.
    You are important.
    You are interesting.
    You are worth loving.
    So forget about “beautiful”. It’s become an ugly word anyway.

  14. sw says:

    Great piece!!! There’s just one teeny tiny mistake that detracts from it: “leaves us to worry where ARE value goes after those looks fade”. I’m certain you meant to write “our”!

  15. Great post indeed.. i would say a much wider approach would be summarized in “the word is not the thing”, the description is never the described.. once we realize the importance of this, we could tackle many communication issues, and mainly we could eliminate many neuroses which are brought about the misunderstanding, the non realization that the word is not the thing.

    Words only if used as a tool to our intelligence (our capacity to see “what is” now) are able to communicate something in a deeper level.. or else they are condemned to bring about division,conflict (inner & outer) and sorrow!

  16. Sabura says:

    Reblogged this on Sabura.

  17. Samantha says:

    “But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and little more.”

    We are the world. Every one of us, together. We can claim any word we choose.

    Do you honestly think it’s a problem if individuals feel innate beauty? Or that others are raised to look for beauty whatever they look? I don’t.

    The world is a beautiful place.

  18. Pingback: Forget about “beautiful”. It’s become an ugly word anyway

  19. Agreed, totally!!! Thank you. This world is painful and unfair. Let it go and take responsibility for making yourself happy, instead of relying on outside sources such as other people, media, books, to make you happy. Cultivate that feeling of worthiness inside yourself, simply because you exist. Gotta love yourself… and quit looking for love outside of yourself. The world and people are always gonna disappoint and let you down. Let it go, and work on yourself.

  20. Pingback: Body Positive Playlist – Take Two | Learning to Love Yourself

  21. Tracey-Lynne says:

    Well said. It’s an issue that’s been irritating me for some time. Mainly because I see these exceptionally beautiful people claiming they have discovered the key to happiness and success — sorry, but it’s way easier to find happiness and success if you’re super good-looking.

    I’d be more apt to listen to a less than beautiful person tell me how they found happiness.

  22. Burhan riaz says:

    I think Beauty is like a bikini ,what it reveals is suggestive & what it conceal is vital

  23. Hana Mond says:

    I really think, nearly everybody is beautyful, or can be found beautyful. Nearly, because there you are right – there are people whose scars are just gruesome, someone with half a scull is hardly looking beautiful. But I think these people are not meant by the “Everyone is beautiful”-sentence – it is directed to normal people, who aren’t disfigured bei accident or disease, but just normal. You can be beautiful with a monobrow, or bad teeth. That’s my opinion – and I really mean beauty, not their worthiness or how lovable they are.
    You can find beauty everywhere – and of course, loving someone makes him or her looking prettier to you.
    So – there are people who say this sentence and really mean it 🙂
    Nontheless I think there are enough people who don’t – so there is much truth in your article.

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  35. nightegg says:

    Reblogged this on nightegg's Blog and commented:
    I wholeheartedly agree

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  39. This is a wonderful perspective. If more people believed this way, the world would possibly be a very different place. Thank you for sharing.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a retarded point of view, beauty is more that just skin deep your beauty isn’t limited to what see in the mirror, beauty isn’t what the world see’s in you, its what you see in yourself and i see more than what meets the eye

      • Rae says:

        Did you read this all? I’m guessing not.

      • justamomof2 says:

        Using the r word as an adjective to describe something with which you disagree is unintelligent. Get a dictionary and find better words. In fact, that is what I am getting from the article. Don’t take the amazing parts that makes an individual who they are and lump it into beauty. Use your words to be meaningful and speak life.

  40. nbhangal says:

    Rally behind no one because you thought they conquered that hierarchy, in this case beauty, we are all trained to think exists.

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  43. The Real Cie says:

    Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    Personally, I’ve always thought myself plain as an old work boot. I’m starting to become okay with that. It’s taken a lot of years.
    When it comes to characters in movies or on TV, I tend to find the conventionally attractive ones boring. I prefer someone who is a little different, where you have to look a little harder to see what makes them “beautiful.”

  44. Anonymous says:

    While I agree that there are things that are more important than being beautiful, I just can’t fully agree with you. Beauty is TOTALLY subjective! and even if there isn’t that much diversity in what Dove and Aerie are doing, at least its still something. And we should keep expanding that definition. I think that yes, its worthwhile to devalue beauty from the over-inflated importance that its taken on, its also important to realize that beauty is totally cultural. I think this post explains that well: http://disruptingdinnerparties.com/2014/06/19/three-steps-to-positive-body-image/

    ALSO: I can’t find the link, but the same people can look ugly or beautiful depending on how they carry themselves. I am thinking of that thing that was going around facebook with the side-by-side photos of the same people with bad and good posture…

  45. Pingback: Everyone ISN’T beautiful | ChrisMaverick dotcom

  46. Anonymous says:

    While reading this article I went back and forth in my mind. I appreciate the stand the author took, and think he made a very valid point. We absolutely have an obsession with appearances in our culture, an obsession that has undoubtedly influenced our vernacular.

    On the other hand though, I am not so sure that there is anything wrong with expanding the usage of the word beauty. The meaning of words change constantly, words are invented, reclaimed and often stray far from the original intention. In my mind, the world beauty has been expanded, and that doesn’t have to be a negative. The world beauty to me denotes a deeper sense of attractiveness, almost spiritual. Clouds, aspen trees, ladybugs, moments, emotions, and yes, people can all be beautiful to me. When I say that I am speaking not about the appearance, but the full, happiness that they bring to me. I feel that the word beauty has much more to do with the reaction it stirs, rather than the inherent attraction of the object of beauty.

    When I want to tell a partner that they are physically looking good I tend towards words such as handsome, gorgeous, sexy, pretty, fine, hawt, totally fuckable, schoen, hubsch, cuddly or on a special day, titillating. Beauty on the other hand is for special moments, laying in bed noticing how her eye curves just perfectly, or realizing that her arms feel like the perfect jacket.

    The sentiment of the article remains valid, not everyone is attractive, and there is no reason for there to be an expectation that everyone strives for physical beauty. The idea that the word beauty should be reined back, saddens me though. I do think that everyone has moments of beauty, and in using that word it expresses the positive reaction related to the moment, rather than the innate value.

    Response posted on my blog:

    http://unexpectedqueerdom.blogspot.com/2014/07/beauty-beyond-human-skin.html

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  52. Joanne says:

    Hi there, I saw your articles a few days ago, and I suddenly realized this morning that I profoundly disagree with your premise (very sorry!). Here’s why: think about beauty in the way we apply it to other fields, for example artwork. Beautiful artworks are rarely pictures of pretty faces. An artwork is beautiful when it displays mastery of technique, of composition and of style, and also manages to convey to the viewer a profound message/feeling/emotion that may move them to laughter or tears. It is about the whole aspect of art, not just the image portrayed. This is similar in the field of writing. Beautiful books/writing are rarely romatic novels about pretty people. Beautiful writing takes you to another world and carriers your thoughts and emotions to a new and interesting place – making you see the world in a completely different way than before you read the article. So why would we limit the term “beautiful” to just a humans physical looks, when there is so much more to us? We are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” – the way our bodies move to accomplish tasks or express our feelings, our personality, our morals. You could also see beauty in our biochemistry – the way we metabolise food, and generate heat, and pump blood around the body. There is so much beauty in each and every human when you start to think about us as being masterpieces of creation rather than just limit the word “beautiful” to really mean “pretty”!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are actually agreeing, somewhat, with the blogger. You pose a question that this blogger also probably poses as well. Why do we have to limit the term “beautiful”? As the blogger wrote, our culture HAS defined beauty whether we like it or not. It just became that way.

  53. nagwa_k25 says:

    Reblogged this on Mindspace_25 and commented:
    This is what we all have given a thought to but are afraid to say. Hats off to you, fellow-blogger!

  54. Pingback: Not everyone is beautiful | The Lifestyle Canvas

  55. unwellness says:

    I haven’t read through every comment so excuse me if someone else posted this. The source for that photo you used:
    http://www.chookooloonks.com/blog/2009/6/9/everyone-is-beautiful.html

  56. Anonymous says:

    “Sometimes people are beautiful.
    Not in looks.
    Not in what they say.
    Just in what they are.”
    – Markus Zusak, I am the Messenger

    “What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.” – Scott Westerfeld, Uglies

    Really? It’s just shallow to buy in to the world’s definition of beauty. Beauty is who you are, not what you look like. Anyone can be a beautiful person without being physically attractive. Sure, there are a lot of people out there who would not be considered beautiful by the world’s standards, but beauty is more than what may be wrong with you on the outside. It is really sad that you are telling people this because it is just not true. I will pray for you and everyone who reads this article.

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  59. Emily says:

    @mo

    ……how did I also know you’d be a bible thumper? Hahaha

    Look dude, I’m not heavily religious. I dig doing good things and in general being nice to people. I don’t need religion to want to do those things. I’m going to rape, murder, and steal as much as I want—-it just happens I don’t want to do those things based on my own moral code. Religion didn’t teach me it’s wrong.

    Every person is someone’s daughter, son, aunt, uncle, friend, ex, coworker or frequent customer….you just shouldn’t want to hurt someone in ways that can truly alter their lives in a negative way. That goes for stealing a woman’s purse….and telling them that they’re not beautiful. Everyone deserves kindness. And kindness is beautiful.

    I used to volunteer at this soup kitchen in the basement of a church that my friends dad ran. The entire staff of the kitchen are toothless crazy recovered addicts that make food for current alcoholics, homeless men and women, drug addicts…and they’re the nicest people I’ve ever met. I would rather surround myself with recovered meth addicts trying to help others, than ever meet you face-to-face.

    Don’t go all godly on me because of how many ‘fucks’ I threw into a paragraph. You’re the one seriously defending that gods creatures aren’t beautiful.

    My ugliness may be the filthy words I choose to express myself, but at least it’s not in my soul.

    I also believe, if there is a god, that he’s got a sense of humor. Lucky for me, I’m hilarious. And lucky for you, you’re a fucking joke.

    🙂

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  61. mike314159MikeTime says:

  62. Alex says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article because up to an extent they’re right but I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The last girl I fancied and talked with for 6 months straight, I thought she was the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. However friends of mine had no objection to point out her physical flaws. From my point of view there were none but in their eyes she was ugly. The thing with the word beauty is that the general society has been brainwashed to think beauty falls down to a tall skinny blonde with big boobs and fake tan. Girls will look in these in these magazines and will think I need to look like this to be beautiful. The word beauty and all the publicity have been watered down over the years that you to have a smaller dress size to beautiful. And this is what has destroyed the self esteem in not only teenage girls and young woman these days. I’ll tell you now I’m not great looking but I’d rather go out someone like Jennifer Lawrence rather then one of these skinny supermodels anyday. Peace out bitches.

  63. Emily says:

    @mo

    …otherwise I wouldn’t have had surgery?

    Hahaha…are you kidding me? I was born with my upper lip attached to my nose and no roof of my mouth. I had 7 teeth extracted from the roof of my mouth and braces from the second grade to my 16th birthday. Don’t you fucking dare tell me I don’t believe everyone is or has potential to be beautiful. I’ve overcome a lot, and was absolutely tortured in school.

    P.s. Sorry they didn’t ask my opinion in getting a surgery when I was 2 days old, or for the other 6 operations after that. My last one was when I was 8.

    And guess what? I had the option for one final operation when I was 17 to reform my upper lip. I was comfortable with how I looked and still am, and opted out of that. Soooooooooooooo fuck you again. 🙂

    I’m done with this now. I’ve said my piece and you’re just being combative now.

    • Mo says:

      @ Emily

      Stop swearing at me with your filthy, dirty mouth. Who in the blazes do you think you are, talking to me that way for no reason? Have I spoken to you that way? No. Then learn how to act like a civilized human being instead of a savage spewing your FILTH at me for no reason whatsoever.

      For your information, I had a cleft lip and palate too. So you can spare me your self righteousness on top of your vulgar, filthy talk.

      Now THAT is truly ugly.

      Thank you for demonstrating it on the internet for all to see. Shows how the outside can be fixed, but not the inside.

      • Emily says:

        Fuckety fuck fuck shit twat mother-fucking cunt ass bitch bitch bitch piss.

        Adults can handle that FILTH. You’re just being a pansy-ass.

        Me? I’m 24 yr old rugby playing, weightlifting, 3 job having, whiskey shooting, obsessed with makeup and political punk rock lady. (Don’t bother coming back at me with something about how ladies don’t talk the way I do) Have you not read the article that people that tend to have a more…colorful..vocabulary are actually the most honest and trustworthy? Because it’s true. I’m not scared to tell someone I don’t like to fuck off, because I’m honest. I also tell random girls they look pretty. I tell guys they’re handsome, and I also tell them if that shirt ain’t workin’ for them. Or that their breath smells. People appreciate honesty when it’s not always negative. It’s just fucking nice to be nice! I also happen to not take peoples bullshit! Fancy that, huh?

        And yes: I’m saying all this shit to you now to irritate you. It’s all still true, but I’m not even concerning myself with your potential reaction anymore. I don’t even care. It’s 1am and I’m exhausted. You want to go around telling people they’re ugly, go for it. I won’t.

        Oh– and it’s not self righteous to talk about my cleft and opting out of my last surgery when you probed that conversation anyway. It’s not self righteous to go “I had a lot of fucking shit happen to me, and I got over it.” You’re allowed to let people be happy with themselves. I promise, it won’t hurt. I swear. Loosen the hell up. Stop taking life so seriously…it’s not like you’re going to get out alive.

        Calm down. And let people have their own fucking opinions and dont write people off when they don’t agree.

      • Mo says:

        @ Emily

        “Fuckety fuck fuck shit twat mother-fucking cunt ass bitch bitch bitch piss.”

        Thank you for demonstrating your intellectual and moral bankruptcy for the world to see! Again, true ugliness, right there.

        Know that you’ll be answering to God one day for the filth and hatred you’ve spewed at me for no reason whatsoever. Know that.

      • @mo

        “Thank you for demonstrating your intellectual and moral bankruptcy for the world to see!”

        So why, exactly is fuck bad and sex not? It wasn’t always. Profanity is a linguistic construct. It does have meaning and that meaning can very well be negative. But ultimately it’s just a word. Your Bible does condemn the use of profanity, and it goes far enough back to include some Old Testament books. But the people of the Book don’t hold a monopoly on the definition of morality. Outside of that definition, profanity can be viewed as taboo in nature, but is not ‘immoral’, per se. As a lover of language, myself, I see it as a utilitarian function of language, though I’d argue it should be used sparingly. But I don’t think there’s a non-religious justification for defining it as immoral.

        And I know a considerable number of very intelligent, well-educated people in their respective fields including published PhD’s who frequently use profanity, so the intellectual bankruptcy thing seems a bit suspect as well.

        I DO think it conveys a combative tone, and I think that was intended by Emily. So I’d say she used it appropriately. Though I don’t know that I’d have made the same choice as it doesn’t lend itself to a civil discussion, as you note. But let’s not conflate tone with sin, shall we? We’re not all on that same religious playing field. And really all it does is take things off topic to toss theology and religious morality in the mix, particularly in a society that is increasingly finding itself in the religious “other” category. Whether or not you happen to believe that to be the truth, it doesn’t advance the discussion.

      • Mo says:

        @ Terence Clark

        “So why, exactly is fuck bad and sex not? It wasn’t always. Profanity is a linguistic construct.”

        Oh, spare me. This person started swearing at me for no reason whatsoever. I had not treated her that way in the least. It’s all there in public for all to see. Go defend her elsewhere.

        When someone has nothing of substance to offer in a discussion, they resort to swearing and insults. I have no time or interest in childishness like that.

      • For further information on the topic see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/science/20curs.html?pagewanted=all

        It’s a wonderful review of profanity and its use in nearly every major historical work including Shakespeare (who admittedly was somewhat known for his filthy pen) and the Bible itself (complete with reference). It also goes into detail on how profanity is often carefully chosen and not a random enraged outburst and it can be used as an expression of emotional tone, such as in Emily’s case, or even a thoughtful and targeted critique.

      • “This person started swearing at me for no reason whatsoever. I had not treated her that way in the least.”

        I’m not saying her tone was correct (I disagreed with it, didn’t I?), just that your moralism is misplaced. I’ll gladly spare you the defense of profanity if you’ll spare the rest of us your Bible school moralism and commentary on dirty souls. If your issue is with her tone or lack of argument, keep it to that and leave the metaphysics out of it.

      • @Mo I’ll also note that you seem rather narrowly focused on those words to the degree that it made up the better part of your last several posts. So commenting on those words and their appropriateness is well within scope of where the conversation has headed. If it was never about the words, themselves, it was sure hard to tell that from your posts.

  64. I agree, too. I am one of those lucky people who has trouble seeing people’s faces as whole. A new person’s face for me is rather a collection of parts. When they speak and show expressions, I begin to make sense of their looks, after I get to know them and find them to be kind, their face sort of emits a light when I see them, and it becomes whole for me.
    Then it doesn’t matter what their appearance might be classified as, I find them attractive based on their behaviour, attitude, and kindness.

  65. Pingback: We’re not all equally gifted « Mental Propinquity

  66. F. N. Brown says:

    I don’t usually comment on things, but I noticed this post as I looked over my shoulder at my wife’s computer so…. It comes to my attention that people are largely arguing either “for” or “against” the idea that “everyone is beautiful” yet are generally neglecting to consider to what extent beauty is psychological. The so-called “standard” of beauty is hegemonic, meaning that most people agree upon what beauty is because most people’s psyches have been shaped in more or less the same way by developmental and social factors and this psychological “shape” becomes culturally dominant. Instead, let us imagine that beauty is a psychological concept that we all possess and which we apply to images, personalities, emotions, smells, etc. based upon our individual psychological “shape.” Therefore, beauty is not inherent in any manifestation but instead is applied to manifestations by the human psyche dependent upon its current “shape.” If you are concerned about whether or not you are beautiful, remember that everything from Rembrandt’s masterpieces to Tracy Emin’s dirty bedsheets are considered beautiful by some people and ugly by others. Both are considered beautiful because of what they mean, subjectively, to the persons who view them and place value upon them. If you apply your psychological concept of beauty to Page 3 Girls, Marilyn Monroe, or whoever, and do not conform to your own standard of beauty, then you will consider yourself to be ugly and will battle against this misapplied concept forever. Ultimately, I believe that beauty is objective, but that it has a lot more to do with human values than with symmetrical features and a clear complexion. Just my two cents, hope this helps.

    • Beauty is an evolutionarily advantageous trait. Symmetric, average features is an indication of good health and lack of deformity.

      Being “cute” might be a good way to make people feel protective of you and prevent them from wanting to hurt you. Just like looking mean and dangerous will make people, as well as other animals, stay away from you.

      For women, shapely bosoms and hips indicate an ability to have and raise many children.

      Culture never “invented” any of this. Culture just adapts to the fact that we have those innate preferences.

      • F. N. Brown says:

        Thank you for your comment. In response, I would argue that beauty is not of adaptive value because it is not in any way erogenous. Shapely bosoms and hips may inspire lustful urges, but this does not suggest that the recipient of these urges is “beautiful” consequently. The fact that we are not sexually aroused by beautiful artworks is an indication of this. Likewise, cuteness should not be conflated with beauty; for instance, Pokemon are cute but they are not beautiful. I agree that there may be some connection between health and beauty, but any direct correspondence between these concepts is rebutted if we admit that a dying person may retain their beauty despite their condition. But if a person inspires in me a “beautiful emotion” through their words, actions, etc. I would argue that they are beautiful irrespective of their physical likeness. I would add the caveat, however, that the personal qualities which inspire such emotions in others are often detectable- irrespectively of symmetries, flaws and what not- in the faces of those who possess them.

  67. vildamag says:

    But beauty is subjective.

    Being a good athlete isn’t: you either run fast or you don’t. Being a good singer isn’t either (contrary to what The X Factor contestants may believe) – you either hit the notes or you don’t. But opinions vary so wildly on what is beautiful and what isn’t – beauty simply isn’t a trait like being good at maths. It’s too fluid a concept.

    And I’m not talking about “inner” beauty. I mean the fact that I find some celebritiea unattractive even if the media, as well as my peers, hail them as “gorgeous”. Others, like, say, Beyoncè or Robert Pattinson, I find to be very mediocre-looking. This is only MY opinion, though, and the fact that it is different proves that beauty isn’t set in stone but truly in the eye of the beholder. Is it the fact that 99 people out of 100 would find them attractive that determines that this is the universal truth? I don’t think there is a universal truth because beauty doesn’t abide by the same quality requirements as, say, being a good musician or scientist.

    Just because you have no visible flaws, it doesn’t mean you are beautiful. And if you do, it doesn’t make you ugly.

    You’re right, not everybody is beautiful. Because not everybody possesses the charisma that beauty requires. But since beauty isn’t static, impartial or set to specific standards (after all, any intelligent human would choose to ignore the highly unrealistic and, dare I say it, quite ugly ideals of “beauty” in today’s society?), it means everyone, or almost everyone, CAN and has the potential to be beautiful to someone. Again, I’m talking about physical beauty here.

  68. Emily says:

    I have a cleft lip and I’m fuggin adorable. ……..I also had an awesome surgeon. But still, pretty bogus to say that. And it’s also up to a single person to define what beauty is to them. No, not everyone is media beautiful. Not every guy or girl is defined enough to be an underwear model, we know that. But a friend of mine used to call me “Gods gift to ugly guys.”…I’ve dated some very questionable men. Guess what? They’ve all been nice. Smart. And most importantly (to me)–quick witted and hilarious. I also do fashion photography and have met some absolutely gorgeous women, but if they’re a bitch, I suddenly don’t see them as gorgeous subjects. I see their flaws. Their semi crooked tooth, a weird freckle, one eye drastically higher than the other….your actions, outlooks, and soul literally have the power to define your beauty. That is why everyone has the opportunity to be beautiful, some are jerks and we look past them. but for the vast majority of us, we choose our perception be a reality that is a bit more optimistic. So with that, author of this total downer of an article: go fuck yourself. Your soul is obviously tainted heavily by medias expectations of beauty. So I will look past you.

    • Mo says:

      @ Emily

      “I have a cleft lip and I’m fuggin adorable. ……..I also had an awesome surgeon. But still, pretty bogus to say that.”

      Yeah, it is bogus of you to say that.

      (By the way, I have a cleft lip too. So spare me any treatment like the ending of this filthy comment.)

      “And it’s also up to a single person to define what beauty is to them.”

      No, it really isn’t. There’s no way a 90 year old woman is as beautiful as a runway model. And you know it.

      ” No, not everyone is media beautiful. Not every guy or girl is defined enough to be an underwear model, we know that. ”

      Which was part of the focus of this article – which apparently everyone ranting about this article has missed.

      “So with that, author of this total downer of an article: go fuck yourself. Your soul is obviously tainted heavily by medias expectations of beauty. So I will look past you.”

      Now THAT is true ugliness!

      • Emily says:

        How is it bogus to mention my double cleft lip, and my awesome surgeon? How is it it that I read, interpret, and comment in defense of my cleft and ideas of beauty, somehow allow you to say it’s ugly to tell someone to fuck off? My opinion isn’t valid because you’re able to contradict something?

        And this could all go away if we chose our words more carefully. Of course a runway model is more ATTRACTIVE than a 90 yr old woman….doesn’t at all draw a line at either ones beauty though. Nor does it determine who’s able to really see their beauty. Beauty is different. We are all different. So why is it so weird for us to like and want different things…

        If a less than stellar girl says she’s beautiful, are you going to be the one that tells her she’s mediocre at best? No! And no one else should either! Confidence is key..for everything. You take that away from someone and tell them to face themselves in the mirror, admit they’re ugly..that’s just the worst. The absolute worst.

        You’re perfectly entitled to describe and define me as you’d like on the basis of these comments/rants, but I know who I really am, my worth and my beauty. If more people could recognize the things inside of them and believe on their own beauty, we wouldn’t have to rely so much on someone else to validate it.

      • Mo says:

        @ Emily

        “How is it bogus to mention my double cleft lip, and my awesome surgeon? How is it it that I read, interpret, and comment in defense of my cleft and ideas of beauty, somehow allow you to say it’s ugly to tell someone to fuck off? My opinion isn’t valid because you’re able to contradict something?”

        Telling a perfect stranger to f*** themselves because of an internet article on a pretty frivolous topic is true ugliness of spirit.

        Blazingly hypocritcal too, since YOU don’t think everyone’s beautiful either, otherwise YOU WOULDN’T HAVE HAD SURGERY!

      • katybeth says:

        If true ugliness here has to do with the words she is using, then I feel like you are defining beauty/ugliness based on something other than looks, which seems to contradict the blog post. I guess I”m trying to understand if the article is merely about some standard of external beauty and if so, is it not something that has been created by society and culture (and as most Christians would say that which is corrupt)? Because in some other cultures (such as Nigeria, where my classmate is from) it is considered beautiful to be overweight (by many Americans’ standards). I guess I’ve rarely heard someone speaking from any level of depth (rather than superficiality) who speaks of beauty as something merely external. Generally the internal greatly informs what (these sort of people) consider beautiful. And what is stereotypically the standards of beauty often speak of superficiality. I think what I’m thinking and wondering is whether or not a false dichotomy is being made here between inner and outer beauty, which can’t exist in actuality? Just some reflections/thoughts. Thanks.

      • Mo says:

        @ katybeth

        “If true ugliness here has to do with the words she is using, then I feel like you are defining beauty/ugliness based on something other than looks, which seems to contradict the blog post.”

        Well, sure. But be aware that she’s the one who started using such hate filled, vulgar language towards me, and for no reason! It’s all there for people to see, so I am not going to waste time defending myself. I did nothing to this woman. And even when she chose to behave this way towards me, I did not do the same to her.

      • @Mo said:

        “Well, sure. But be aware that she’s the one who started using such hate filled, vulgar language towards me, and for no reason!”

        She put one case of strong language at the bottom of her post and you feigned shock (SHOCK I tell you) like she’s brutally verbally attacking you. Then you went off on several long-winded rants about profanity, completely ignoring that in most of her posts the profanity was only a small fraction of the comment. You never did address most of the actual points she made, just soapboxed about her soul and answering to god, etc. If you want to talk about “there for all to see”, your comments are all substanceless pity parties and morality tangents. Someone insulted you on the internet. And it was with a bad word. I’m no fan of it either. I call it out regularly. But get over your mock pain and anguish over her mistreatment of you and address the actual points or quit complaining. No one’s attacking you outside of your own head. Even your response to katybeth glosses over the actual content and plays victim over just one line in the whole response. I’m beginning to think it’s the only reason you post.

        Oh, and the “she started it” bit? Really? My kids don’t even do that anymore.

        (My apologies if this double-posts. I’ve been having some connection issues tonight)

      • Mo says:

        @ Terence Clark

        “She put one case of strong language at the bottom of her post and you feigned shock (SHOCK I tell you) like she’s brutally verbally attacking you. ”

        Looks like you need to read this thread again.

    • Anonymous says:

      couldnt have said it any better than you just did a beautiful face means nothing beauty fades but character and beauty inside stays

  69. glenn2point0 says:

    I listened to a professor who commented that we live in a society where it is okay to say that a person is beautiful but not okay to say someone is ugly. Whether is is political correctness or that we simply don’t wnat to hurt someone is a matter of debate. Of course, children can be quite open with their comments.

    • xxxxxxxxx says:

      Yes. Children are the only true arbiters of physical beauty. Children prefer female (and neotenous) faces because they pose less threat and are potentially more nurturing. Children prefer symmetrical faces that are less scary and are indicators that one is disease free. Children prefer smiling happy faces for similar reasons that they prefer female and neotenous faces. Funny that most men kind of prefer those kind of faces too, on top of indicators of fertility (bosom, hips etc). Of course you do have exotic beauty that is unusual but very rare and hence celebrated. This is the kind of beauty that is the subjective kind.

      • Anonymous says:

        Also adding that exotic beauty indicates that the gene pool can be diversified, preventing the amplification of deadly traits.

  70. Hamilton Geyser says:

    Heh, surprising resistance to this article in the comments. I guess not everyone is ready to admit that they may not have it all or that they aren’t a beautiful snowflake.

    Be ugly and adapt. You don’t have to be beautiful to have an awesome life.

  71. Reblogged this on a2eternity and commented:
    This made me really sad, because deep down, I want to believe that I can one day be beautiful. But I agree with him.

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  73. Sam Howley says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, every person has a perspective on what beauty is, that’s my opinion, to one person someone is beautiful to another person there not (:

    • Hamilton Geyser says:

      Sure, at least someone out there might think I’m beautiful, but it’s not a very useful trait if its not reliable. Better to focus on some other element of your life if most think you aren’t. Beholder’s eyes are fairly consistent.

  74. For the folks saying “beautiful can mean more than physical beauty”, you’re absolutely right, but also totally wrong. Yes, beauty can mean that. But the campaigns the author is talking about deal very specifically and inarguably with concepts of physical beauty. By arguing that it can have a broader meaning you’re not really refuting the argument, just ignoring the scope. The very definition of a semantic argument.

    The point still stands that these campaigns make the claim that there are different definitions of physical beauty (see the no Photoshop ad or the Dove ad). And that would be correct. But the argument of the article is that while there are other types of beauty, they aren’t all-encompassing, and we should be looking at the whole picture of a person to determine their worth. Whether or not that whole picture fits a particular dictionary definition of beauty the author and the ads aren’t using is irrelevant and only confuses the conversation.

  75. eddie bauer says:

    Not a good article at all..
    In the beggining you say that “eneryone says you are beautiful” and you read everywhere that you are beautiful, and bla bla bla…. GUESS what you did on this article? Same shyet, different words..

    YOU absolutely said “everyone is beautiful”, but using different words.

    My opinion? Here it goes: No, not everyone is beautiful, or Useful, or worth loving, And the least Interesting.. I´m sorry, but each day more and more people become LESS interesing..

    And you might criticize me, for criticizing you… OK! Your blog, your views, your rights. But as soon as you open a comment section, be ready for it!!

    • Kind of. It does eventually get to “everyone has worth” and I’ll disagree with your contention that it’s untrue, but it’s intangible enough to be ultimately up to personal philosophy. You don’t believe there’s something worthwhile to be found in everyone. I do. Not really worth debating, if you ask me. But I think it’s useful, at least, to suggest we should broaden the scope of how we define worth even if the cynics among us still don’t think that puts everyone into the worthy category.

      Also, you could easily have phrased this as a collaborative comment (“well, yes, but I think the notion of not everyone is beautiful is applicable on the wider scale of worth”) instead of declaring it a bad article. Tone is an important thing. And your tone seems pointlessly combative.

  76. Tia says:

    you’re a really good writer, whether you know it or not. 🙂

  77. In a general sense, I agree with the article. People tend to conflate physical attractiveness with worth, and then, in reverse, conflate praise of worth with praise of physical attractiveness. And I think focusing on a person’s value in and of itself is a great idea. However, this sentence confuses the point: “But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and nothing more.”

    *Buzzer noise* Sorry, wrong answer.

    Beauty (and its subset, beautiful) is a more nuanced word than that. The second definition of “beauty” in the Merriam Webster Dictionary is “the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind”. That goes beyond the realms of physical attractiveness alone, and is notably separate from the first definition which is “the quality of being physically attractive”. Beautiful, by definition, IS more encompassing than physical attractiveness alone. This is also why art can be beautiful. This is why prose and poetry can be beautiful. This is also why someone who is not traditionally good looking can still be beautiful.

    That being said, I do agree that not everyone is beautiful. I’ve met some deeply unpleasant people (of all levels of physical attractiveness) who were NOT beautiful, regardless of their outer casings.

  78. Louisa says:

    Hmmm. I agree that society has an unhealthy focus on aesthetics, but building an argument around the word ‘beautiful’ is a mistake. It is a word which clearly does not simply refer to physical attractiveness – you can have a beautiful piece of music or a beautiful experience, for example. It’s a subtle word, and despite being one of life’s uglies I can’t find it guilty of the crimes you’re laying at its feet.

  79. sillyfacealice says:

    Reblogged this on SILLYFACEALICE and commented:
    What a wonderful, refreshing perspective

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  82. Alex says:

    My only counterpoint is that you made success seem like the end-all be-all for men to attract women, which is also bullshit. If it were true, 4.0 students would get all the girls, doctors would roll into the clubs wearing scrubs getting the best women, and losers would have nothing. But no, give a guy no job and a perfect body and strong face, and he’s pulling in beautiful girls those successful men want.

  83. Random Guy says:

    The real problem is the fact that there are people who believe that beauty is something that is something people are born with rather than something achieved through dedication – like working out, skill – like applying make up, or knowledge – like knowing how to dress or cut you’re hair so it’s fashionable.

    • That may be true, but I’d argue that hard work toward that end is grossly unproductive. “Beautiful” and “fashionable” are terms that are constantly shifting. And it’s not even universally applicable. I can’t stand makeup, and I’m not alone. And all one needs to do is watch a few episodes of What Not To Wear to see how often their answer is essentially “your look is outdated” and sometimes it’s outdated by 2 or 3 years. I’m sorry, I have much better things to work on than that. Instead of spending an hour in front of the mirror every day or an hour at the beauty salon, maybe spend 10-15 minutes with your family or friends. Or show up to work a little earlier. Or sleep for Pete’s sake. I don’t have enough lifespan to blow 5-10% of it on that perfect look every morning. And you know what? I have friends, a wife, kids, a job, etc.

      If you like fashion, great. Call it a hobby, but don’t call it work. If you’re trying to be fashionable because you feel like you have to to get ahead in life, it’s not worth the effort.

    • Hamilton Geyser says:

      An ugly face is an ugly face. No amount of exercise our makeup is gonna change that.

  84. Anonymous says:

    In one of the most outrageous lawsuits (see below) a judge ordered wife to pay $120,000 to her husband because she had duped him into believing she was beautiful (when in fact her beauty was manufactured by plastic surgery!!!) and they had had an “ugly daughter”! This should help untangle the argument from beauty as subjective, involving the whole character of a person, back to the way it is understood in the “real” world. There does seem to be something imprinted not only in our own DNA but in much of nature, where the wildest, most exotic of patterns and colors are expended for the purpose of finding a mate to produce the ‘best’ offspring. While many mammals use strength and fighting to claim the female…amongst birds it is striking what manifestations of beauty and mating rituals are expended to win the female….
    I’m not saying I agree…but I find it interesting non the less……

    “Jian Feng sued his wife for giving birth to what he called an “incredibly ugly” girl.

    “I married my wife out of love, but as soon as we had our first daughter, we began having marital issues,” he told the Irish Times. “Our daughter was incredibly ugly, to the point where it horrified me.”

    Initially Jian accused his wife of infidelity, because he knew he could never be the father of an unattractive child. However, DNA tests proved that the child was indeed his. Feng’s wife then came clean and admitted she had about $100,000 worth of cosmetic surgery done in South Korea before they met.

    Feng sued his wife on grounds of false pretenses, for not telling him the truth about the plastic surgery, and duping him into believing that she was beautiful. A judge agreed with Feng’s argument and ordered his wife to fork over $120,000.”

  85. Becca says:

    I think the problem with this article, however, is that it assumes that we mean “physical beauty”.
    Even assuming that when we say “everyone is beautiful” we mean physical beauty, beauty is a construct, not a definititive quality. There is no checklist that determines whether someone is beautiful or not- it is up to the person deciding the beauty. There are models that society sees as beautiful that I do not… And some of my friends and family are so beautiful physically to me, though society has told them otherwise.
    However, getting away from physical beauty, there are so many things about a person that are more beautiful to me than their appearance. For one, the way someone is so passionate about a specific topic can seem beautiful to me. I can find someone’s personality beautiful and attractive, and that is still beautiful.
    To me, snow is not beautiful, but to others it is. Beauty is subjective, not objective, and we must treat it as such. We ARE all beautiful, just not in the exact same way.

    • While I get your gist, it isn’t true. Beauty is, as a matter of fact, a mathematical equation. Studies have been done about this and it’s true. While beauty may vary in the eyes of the beholder, there is a universal standard that applies almost across the globe, when it comes to beauty; which I think is what the author here is trying to explain.

  86. Inner Beauty Fan says:

    Also I truly believe that if somebody has inner beauty they can be considered physically beautiful. When I see Betty White, I think she is beautiful because she makes me happy. When I see a picture of my grandmother, even though she looks like a typical sweet old lady to me she is beautiful because she brought such happiness to my life. There is a gal I worked with named Susan that was about 350 pounds but always carried herself with great confidence. She loved fashion and wore stylish clothes and loved making herself feel good by looking her best. But what was way more important was that she was magnetic. She was always smiling, and sweet. She was funny and full of sincere praise and compliments. She was smart and witty and because of her effervescence she was a joy to be around. She always looked, incandescent, lit from within. When you were sad or sick she would put a little packet of that fizzy orange drink Emergen-C on your desk with a thoughtful handwritten note reminding you that good things were just around the corner. On Facebook, whenever she would post a picture everybody said, “You are so beautiful Susan.” Or, “You are beautiful inside and out”. One day she said, “It is really strange that I have a bunch of friends that look like supermodels telling me that I am beautiful. I don’t exactly match the societal standard of beauty, ladies.” And somebody answered, “That’s because the advertisers that created that standard of beauty never met you.” So maybe the author is choosing the wrong word. Maybe “hot or sexy” would be more fitting than beautiful, although Susan had her fair share of suitors. Just because something is a “cultural standard” presented in magazines or television doesn’t mean that it is always the case in the real world where people are more than just two dimensional.

    • Trey Harris says:

      Nooooooooooo. You’re literally missing the whole point of the article. If they have inner beauty but look like an orangutang’s backside, they are NOT beautiful. Period. They can are “valuable.” Inner beauty is a great thing, but you just basically side-stepped the point of the whole article and wrote out a whole new one that nobody is honestly going to read. Nobody cares if your friend was smiling, it doesn’t make her beautiful. Being funny and full of praise and compliments also did not make her beautiful. Being smart and witty damn sure did not make her beautiful. She sounds like a great, valuable, wonderful person, but even by mentioning her in this, it’s safe to assume that YOU don’t find her physical attributes to be aesthetically pleasing – which is after all, what beauty means. One who possesses several aesthetic traits that are generally more pleasing than most others.
      Beauty is only skin-deep.

  87. Inner Beauty Fan says:

    I know it’s considered obnoxious to say that you are considered beautiful but it’s the only way I can illustrate my points. I was never told I was beautiful until I was about 17. Before then I was constantly bullied and told that I was “soooo ugly”. I hated being considered ugly but I felt a sense of self worth because my family loved me and I was known as a good artist. At 17 I learned how to use properly use makeup. I really enjoyed using makeup because it was fun, like painting a picture, like another outlet for my creativity, but unlike the paintings in my portfolio, I was exhibiting this picture every time somebody looked at me. After years of awkwardly getting makeup wrong, finally I achieved the flattering look and went from “sooo ugly” to “sooo beautiful”. So I have been on both ends of that spectrum. And guess what? It’s no big deal.

    As far as physical beauty giving somebody self worth, all it makes me think when someone says I am beautiful is that they are really saying, “you are a great artist”, or “you are a great optical-illusionist”. As far as people who are beautiful due to plastic surgery they probably hear, “you have a very skillful plastic surgeon”. I sincerely think there are very few people who roll out of bed feeling beautiful. Even the most naturally beautiful people in the world, probably thinks they are a dog before they put their makeup on and do their hair. And for the maybe two people in the world that don’t wear makeup or style their hair and are considered “beautiful” naturally, there are studies that show that other people think you are 20% prettier than you think you are, so even those people think they are an 8, not a 10…lol. And I imagine that if you’ve been told you are beautiful your whole life, it must get old, like Michael Jordan hearing that he’s a great basketball player everyday, it loses it’s thrill. I usually go out with bare skin, a hat, a t-shirt and jeans, most of the time and leave the beautifying for special occasions because it is just not that exciting anymore. It is fun to be told you are beautiful, but it is a compliment that is only skin deep. The one compliment somebody gave me that meant the most was, “You have a heart of gold.”

  88. Blanchjoe says:

    An interesting consideration. While the subject could be defined as shallow, the reality is that Beauty is a Power, much like Money, or a Gun and deserves some consideration. Like all of us we have seen these Corporate Commentaries on the nature of Beauty, however we have all also seen Tweets, and Facebook postings from Friends and Friends of Friends communicating the same general intents. What I have noticed is that it is often some of the most Sexually Attractive or Beautiful Women are tend to be the greatest purveyors of this ideology.

  89. Anonymous says:

    so much time wasted discussing the meaning of a word instead of doing something productive.

  90. Aneesa Anderson says:

    I get the point this person is making. In my opinion how a person acts towards others and how a person carries themselves makes them beautiful or not. As a Christian God says we are all beautiful because we are created in his image. In my opinion if a person has a perfect body a face the everyone loves but has a mean personality and puts themself above others because they have been “told” so many times from so many people they were beautiful pretty and all that. They are ugly people. To me that’s the definition of ugly because looks fade away but true beauty can last. Usually people start to believe what they have been told from a lot of people. Honestly if media said people who might have physical problems are beautiful we would not be saying people who looks “perfect” was beautiful like we do now. People believe what they been told now people are brainwashed to believe you have to look a certain way to be considered beautiful. We never would have thought that if beautiful was used in a different way. The word beautiful should be based off of how a person act towards others. You can be pretty and still ugly nobody seems to really think like that much anymore though. I do like what you said people needs to be told more they are worth loving, they are important, they are interesting and they are valuable. It’s always told though by media and stuff that you are only worth loveing and all that stuff if you look beautiful. You have to change yourself to be loved ofr important. Just a thought.

  91. I didn’t see a byline for this piece. Who was the author with this intriguing view of things?

  92. Moxie Supper says:

    Reblogged this on moxie supper and commented:
    “Beautiful” meals –“valuable” meals, “important” meals –beautiful for nourishing and sustaining, no “ugly” “food” on the plate; this meal, this post ia “beautiful to my being, no matter my packaging….

    • Mo says:

      @ Moxie Supper

      “Reblogged this on moxie supper and commented:
      “Beautiful” meals –”valuable” meals, “important” meals –beautiful for nourishing and sustaining, no “ugly” “food” on the plate; this meal, this post ia “beautiful to my being, no matter my packaging….”

      What on earth does this even mean?

      Beautiful means physically attractive. And while yes, there is some subjectivity involved, no one’s going to say that a 90 year old woman is as beautiful as a 25 year old TV personality.

      Contrary to the liberal mindset, words MEAN something! They don’t mean whatever the heck someone thinks they mean or wants them to mean!

      • El Capo says:

        Words mean something by consensus, which varies by culture, subculture, and even situation. LOL

      • Mo says:

        @ El Capo

        “Words mean something by consensus, which varies by culture, subculture, and even situation. LOL”

        Nonsense. If that were so, we wouldn’t be able to communicate with anyone.

  93. The poor author. He just took a bucket of sea water from the ocean and expects to see a difference (actually, I’m sure he expects nothing). Nothing’s going to change, but at least he had his rant. Great picture from Dove of the many body types of woman, though. The Hollywood definition of beauty is getting old.

  94. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU *applause*

  95. Pingback: My “Beauty Experiments” | poppedsugar

  96. Anonymous says:

    Why does it make sense to replace one BS by another? Some people are beautiful some are not. Same thing with being valuable, important, interesting, worth loving…

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm, everyone is valuable, important, interesting, and worth loving? Name one person that isn’t? Even Hitler was important because he taught (at least me) that even amidst turmoil one can find peace.

  97. Pingback: Introduction | poppedsugar

  98. kmflierl says:

    Reblogged this on kmflierl and commented:
    Such a great perspective, I’ve never even thought of myself.

  99. Thank you so much for writing this. It is a beautiful perspective, and I think the world would be happier–and people more successful–if we celebrated our individual strengths and skills as opposed to the vague notion of beauty you’ve described here.

    I would like to take a brief moment to share, as a male, that this is also experienced by men, and is becoming more prevalent and pervasive even though it’s not yet to the same scale that women face (due to the different expectations society and our culture has given the sexes). Further, these notions of beauty are harmful to racial and ethnic minorities, who are not generally those picked as “beautiful” and “attractive” in many television shows, movies, and print ads.

    To truly end this tyranny of the media, I feel we need to recognize the many distinct populations these campaigns affect–men, women, the LGBT community, and racial and ethnic groups are just the tip of the iceberg. They may experience social pressures in different ways and possibly to different degrees, but everyone equally deserves to be free of these unrealistic expectations.

    Thank you again for this post. I am certainly going to start adapting my own language to help make other traits more valuable instead of succumbing to the sole notion of “beautiful.”

  100. Cynthia says:

    Reblogged this on Ups and Downs and commented:
    Excellent post, please read. Thanks for sharing Abbi.

  101. This post bumps up against some of the things I’ve thought about that ad where the women are all sitting around describing themselves unseen to an artist and of course describing themselves in the ugliest possible terms, whereas their friends describe them much more nicely. I know I was supposed to be “uplifted” and all that horseshit, but I wasn’t. I found it depressing that it was still all about, “You’re still beautiful, ugly lady!” Why the fuck weren’t those women describing what they could do, what they knew, what they had mastered? “I ran two marathons so far, I play the trumpet, and I can speak two languages aside from English. I love caramel flavored coffee, and I just learned how to adjust the lifters on my car and make my own sourdough starter.” (Or whatever. No, that’s not me.)

    That ad was supposed to be empowering and all that rot, but it’s just going right back to, “Hey lady, no one cares about anything except how pretty you are — but don’t worry because you’re still prettier than you think! Oh happy day! Aren’t you relieved?” What I want is for people to just drop the damn word in the first place. Who flippin cares? What can you DO? What have you mastered? What have you achieved?

    It’s not “empowering” and “uplifting” or any other garbage to discover that your portrait when described by a friend looks prettier!!!!!! than when you describe it. Why the hell don’t you get your ass up out of that chair, tell the artist to fuck themselves, and go DO SOMETHING with your life? Anyhow, that’s what I think this post is about — fuck “beautiful.” Get out of the chair and stop fucking going in circles about what you LOOK like in the first place. Sorry if that’s a little too pollyanna for people, but my ability to feel bad for people who willingly step into the shackles that bind them is getting weaker and weaker the older I get.

    There’s also a little thing I’d like to remind that poor little victimized waif who hates her nose on that stupid ad: You’re (probably) married anyhow, and your husband doesn’t care about your damn nose, and you know it. I have seen plenty of unattractive women and men in happy marriages, and after several million years of evolution, there’s still a lot of short-legged, hairy-lipped women and bald guys with no chins running around, so someone’s spreading those genes, people. Clearly, it doesn’t mean nearly as much as we like to think in terms of finding love. We’re just addicted to self-hate for some ugly reason, or to finding an excuse for why the universe is sometimes mean to us (it’s my nose, it’s my thighs, it’s my ears, it’s my hair). The OP tries to pry that junk out of your mind by telling you to stop worrying about beautiful and get the hell out of that chair, and you all freak out at him. “How dare you try to present me with the actual solution, to stop caring about a word that I don’t own anyway and that is used to do nothing but harm people! I insist on hating myself!” Well, if you really want to, if hating your nose, hair, or thighs is so central to your self-identity that you can’t handle relinquishing that hate, then no one can talk you out of it. Knock yourself out.

  102. “Peopwho” …How’d I miss that?

  103. Jessa says:

    I agree with this 1000%.
    Who cares about beautiful? I’m glad I love myself and I KNOW I’m worth waaaaaay more than just “beautiful”.

    • Jessa says:

      Ghost in the machine…I’m Jessa too. Read article with about the same intent to answer. Imagine my surprise. And we have such an unusual name. Well thought I would share the hmmm moment. Have a great day. Know I will. Jessa

  104. Anonymous says:

    Fun facts:
    1. A word can have more than one meaning.
    2. The English language (much like plenty of actively-used language) is dynamic.

  105. lb says:

    Reblogged this from my Tumblr with these comments. Thanks for the food for thought. http://lisabarbero.tumblr.com/post/89756252848/just-my-two-cents-on-this-article-titled-not

    Beauty Belongs to Me. And You.

    Beauty is a completely subjective idea and that should be well known whenever there’s a discussion of beauty happening. We are taught to identify beauty based on our culture. Period.

    But we don’t have to buy those indoctrinated forms of beauty. For example, I have no idea what everyone sees in Channing Tatum or whatever his name is. But I don’t actually spend a great deal of time pondering the conventions of male aesthetics anyway. Good looks are not my holy grail. I’m sure I could see a lot of beauty in him as a person if given the opportunity. Besides the point, I do think that the people I love are beautiful. Because beauty belongs to me.

    There is no pinnacle of beauty or a perfect standard. This means it shifts and evolves as an idea over time and space and *everyone* owns it. Again, everyone owns beauty! It’s ours to define and hold and enjoy. So why don’t we just take it back once and for all instead of reaffirming the notion that certain industries and the media have the power to control it for us?

    • lb says:

      I had some more thoughts on this… 😉 Thanks again for writing a piece which has inspired me and lots of others to think deeply about beauty.

      When we buy into conventional standards of beauty, we give up the power (and the right) to own it for ourselves. Think about it. Someone made that stuff up to make money. It’s fictional! It’s only as real as we let it be.

      Everyone is beautiful. Betty yet, everyone *is* beauty. If that isn’t seen at first glance, look harder, look longer, look for more than what beauty can give to you. Because beauty owes us nothing.

      True beauty is the soulful gift of experiencing; experiencing another being, nature, life, love. If we’re not open to the experience, then it’s time to take beauty back from the commercials that sell it to us, from the products that promise it, and from the select few that we’re told have the right to possess it.

      Yes, we will encounter people who are not owning beauty for themselves who will find flaws in us, call us ugly because they lack a sense of self worth, and do their best to otherwise put us down. Keep your head up, your heart open, and don’t be a jerk. Just keep on reclaiming beauty for yourself. No one can stop you.

      Beauty is not a commodity. No one can sell it to you. It’s already yours. You get to define it for yourself. Own it.

  106. Fried Chicken And Metal says:

    If we removed our eyes and deprived ourselves of any visual intake, we’d be a more authentic society. However, we’d also deprive ourselves of many wonders in the world. We humans give way too much importance to how stimuli meets our eyes to the detriment of our other senses. Our brains and hearts are mere slaves sometimes to the shallowness of our vision.

  107. I gotta admit, I love the “everyone is beautiful” script on a pair of legs that are thin, young, white, and most importantly, foot model-worthy. Yeah! No one wants to see feet so rough they could grate cheese, but there’s got to be a happy medium. But then again, “Everyone is Beautiful” IS geared towards women (and ’67 Comeback Special Elvis) so I guess advertisers are just trying to figure out a way to make more money. “See, you unattractive female person you! You ARE attractive! Buy our stuff and we’ll prove it to you!”

  108. Abbi says:

    Reblogged this on Where The Wild Things Are and commented:
    I don’t normally reblog these kinds of posts. I’m all ranting about annoying actresses and eating more Mexican food here but I love this post so much that I wanted lots and lots of people to read it.

  109. Anonymous says:

    If everyone is not beautiful then why is everyone important and valuable? Not everyone is a good person, some people don’t have good qualities to make them valuable – important maybe, in an infamous kind of way like serial killers are but one wouldn’t say that they are valuable. Your generalisation is just as deluded as the beauty generalisation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Beautiful refers to someone who is physically appealing, so clearly, not everyone is beautiful because like stated above, some people are simply unattractive. Not everyone may be a good person, but what was said at the end is true – you’re a person, and someone worth loving.

    • Mo says:

      @ Anonymous

      “If everyone is not beautiful then why is everyone important and valuable?”

      Uh, because because you don’t have to be beautiful to be valuable? I know that’s hard for the world to accept, but there you go. Sheesh.

      I am not beautiful. But as a human being I am valuable because I am a creation of God.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s really horrible to say that people who do bad things are automatically bad people. Everyone has good and evil in them. Literally every person. Some people have dark things about them, but that’s not to say they have valuable things about them. And that’s not to say they don’t deserve to be loved by someone, even if they also deserve to be put away somewhere.

  110. Tris says:

    “But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and nothing more. To use “beautiful” in our wider, deeper, more important meaning only confuses the issue.”

    I’m sorry but this is wrong. We can express a piece of music as beautiful. It doesn’t mean something physical. Plainly incorrect I’m afraid. If you’re going to do a piece on semantics, do it properly without cutting any major corners please. Many thanks. Tristan.

    • devil's advocate says:

      Music is physical. In terms of physicality, the five senses are physical. His application of the term beauty in reference to looks is based on the physical trait of sight. What he said can also be applied music, art, literature, aromas, and food just to name a few.

    • Anonymous says:

      The point is also that anything you can describe as beautiful is totally subjective and your opinion. You can think a person is beautiful while I do not. You can think a piece of music is beautiful while I do not. And we as a society are obsessed with what we’re told to think is “beautiful” (music, people, cars, hairstyles, whatever), and that whatever society says is beautiful is what we should all strive to be/look like/own.

  111. Anonymous says:

    No ones telling you you’re a good writer because you’re not. Find a different hobby.

  112. Mindless says:

    Love,
    I’m sorry that you are so horribly misguided. I’m sure that you’re the size 0, double D cup every girl wishes she could be or the hot guy with wind-swept hair and rock hard abs (sarcasm). And I make that assumption based on the beginning of your article. Just you implying that you want to laugh at a guy (who you clearly don’t find attractive), because he’s not “beautiful” identifies you, as the author, as a judgmental person who views themselves as superior and teases those who don’t fit their expectations of beauty.
    You are giving what YOU think is the definition of beautiful. You are saying that ” ‘beauty’ is physical attractiveness and nothing more.” And according to you that is “fact”. But you’re wrong. You blame society; however, Society and the Media are two different things. Society is the people. People who tell others that: “You are beautiful, whether you know it or not.” “We are all beautiful.” “Everyone is beautiful to somebody.” Media is the one that photoshops girls, and advertises “photogenic” people. And since, in reality, when people go outside and look at those around them and do not see photoshopped models, they (society) notice that the photoshopped model on the billboard ads or the sexy girls on tv and the internet, are not real tangible expectations of beauty. Though many desire and strive for the media’s unrealistic standards, most people find the beauty that does exist because they understand the true definition.
    I got my dictionary out for you. The definitions in Thorndike Barnhart:Comprehensive Dictionary are as follows:
    “Beautiful:very pleasing to see or hear;delighting the mind or senses: [Ex] a beautiful picture, beautiful music. Beautiful suggests delighting the senses by excellence and harmony, and often also giving great pleasure to the mind and inner goodness.”
    Directly after it states and defines the synonym: lovely. “Lovely suggests appealing to the emotions and giving delight to the heart as well as to senses and mind.”
    So there it is for you. Nowhere does it say: “young and attractive.” So when you ask: “Beauty is the only trait that everyone gets free access to. Why?”
    The reason is because beauty can be applied to all people. It does not only pertain to your limited definition. I’m sorry that you’re so shallow that you can’t look out of your inch high hole of self-pride and expectation and see that you are not the only attractive person and that other people do actually view the people you label ugly as beautiful and attractive.(That was a metaphor, just in case you didn’t know.) It seems you’re angered by the use of the word beautiful. Possibly because you don’t fit the the double definition of beauty being both physical appearance, as well as value and worth. But that’s no reason to point out others’ imperfections and make people feel bad about themselves. Even people with tumors, blemishes, lazy eyes, cleft palates and third nipples, or people with disabilities or people that are amputees (hell, look at Barbie Steinsholt Thomas) are beautiful. Physically! I’m sure that if you actually tried to care about other people you could find at least one physically beautiful thing about everyone you meet, and you’d find so many more beautiful things in terms of personality, value, and worth.

    I understand your point that people should not base their self worth on physical appearance, and that’s a very good point. However, your title and wording only belittles people’s self worth by saying that they aren’t beautiful. And if you want to argue that society bases worth on beauty who are you to tell people that they should not say that personal value and people’s love for them makes them beautiful?
    In response to your message I found and article that said this and I felt that it truly showed what the definition of beauty is: ” I use it when I describe my wife to others. I probably do not use it enough when my wife is around. I use it to describe the way my daughter smiles and the way my son laughs. You try to tell a woman who has a husband who lost limbs in a war that he is not beautiful. You try to tell a man who has a [wife] who fought breast cancer that she is not beautiful. If you allow the word to be used solely for “thin, white, tall, blonde” then shame on you. Shame on you for allowing the media to define the best word in our language.” -TheAntiJared

    Also, a future tip that may help you in writing: Never address your audience using “you” or “your” if you’re going to use it in a negative sentence. Because if you are not directing it at one person then saying: “industries thrive off your lowered self-esteem,” or “selling you a sexual experience with people that are, in terms of looks, permanently out of your league.” is being directed at all of your readers and will make the reader feel like you are directly insulting them, This will result in offense, anger, the general impression that you are an unpleasant person, as well as lengthy comments by people that feel that your article is incredibly: insulting, close minded and poorly thought out.
    The end of your article is redeeming, but up until the very end you seemed very rude (like I’m currently being).
    I do have to agree with the point that people should not base their self-worth on their appearance and that they should not strive for beauty if it is based only on appearance, but since that is your definition of beauty you should not try persuading people to “Let go of “beautiful” because “Not everyone can be beautiful”. This is because although you may not see beauty in everyone, everyone can be beautiful, and even though you may not see it in others because you do not know them Everyone Is Beautiful.
    If you took the time to read this entire thing I really appreciate the time and I thank you 🙂

    • I will see your incredibly long comment and raise you one incredibly long response!

      Actually, I’m a guy. Not one with hair swept by the wind or abs hard as a rock. I wear glasses that don’t improve my features, I’m currently growing a downright horrifying beard, and have never had a single ab in my life, crunch and sit-up though I may. And I hate seeing myself in pictures. I may not be what the world classifies as “ugly”, but I cringe whenever I catch myself in someone’s photo album or try to take a selfie.

      And I think guys, on the whole, are more bombarded by the idealized, airbrushed, photoshopped images of women than women are. I regularly hear guys rate girls on some cosmic scale with no connection to reality: “She’s a 5,” “definite 7,” “there’s a 6 with boobs of a 9.” Every day, society is more and more consumed by media, through television, movies, internet, youtube, commercials, billboards, and Facebook. Girls feel pressured to photoshop their selfies to keep up with the photos they see on the sides of buses or the corner of their news feeds.

      And I do think that “beauty” has multiple definitions. As a writer, I love that words can have a plethora of different meanings and definitions. I think the wide array of responses to this blog post

      And I do believe that everyone is beautiful, in the sense that you mean it…in the sense that transcends mere visual appearance. But I think the word “beauty” has become dominated by the worldly definition of “physical attractiveness”, to the point where that definition overshadows the other definitions we use it for. Even when we talk about beauty in terms of personality or inner beauty, it still carries a sense of being visual, something that you can see. Beauty is rarely thought of as something to be heard, smelled, tasted, or felt. (“This ice cream tastes beautiful” just doesn’t land right on the ears.)

      In a similar manner (sorry for the approaching offensiveness), suppose you tried to reclaim the word “faggot” or “nigger”. You might try to redefine these words to mean something positive, but they will always be overshadowed by the hurt they have caused.

      I face this with the word “Christian”. I identify as a Christian, but that gets harder and harder to admit each year, as “Christians” proudly declare their ignorance or spread hate in the name of a man who preached love. I hate being tied to a word that has caused so much pain for so many different people.

      And I think “beautiful” has become a word that hurts people too. It’s not the verbal punch of “shithead” or “whore”. It’s a light slap in the face to people who don’t see the world’s beauty in themselves. And it’s a slap that’s repeated over and over, day after day, until it makes the skin turn raw from repetition.

      Because the people I see posting articles that say “everyone is beautiful” are people that are already conventionally good-looking. They may not be the anatomical impossibilities advertised by Victoria’s Secret or Cosmopolitan, but they are girls that don’t have a problem getting a date. The people that aren’t conventionally beautiful, the ones who most need to have their value known, stay quiet. Because to them, these posts are condescending, patronizing. They’re like a Little League coach reassuring his kids that “It’s okay. Everybody’s a winner.”

      And nobody acknowledges that these people are being hurt by these messages and keep being hurt because…it hurts to say the opposite. It hurts other people to say “Not everyone is beautiful.” It hurts the person who says it, too. I felt sick inside after writing this post, thinking about the number of people I would unintentionally hurt, and hoping that number would be small.

      I think that it is inevitable that, no matter what you write, someone will be hurt by it, because we all see things in different ways, from different histories and experiences. And I don’t think all offense is bad. Yes, some offense is just intended to hurt, but some is beneficial. Sometimes the pain of being offended is the pain of exercising our muscles of empathy. Viewing the world through another person’s perspective is painful.

      And as you’ve pointed out, there are some ways that I could probably have written this better. I didn’t expect this article to receive as much attention as it did, so I wrote it as hastily as I write posts about things like illicit love between letters and numbers. Posts with significantly less emotional blowback.

      So you’re right, using second person may have come off a little more confrontational than I intended. And I regret using specific examples when discussing physical unattractiveness. My writing professors always said to use concrete examples when you write instead of vague generalizations. It may be better writing, but sometimes its more hurtful writing as well.

      If you got all the way to the end of this, you deserve a freakin’ medal. I don’t think we’re actually all that different in the way we think about this topic. If there’s a disconnect, I think it comes from conflicting definitions and semantics, which I guess is why I wrote the article in the first place.

      Anyway, I hope this novel of a response has cleared up some miscommunication and dispelled some unintended offense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen.

      • Mindless says:

        Thank you so much for your response; I really appreciate that you took the time to reply to me. You made so many new points that really helped me understand both your perspective and the purpose of this article.
        I could really relate to your analogy of the term Christian and it helped me better understand the negative connotation of what should be a positive word. I can also relate to the stress teachers put on using concrete examples in writing and it makes more sense to me now why you used specifics.
        I wish that there were another word for beautiful that was of equal importance in society that could express value without the implied physical attribute.
        Also, I previously read your post about the illicit love between letters and numbers and found it to be incredibly good and entertaining.
        I truly appreciate the good-natured and eloquent response.
        Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you totally missed the point, and in this response made the point even stronger. You are literally saying the same thing, just using different definitions of the word. What he was saying (or what I gathered) is that using the word beautiful (which USUALLY means “physically attractive” in our society, and you can’t say that it doesn’t just because there’s a lot of people on your facebook timeline posting things saying “everyone is beautiful in their own way”) to describe a person’s worth or strength or value is ruining us. It’s giving power to the media that says “if you want to be beautiful like this celebrity or this model, you have to wear these clothes or put on this makeup or weigh this much!” Yes, you can find beauty in everything and everyone, but that’s the ethereal sensual beauty you were describing. The reality is not everyone is physically attractive, especially not when you consider every person’s opinion. And SO WHAT. By being offended by this statement, you further prove that being beautiful is important, and you give the media and society more power to tell us how we can be physically attractive to everyone. The point is to NOT CARE if you or any other person is attractive, and to not judge them based on whether they are or are not, and to look past it and realize that that person is important to someone, loved by someone, and has something valuable to offer.

  113. Beauty is an energy and is an aspect of the Divine. We are all made in the image of the Divine and each of us is an individuation of this fullness that is part and parcel of the All. Therefore, All are Beautiful.

  114. I think you’ve misunderstood what these “you’re beautiful” things are about. Physical beauty just isn’t very important; you maybe be physically beautiful in your youth but it doesn’t last. And if you’re an ugly PERSON, it doesn’t matter how physically attractive you are – you’re still ugly.

    “Everyone is beautiful to someone” has very little, perhaps nothing at all, to do with physical appearance. My husband thinks he’s ugly, I disagree. He has many, many qualities that drew me to him and they make him beautiful to me. I don’t know or care of other people think he’s ugly (which he truly isn’t – he’s relatively plain); to me, he’s a beautiful person.

    • Fashionmuts says:

      I think you didn’t read the blog properly and you are the one misunderstanding. He clearly states that he understand how the word beautiful is usually meant.
      Quote: “..I know what you mean when you say “Everyone is beautiful.” You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them someone to be loved…”
      But he also points out the official meaning of the word and that is what this whole article is about.
      Quote: “..And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say go for it.

      But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and nothing more. To use “beautiful” in our wider, deeper, more important meaning only confuses the issue…”

      • Mindless says:

        Fashionmuts,
        Look up the definition of beautiful, and or ask everyone in the world what their definition of “beauty” is. I think it may give you some insight into into Mary’s comment.

  115. nekomimi says:

    Wow however my typos are not beautiful no is misusing your for you’re

  116. nekomimi says:

    However everyone is beautiful to somebody everyone has different taste and what may be beautiful to some isn’t to others and yes I am talking about physical and no that shouldn’t be all that matters but even if to most people your considered physically unattractive chances are someone out their finds you finds you beautiful

  117. Pingback: I Own The Word "Beautiful" - The Anti-Jared

  118. vanessa says:

    I guess to be able to fully understand the author’s article, you must:

    1) Go with the assumption that the first, top-of-mind definition of beauty is physical attractiveness.

    2) If you disagree with point one, stop reading.

    3) If you disagree with point one BUT your mind is open to other people’s views, then read on.

    I’m glad I read on. I define beauty as more than physical, but the author made some points why the word can be misleading. Especially to young, impressionable adolescents who repeats the mantra that they are beautiful but whenever they turn on the TV, browse the web, all they see contradicts the mantra.

    Good job on this article!

    • Andrea Karim says:

      Although I think this is totally implied in the article, it’s not really explicitly stated: I think that the use of the word “beautiful” to mean “worthwhile” or “lovable” might actually make things worse for us uggos. Here’s the thing: Society values beauty (especially in women) above all else. I can clearly see, based on conventional media, that I am NOT physically beautiful.

      When my friends or family say “You’re beautiful!” to me, what they mean is, “You are interesting and make me laugh” or “You are worth loving.” That’s wonderful. But since my mind already associates the word “beauty” with “physical beauty”, it simply makes these statements feel less true.

      I’m NOT beautiful, so am I also NOT funny? NOT worth loving? Broadening the definition of the word to include other desirable personality traits might actually lessen the strength of the meaning of the word “beauty.”

      Anyway, I loved reading this, too, but just wanted to comment on that particular facet of it. I also loved your helpful steps for reading the article and wish more people would follow them.

  119. Anonymous says:

    For those who have read “Le Petit Prince” by St. Exupery, remember when the prince comes crying to the fox, saying “I thought I had a unique rose, the only one of her kind in the universe, and I have just discovered a whole garden of identical roses…” And then the fox teaches the little prince the lesson that he is indeed in possession of a unique rose…Why? Because it is for her that he placed the wind screen, watered and tended her needs…listened to her words, even the complaints…Because he had “loved” her, she was unique! the only one of her kind in the universe!….and the fox ends by reminding the little prince that “the essential is invisible to the eyes…the essential lies in the heart”…I feel in this sense we can use “beautiful” for the experience of loving and having been loved…of forming a bond…and at the end of his lesson the fox reminds the little prince that we are responsible for those we “apprivoise”..
    Well, I highly recommend reading the book…it is available in all languages and still speaks with such freshness and resonates with truth….

  120. Rachel Bowman says:

    Thanks for this post. It’s true that not everyone is physically attractive, and it’s true that this matters more than it should. The issue is so stressful for young people–witness the “pretty or ugly” video trend in which tweens ask others to rate their attractiveness. I wrote about it here, if you’re interested: http://www.theunpackagedeye.com/pretty-or-ugly-a-follow-up-post-about-looks/

  121. Rebecca says:

    Who are you to say I am not beautiful? As a girl who has struggled with with self image due to cleft lip I am incredibly offended by this. I know my value – I am intelligent and witty and loyal sensitive but who are you to day that because I have a physical deformity that I am not beautiful? I see your point, that beauty should not be the ultimate goal, but I can’t help but be saddened that you would point out specific people as being unbeautiful. I feel physical attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder, and so different than beauty (another argument perhaps). My point is that you should choose your words more carefully. People with cleft palates, amputations, warts and no hair certainly do not want to be called out specifically for being ugly, but maybe valuable to society in some other way. I can be both, and I am both. Yet, reading this still makes me cry.

    • Mo says:

      @ Rebecca

      “Who are you to say I am not beautiful? As a girl who has struggled with with self image due to cleft lip I am incredibly offended by this. I know my value – I am intelligent and witty and loyal sensitive but who are you to day that because I have a physical deformity that I am not beautiful? I see your point, that beauty should not be the ultimate goal, but I can’t help but be saddened that you would point out specific people as being unbeautiful. I feel physical attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder, and so different than beauty (another argument perhaps). My point is that you should choose your words more carefully. People with cleft palates, amputations, warts and no hair certainly do not want to be called out specifically for being ugly, but maybe valuable to society in some other way. I can be both, and I am both. Yet, reading this still makes me cry.”

      I have a cleft lip/palate too. It’s true that I am not beautiful. That’s fact. Denying it, complaining about it, being angry at others for saying it – none of this changes the fact that I am not beautiful.

      Facts are facts. They just are. Railing against them doesn’t change them.

      • Anonymous says:

        yeah, mo, ’cause wishing people eternal damnation isn’t hateful. if there is a just god, i’m sure he’ll punish you for being a dick just as much as he’ll punish me for using the word. people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, man.

    • Anonymous says:

      obviously @Mo is a douche. just being confident enough to overcome some obstacle and write about it on the internet makes you very strong and i think that is a hallmark trait of a beautiful person

      • mo says:

        @ Anonymous

        “obviously @Mo is a douche. just being confident enough to overcome some obstacle and write about it on the internet makes you very strong and i think that is a hallmark trait of a beautiful person”

        Thank you for demonstrating true ugliness of character – using filthy language toward a person for no reason, when they have done nothing to you.

        Sheer, filthy hatred.

        How I long for the day when people like you will give account to God for their words and behavior, especially toward those who’ve done absolutely nothing to them!

      • Anonymous says:

        yeah, mo, ’cause wishing people eternal damnation isn’t hateful. if there is a just god, i’m sure he’ll punish you for being a dick just as much as he will punish me for using the word. people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, man.

      • Mo says:

        @ Anyonymous

        “yeah, mo, ’cause wishing people eternal damnation isn’t hateful. if there is a just god, i’m sure he’ll punish you for being a dick just as much as he will punish me for using the word. people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, man.”

        Show me where I wished people eternal damnation? .

        Know that you will give account for your lies as well.

  122. IT says:

    I’m really glad someone has made this point. It can be hard to accept for some people, but it’s very true and I think we need to be able to recognize that.

    Thank you so much for making a point of saying that there is a difference between ‘beauty’ and ‘value’. 🙂

  123. Anonymous says:

    Who is that roman god in the first picture! So HOT!!!

  124. Pingback: Link blog: funny, beauty, horror, queen | Name and Nature

  125. Jeanne says:

    This scares me so much because even though I understand your point about “beauty” having been co-opted, I don’t think it’s been lost from other contexts. It’s an aesthetic determination, certainly, but, to me, the fact that beauty has been said to be in the eye of the beholder is an important part of the equation. It’s not one thing to one industry, it’s many things to many.
    There’s an example of this in the (horrifying) documentary “Chasing Beauty”, where they misuse a quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Love of beauty is taste, creation of beauty is art.” Now the movie used these words to attempt to justify what is done to women in the name of so-called beauty (or that is how I understood it), but even contexualized in this way, I don’t think this was Emerson’s original meaning.
    It is meaningful to be called beautiful by the people I love in a way that goes beyond the purely physical – my smelly and drooling matted-furred aging cat is made beautiful to me because I love him, so too does loving others make them lit up – make them beautiful. To ask that we not use this word is to ask me not to use what I experience as a synonym of love.
    And, for that matter, why not demand the end of the use of “love” – love was once limited: I loved my family, my god (if I had one). Now I love my iPhone, I love Starbucks’ Pumpkin Latte, I love Facebook. And I am that I should and can love these THINGS by the same forces that tell me to buy my way to beautiful.
    I can be aware my language use. I can tell my girlfriend and my children that they are important AND beautiful to me. But I won’t sacrifice these words to redefinition merely because someone else wants to sell them back to me at a different value.

  126. Anonymous says:

    But I think that all of you are beautiful!

  127. This was such an amazing post. I could not agree with you more. Thanks for sharing and I will be sharing this!

  128. Age, size and disabilities do not make people ugly, what it makes people ugly, both males and females, is lack of compassion from others.

  129. Nicole says:

    Thank you. I find your perspective on the issue so refreshing and honest.

  130. Pingback: Everyone Is [Not] Beautiful | Do You Really Believe?

  131. what the actual fuck says:

    Your words are bullshit. Beauty is an intangible value with no baseline. Someone might find something beautiful that someone else does not. You have been brainwashed. Wake up.

    • Scott says:

      That’s her point. Beauty used to be an intangible value with no baseline. But it’s not like that anymore.

      • youhavetheiqofarock says:

        Tangible: Physical; capable of being touched; capable of being perceived by the senses; solid; concrete.
        Intangible:unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence.

        I’m pretty sure that the point of this article is that beauty SHOULD be a tangible value with a baseline (people with any deformities,etc.[being ugly] and the writer of this article being “beautiful”) and that the word beauty should not be used to define value; it should be based only on physical appearance. I feel like you’re misreading this article. I based this mainly on the fact that you don’t know what the word intangible means and you are assuming that when she says:
        “You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them someone to be loved. And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say go for it. But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and nothing more. To use “beautiful” in our wider, deeper, more important meaning only confuses the issue.”
        you thing that she means that “Beauty used to be an intangible value with no baseline. But it’s not like that anymore.”
        No. She means that beauty used to be tangible and based only on physical appearance, but now, people that she doesn’t find beautiful are being called “beautiful” and this angers her because it should have a baseline and only mean physically attractive people. I think you have her point a little backwards.

      • what the actual fuck says:

        Yeah but no. Even a tangible baseline varies from person to person. Let’s talk strictly sexual attraction… Someone might find someone attractive, while someone else wouldn’t. If we all found each other attractive it wouldn’t be so hard to find a partner. I feel like this article says, give in to what the media has socially pressured you into, admit some people are ugly and you are probably average. Tell someone “beautiful” they are and they won’t see it, because advertising wants us to find ourselves flawed so we continue to spend money seeking beauty. It’s all a rouse, every bit of it.

    • Charity says:

      WTAF, you’ve completely missed the point of what’s she’s saying. Did you only read the title and nothing else? Jeez, mindless much?

      To the author — I don’t know you, but based solely on this blog post, the first of yours I’ve read, I think you are a wonderful writer. There’s humor, insight, and a strong message here. I hope more people can stop playing the world’s games by the world’s rules. Well done. 🙂

  132. Mo says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

  133. Repent! says:

    Ever consider putting a bag on your personality? That, to me, is hideous…just like this blog post. Calling it satire or something of the sort would only justify your hideousness…and your sin.

    There are ways of getting your point across, but this isn’t it. Since you call yourself a Christian, consider this: You’ve just insulted people in God’s image…and that includes your sisters in the faith. Way to sharpen iron there, buddy.

    “Everyone is not beautiful. Some people have tumors the size of a second head growing out of their ears. Some people have skin like the Michelin man. Some people lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents. People have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows.”

    This paragraph alone shows your ugliness; repent.

    • Anna says:

      Honestly, I find your comment really rude, and I’m only replying because I like to talk and write. There is nothing wrong with what the author wrote. Can you honestly say that someone is physically beautiful even if their face is misshapen and they are missing part of their nose? That isn’t physically beautiful and that fact should be accepted. If anything, the author is being extra ‘christian’ for trying to emphasize the point that instead of lying to someone that isn’t beautiful that they are beautiful ….we should tell that person that it’s their humor that makes them attractive. That beauty is just another quality, and it’s okay to not be built perfectly symmetrical.

    • “This paragraph alone shows your ugliness; repent.” Hi pot, my name is kettle, my we are looking black today. You just demonstrated your own right there by attacking their writing. They didn’t insult anyone, they made a personal observation and personal opinion and used very legitimate cultural evidence in today’s society to show it. You taking offense to what they wrote is fine, but as soon and you judged them for having an opinion you found offensive, you didn’t even bother to provide a counterpoint, you just chose to attack them. How very “Christian” of you to do. In short, your response demonstrates nothing but hatred and disgust. So, in your own words, “repent”.

  134. Lynella! says:

    Reblogged this on Lynella! and commented:
    An interesting take on things, but I like it.

  135. Sandy says:

    “Beauty is in the eyes of beer-holder” 😉

  136. Pingback: Yes, you ARE beautiful | A Drop in the Ocean

  137. “So what can you do? Nothing.” except
    “Let go of the word beautiful.”

    What!?!? This is one of the most disempowering advice columns I’ve ever read, lol. The author might as well have written, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

    Well, I’m not “joining ’em.” I decide what words mean. I decide how I’m going to see the world. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. And there is NO WAY the “beauty” industry is telling ME what “beauty” is. I hang out with all the artists and poets of history, and that’s a WAY bigger zeitgeist than the tiny lens of contemporary media. Just because this author’s world is that small, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to “let go of the word beautiful.” And, if this author was familiar with a bit of HISTORY and took their head out of pop pulp for a minute, they’d know that the most famous female seducers of history were actually NOT the most physically “beautiful” women. Like Ann Boleyn and Cleopatra. They seduced kings and emperors who could have had any woman. This author’s analysis is that of a child, not an adult.

    • YesThatHappened says:

      1. Words are decided more or less by consensus. Otherwise I could personally redefine “asshole” to mean “socially progressive overachiever” and call you one.
      2. Physics and anatomy decide how you’re going to see the world. Your visual preferences have no impact on reality.
      3. Considering the immense randomness of our world, I doubt you’re fully in control of your fate.
      4. You can’t be hanging out with “all the artists and poets of history” because the vast majority of them are dead.

      • 1. Definitions are decided by INDIVIDUALS who COLLECTIVELY create culture. This author’s analysis assumes we are powerless as individuals. I disagree.
        2. “Physics and anatomy decide how you’re going to see the world. Your visual preferences have no impact on reality.” That’s just dead wrong. You obviously are not familiar with quantum physics, which tells us that reality is UTTERLY dependent on our observations. Don’t feel badly, though. It took a while for people to realize the world wasn’t flat, too.
        3. So you and some blog writer. know better than a writer whose poem has stood the test of time for OVER A CENTURY. Such arrogance.
        4. Clearly, you are perfect example of the phenomenon I am describing…that today’s culture responds to poetry and beauty with cynical sarcasm.

      • Uh….physics isn’t how you personally perceive things. I think you misunderstand what an “observation” means when applied to science. Even quantum physics follows certain rules (although we don’t understand them all quite yet) and you’re personal interpretation of “observed” facts has no impact on reality.

        Also, I think this blog is spot on. It’s sweet, moving and true to the diversity that is our species. 🙂

    • Em says:

      You are completely correct….except for the one fatal flaw in your argument. Cleopatra and Ann Boleyn were never referred to as beautiful. They were described as powerful and seductive and charming and intelligent. But no one thought they were beautiful and that was okay because beauty didn’t matter.

      In today’s society, beauty is such a central quality that we tell people they are beautiful even though they are not. Why not stop telling girls that they are beautiful, and instead tell them that they are intelligent or charming or witty. “You are not beautiful, but you are unbelievably charming.” That’s all the author is trying to say. Are we a culture with so weak a vocabulary that we feel the need to describe witty, funny, charming, intelligent, creative, caring, athletic, etc all as beauty (a word typically used to describe physical beauty)? People can accept that they aren’t athletic; Why should it be any different for beauty?

      • That’s exactly right, this is a culture that has been so enraptured with beauty, that it is used as a lazy description for anything that someone might value. Like it or not Amy, the author is 100% right about their observations as to what our culture does on a day to day basis. You may not like or even agree with it, that’s fine, but it does happen all the time. If you want to see the world for what it is, then stop making attacks against an observation and actively change the world around you. You have attacked this author stating that it is “disempowering”. You went on to say that the beauty industry is not telling you what beauty is, you’re wrong, they are, and they do it every single day with advertising. They are telling you what their idea of beauty is, and they are effective at doing so, how many times in your life have you made a comment about an outfit someone is wearing? How many times did you either say, “Wow, they look great” or, “Wow, go back to your closet and find something else.” Any time you ever engage in a comment like that, whether it be about fashion, music, art, the list goes on and on by the way. You are telling others as well as yourself what beauty is. You claim that you are not “joining them”, well I hate to break it to you, you made a justification for your position, which in turn means that you are “joining them”. The only way you can refuse to “join them” is to be completely apathetic to everything around you. The fact that you attacked this author’s opinion with your responses discredits everything you have typed.

      • Uh…did you READ my post, lol? Because I said that Anne Boleyn and Cleopatra were NOT considered physically “beautiful.” So you actually completely agreed with what I said.

      • Em, Uh…did you READ my post, lol? Because I said that Anne Boleyn and Cleopatra were NOT considered physically “beautiful.” So you actually completely agreed with what I said.

    • Scarlett says:

      The way a society thinks of somebody as physically attractive changes over time. I watched a documentary about Cleopatra last week which stated that while we do not see Cleopatra as beautiful in this day and age, she was classically beautiful. The Greek goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite had a prominent nose and a full body. Also the only images of Cleopatra that survive are on tools of propaganda such as coins. In Ancient Egypt the pharaoh could not be a woman as they were believed to be the human representation of the god Horus, a male. She would have been portrayed with traditionally masculine features in order to reinforce this view. I believe you are the one who needs to be more familiar with a bit of History. I don’t know who you are or what you do so clearly I can’t judge, but I would trust the view of trained Historians, Archaeologists and Egyptologists.

  138. Pingback: The Beauty of Beauty | andrewsober

  139. Kind of full of shit on this one. Anything can be beautiful just as long as the right person looks at it. Just go to a porn site. You’ll see obese pron, midget porn, old people porn, the possibilities are endless. You know why they have everything?Because there’s always someone who can and will get off to it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, those are fetishes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Irregardless, they are one aspect of beauty. I find women in lingerie the sexiest thing in the world – the most beautiful presentation of the female form – you can call it a “lingerie fetish”, but that doesn’t mean beauty isn’t at it’s heart.

    • “Anything can be beautiful…because there’s always someone who can get off to it.”

      I’ve never heard a more succinct quote on how the current generation has been utterly corrupted by porn and the “beauty” industry. “Beauty” is something you “get off to.”

      Wow.

      I have an idea, instead of “letting go of the word beauty” how about we start calling the “beauty industry” the “ugly industry” because it creates ugly people like the person who made this comment about how the “beauty” is what you “get off to?”

      • Beauty is always open to interpretation Amy, just because what someone describes beauty is for themselves, doesn’t make it any less valid than the one you define for yourself. So instead of your idea, I have a better one, don’t sit in judgement of someones definition that doesn’t agree with your own personal interpretations. We are human, we all have independent thinking, therefore all forms of beauty will be open to a different opinion, what you call beautiful, I may think isn’t beautiful. So please, take your self-entitlement judgments and place them into the “Nobody gives a fuck” jar.

  140. Rachel Middleton says:

    You are an amazing writer. Whether you know it or not.

  141. Sara says:

    beauty is “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” – just because “especially the sight” is thrown into that definition this article makes sense but beauty can be just as accurately defined without it. There are beautiful scents and sounds and there are beautiful combinations of qualities that please the aesthetic senses all over the place. Everyone truly does have something about them that is beautiful or pleasing to someone else. EVERYONE. Narrowly defining beauty for the purpose of raging against mainstream culture is low-hanging fruit for a flippant blog post but isn’t really achieving anything.

  142. Paige says:

    “You’re all worthwhile, but I’m going to laugh at your hideous chins, fatty lumpkins!” you have seriously failed at compassion here

  143. Diana says:

    “Some people lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents.” What ablest crap. Losing a finger, eye or leg doesn’t make someone ugly. I guess you’ve never heard of Aimee Mullins, a professional model who has had both of her legs amputated, or have never seen a hot guy with an eye patch. Having a disability doesn’t make a person unattractive. I get the point of your post, but that particular line is just plain ignorant.

    • Hound says:

      Losing a leg is unattractive to me, thus having a disability is unattractive.. to me. Does that make me ignorant or shallow? Absolutely not because I admire a full human body that works properly because its a marvel in science. Oh I’m sorry is that offending someone who lost a limb in a tragic accident? Well it fucking shouldn’t be because I’m not attracted to your loss of limbs but I will absolutely respect you for what you have been through.

      Making a claim that Aimee Mullins is beautiful just for being a model is also ignorant, Diana. I don’t find her attractive, I’m sure other people do not either. Do I still respect her? Hell fucking yeah I do.

      Being over sensitive like that is part of this global ‘pussification’ where ever one is becoming so butthurt over simple things, fucking relax. Concepts so small as socially defining ‘beautiful’ is never going to develop into anything serious anyways. It’s only a word.

      • Elle says:

        It’s not about being personally attracted to people with disabilities. It’s about representation and showing people that just because you’ve lost a physical limb or have a nervous condition or have a mental illness you are still entitled to your own sensuality. It’s hard for disabled people to find their own sense of beauty since they have never been represented as beauty, only as tragedy.

        This is NOT a small concept. The social definitions of “beauty” have been used to oppress women of color, trans women, and disabled women for CENTURIES. It HAS already developed into something serious. The problem here isn’t that the word “beauty” exists, it’s the westernized standards that have been placed upon it.

        Also, how about instead of calling people pussies for being sensitive to a particular topic, you actually make an effort to not be a complete asshole.

  144. Annie Taft says:

    There is something we can do. Stop buying fashion magazines. Boycott them as they perpetrate the very narrow definition of beauty in our society. If we truly stopped buying the bullshit madison ave has been serving us for years we may start to realize we all have worth and not just those who are a size two or who have been lucky enough to be genetically blessed.

    • M says:

      or, or, we can buy fashion magazines and respect the women on there for their physical beauty. Fashion magazines have thin, beautiful people because they wear the clothes the best. A size 2 looks the best in jeans to the most people because they have thin legs and don’t have a gut and that’s what most people like to see. We all know this. If you are offended by this, then you need to stop taking it personally and think about it objectively. You may not wear the clothes as well as her, but I’m sure you are more intelligent than her, or more charming, or funnier, or cooler. In my case, I’m too short to be a model. I’m not offended at all by fashion’s disinterest in recruiting me as a model and I do not think that I am any less beautiful for it. Beyond that, I have qualities much more redeeming than my beauty, so it doesn’t matter to me at all.

  145. Molly says:

    I agree with Brandi that the definition of beauty is fluid. I can find someone’s personality just as beautiful as I can find another person’s physical attribute. Likewise, I can find someone’s personality just as ugly as another person’s physical attributes.

    • Anna says:

      So tell them that they have a beautiful personality. Not that they are beautiful. The difference seems obvious to me.

  146. raqueldancho says:

    Reblogged this on raqueldancho and commented:
    A refreshing, realist interpretation of a word made meaningless and diluted in today’s unarticulated world: beauty.

  147. Brandi says:

    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”; each and every person has their own definition of what beauty is. The definition of beauty does NOT only include physical appearance, and it is completely untrue to say the world as a whole believes that it does. I understand the point of the article, and I realize the author meant well, but it isn’t very accurate. Now, one could truthfully say “Not everyone meets the currently fashionable standards of physical beauty”, but this article was written as though the authors opinion is fact.
    Even though a person may be overweight, have goiters or tumours, bad teeth, various “disfigurements” or fashionably undesirable physical traits, the fact is that yes, someone could very well still find them beautiful. Personality can and does make a huge difference in how a person is perceived

    • Lauren says:

      ” I know what you mean when you say “Everyone is beautiful.” You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them someone to be loved. And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say go for it. ”

      You’re falling into exactly the semantic trap that’s being outlined. Someone may have a wonderful personality making them worthy of love and affection from everyone they meet. But by calling that “beautiful” you set someone up for disappointment and heartbreak when the rest of the world defines “beauty” so differently.

      • Aaron Smith says:

        ” “You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them someone to be loved. And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say go for it. ”

        You’re falling into exactly the semantic trap that’s being outlined. …disappointment and heartbreak when the rest of the world defines “beauty” so differently.”

        The word beauty has always had multiple definitions since it’s origin in the 14th century. It has always meant goodness, health, excellence and describes much more than physical traits. When the author of this post says “if we could reclaim the word and make it mean [something has value, good qualities, etc]….” Well it already does. And has for centuries. No “reclaiming” necessary, you’re using the word right.

    • Michael says:

      Brandi,

      I get what you’re saying, and I know you mean well… but it’s painfully obvious you missed the point, preferring what a lot of people do: Believing that exceptions to a “rule” adequately dismiss the rule. Having one reddish cow among my herd of brownish cows does not mean I cannot correctly state that I have a herd of brown cows. That’s why we use the word “exceptions” for that particular meaning.

      You are correct inasmuch as someone probably finds every other someone beautiful in some physical capacity; but just because someone COULD find them beautiful doesn’t in the least mean that someone WILL find them beautiful, let alone that the author’s point is thus invalid. All it really means is in the pursuit of keeping your enlightenment you want to stick to the insistence that everyone really IS beautiful. It’s a kind sentiment, it’s a gentle sentiment and an exquisite sentiment; but it’s also a delusional sentiment that undermines personal recognition and a realistic accountability. The author stated that quite succinctly.

      To cite the failure to meet (per your statement) “…the currently fashionable standards of physical beauty” as a proffered correction is tantamount to leaning over too far backward rather than fall on one’s face. And yes, personality can and does make a huge difference in how a person is perceived, but the author addressed that point quite nicely. Restating it in your own words didn’t make you right and the author misguided.

  148. I don’t really agree with this article. Everyone is beautiful in someone’s eyes because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I understand that you are trying to get people away from what’s on the outside but beauty is a combination of inside and outside, personality and actions.

  149. eldarhin says:

    Tell me “you’re beautiful?” You’re awesome. But the person you’re talking to might not understand what you mean by “beautiful.” I certainly don’t.

    Due to the way I was raised, I cringe whenever someone tells me I’m “beautiful.” My own parents drilled it into me that only they will be critical enough of me to tell me the truth, then proceeded to tell me that “it can’t be helped that you’re ugly.” Well, blow to the self esteem of a 10-year-old kid. Whatever. But anyone that’s ever told me I’m “beautiful” automatically fell off my “trusted’ chart after that.

    While this doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the article, the related thing was that I put everything into trying to make other people beautiful and learning how to create beautiful things so that I would at least have some beauty in my life. But nope. I get praised for being a beautiful person rather than “hardworking” or “sincere.”

    And even now, when people tell me that I’m beautiful, deep inside I call them liars. It’s all I can do to grin, bear it and thank the people who tell me that. Even on the inside, I’m anything but beautiful.

    I’m not saying that everyone else is like me and that I should be the reason to change your speaking habits. Nor am I saying I am special and thus I demand special treatment. I just thought it’d be interesting to look at this from a slightly different angle because most of what we hear about on the news in terms of domestic conflicts involve violence and abuse, not the effects of sheer bad parenting (despite meaning well). And that, the psychological effects left on us after we grow up, will have different reasons for not wanting to be called beautiful.

  150. animal00 says:

    actually…everybody is beautiful. Only that some are really unfckble beautiful 😀

  151. Anonymous says:

    Not saying that you have to agree with the article, but when was the last time you/someone said to you. “You have a beautiful personality” rather than “You are beautiful”

    • D says:

      9 times out of 10, when I tell someone they’re beautiful — it’s not their outward appearance I’m talking about. Which is not to say they aren’t attractive, it’s just not the way I use the word. I get the point of the article though — it just excludes those people who use the word beautiful to mean something more than “visually appealing”.

  152. Anonymous says:

    This article is BS. Beauty is not ONLY physical appearance. Look up the definition in the dictionary and you’ll see that it has many different meanings.

    • roarierawr says:

      The author of this article is not arguing that the word “beautiful” pertains ONLY to physical appearance. The point being made is that society focuses on and rewards the definition of “beautiful” pertaining only to physical attractiveness much more than the other definitions. When children learn from the media that physical beauty is more valuable than innate beauty, they feel inferior unless they conform to false, ridiculous standards of what society has defined as “hot.” Whether we are conscious of it or not, physical beauty is rewarded by the media, male reactions, and the unfair amount of attention and admiration it receives much more than innate beauty is. That is where the problem lies. The physical definition of the word “beautiful” has taken over the term to an unhealthy degree, one in which can’t be reversed because it is so engrained in our somewhat unconscious behavioral, speech and thought processes. Because of this, the best course of action is to throw the word out altogether. There are plenty of other more specific adjectives that should be used in place of beautiful. Why? To avoid unintentionally promoting the false, damaging idea that physical beauty is more valuable to women than innate beauty is.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s saying that’s how people use the word beautiful. Everyone uses it for physical attraction more than the many different definitions.

  153. Jesse says:

    Your writing is incorrect in at least one respect. There are some bad people out there, of all varieties, beautiful, ugly or just plain. There are boring people, shallow people, people who are only worth loving in the most enlightened and general sense. It’s really no better, and in some ways, it’s worse to generalize positive character traits. It’s very hard to make yourself beautiful. It’s much more in your power to become an interesting, valuable person. Only some of us can be aesthetically pleasing, but all of us could be more conscientious, thoughtful, peaceful, and wise people. Many don’t even try.

  154. Anonymous says:

    Of course beauty is valued as it what attracts others.Attraction and reproduction are our only true purpose ,as mamals on this earth.Rich and successful man are seen as attractive because they can afford to raise and protect their off spring better than poor people. Beautiful women are seen as much more attractive as it is what we as human beings want to use to reproduce with in order to propel are species toward a higher level of physical perfection . Keep it real ,its our nature .

  155. Yazan says:

    I agree with a lot of the points made in this article, but some of the specific examples used didn’t fit. Physical appearance is something that is decided through genetics, and can’t be ‘naturally’ changed. Others things, like athleticism, is something that is mostly shaped by your actions. No one is born completely athletic, it takes hard work to get there. Most people aren’t born millionaires, they work hard to get that money. I really really like this article, but I don’t think that the comparisons make sense.

    • That’s a good point, and one I would have liked to discuss in the article, but couldn’t find a good place for. So I’ll explain my perspective here.

      I think all aspects have both a natural and an improvable side. Some people are born with natural athletic talents, and some people are born with traits that discourage athleticism (physical disabilities, etc.). But in either case, you can still improve your athleticism. There are naturally athletic people that let themselves atrophy and people with disabilities that will themselves to stay in shape.

      Financial success is similar: hard work is important, but there are also factors outside of my control that affect financial success. You’ll have a much better chance of becoming a millionaire if you come from a privileged American family with access to top-tier schools than as the youngest child of a large family in a third-world country.

      Even physical attractiveness is affected by this. There are natural traits (body type, facial structure) that increase your chances of being considered attractive, but there are also ways to improve those chances (hygiene, exercise, makeup, clothing).

      Some traits are more in our control than others, but there’s still the element of chaos in all of them.

  156. Anonymous says:

    It can be hard to openly disagree with an article so well written and persuasive, without sounding like an idiot in comparison. After all, I am only a teenage girl. Perhaps I don’t have such a way with words. What I do have, is an important opinion and the courage to share it.
    Take a look at the link, then come back to this.

    Okay, so we are more than we look. Yes, we all know deep down that looks shouldn’t define us. But what is beauty anyway? You would have a hard job defining it. Not because you aren’t knowledgable enough. But because others might disagree. I think they call that “a variation of opinion”. As for me, I DO think beauty is diversity. I think it’s confidence. Obviously, people should value themselves no matter what they look like. I agree with that, of course I do! I like to think I’m not that shallow… and DESPITE this, I STILL believe everyone has the potential to be beautiful. Not necessarily because their particular appearance is what is considered ‘attractive’ or ‘fashionable’ by the masses! Everyone has the potential to be beautiful, through their attitude to their appearance, through their diversity, through the beauty that they see (in places this article claims cannot be quite so ‘beautiful’).
    My own research surrounding this topic led me to discover people who challenge the very idea that the article promotes. They posses the unibrows, disfigured bodies, unnatural teeth and hair conditions that we are told will never be “physically appealing”. And yet, they do find themselves beautiful (as well as valuable). They take to the internet to tell others why. They are not LIEING or MAKING IT UP TO TRICK YOUNG GIRLS INTO WISHFULLY THINKING THEY MIGHT BE ‘PRETTY’ AND BOOST THEIR SELF-ESTEEM. They do it because they believe it to be the truth and ,as I said, it’s their own opinion.

    Just to make it clear, I know a lot of people will disagree with this, too. I totally respect that!😊

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  158. Reblogged this on Permanent Thoughts for a Temporary World and commented:
    Everything I’ve wanted to say but have been too afraid to articulate.

  159. Hildo Bijl says:

    There’s one issue which hasn’t been mentioned in this (very good) article. How do we compliment our kids? And what are the effects of it?
    How we compliment our kids strongly determines what they will perceive as “valuable” in the world. If you often call your young daughter “beautiful”, she’ll start to think beauty is what matters in this world. Similarly, if you call your young son “smart”, he’ll believe intelligence is what matters and strive after that.
    I know there are a lot of girls with confidence issues on whether they’re “beautiful” or not. The trick is not to tell them, “Of course you are beautiful” or “Everyone is beautiful”. This only reaffirms their (false) believe that looks is all that matters. The trick is to tell them “Who cares if you’re beautiful. You’re smart.” (Or some other inner property that does matter and that people do have influence on by working hard.) By complementing your kids, from an early age on, in the right way, you shape their lives in more ways than you’ll know.
    That’s how we can overthrow the system.

    • Georgian rain says:

      I will have to disagree with this. I compliment my 5 year old daughter quite often that she is pretty and very smart, and I do this everytime that I think it. I will always be completely honest with her. The world is harsh enough and children and young people are naturally hard enough on themselves. I was told by my parents all growing up that I was pretty and smart, and I was told by people of the church that I was a wonderful girl with a great personality, but somehow I still became an adult with self esteem issues regardless and what people told me. I will be honest with my daughter about every aspect of life, the good, the bad and the ugly. Beauty is different to everyone and we need to believe in ourselves regardless of what others think of us. Self respect and self confidence is what we need to nourish in our children and to treat others with respect!

      • Hildo Bijl says:

        I think I may have not been entirely clear in my post. I wasn’t saying you shouldn’t compliment your kids. I was saying it matters what you compliment them on, because that determines what they think matters in this world.
        If you always say “You’re beautiful”, then the child will think looks are the most important thing in the world. And since looks are something you can (almost) not change, that’s a pretty crappy thing to believe. It’s like they’re not in control of their life. (Welcome anorexia.)
        If instead you compliment them on something they can change (like kindness, intelligence, perseverence), then they’ll think those properties matters. And since these are things which they can change, they’ll feel much more in control of their life. (Welcome hard-working students.)
        So I’m saying: only focus on things that matter. And looks don’t matter. Show that to your child.

  160. Anonymous says:

    What is beautiful though? Its like saying what is love? Maybe i attractively think a brunette is beautiful but you think a blonde is. Maybe u see a giant tumor on a person as ugly when a surgeon whos spent his whole life treating/ learning about tumors sees it as the most beautiful thing theyve ever seen. Beautiful is a word far greater than any man will ever be able to define physically or internally because evryone sees it differently hince why this article causes so much debate. What is truely beautiful here is the diversity among all of these comments and responses.

  161. God'sChild says:

    I like this article. I get a lot of compliments on my looks, but, I’m sure that a lot of people think that I am ugly as well. You can’t please everyone. And it’s a waste of time and energy trying. But the compliments that I value most are when people say that I am a good, caring, and/or God-fearing and serving woman. But I’m sure that not everyone likes my personality either. Again, you can’t please everyone. Just like this article; it was meant to be a positive, funny, thought-provoking article, but many people took it as offensive. Well, writer, I enjoyed it. These are your opinions (ones I happen to agree with), but even if I hadn’t, this is a blog, not an entry for the Medical Journal.

  162. People are completely missing the point of the article and are the abusing the author for something that he has based his entire article about! Everyone here is saying that beauty is not only physical , but also inner and blah blah- and that is EXACTLY what the author said. Please read the part again where he says that beauty is a whole other set of virtues however it is assumed to be interpreted in the physical sense only. He specifically said pointed out the semantic issues with the word which just goes with what you are all saying – THAT BEAUTY IS not just physical.
    I really wish people would read the article and try to understand it’s meaning more carefully before abusing the author. I found it a wonderful and a truly insightful piece! Keep it up!

  163. Anonymous says:

    I am a Christian and firmly believe that everyone is beautiful because I believe Christ made us that way. I was raised to believe that everyone is a work of art and is beautiful in their own way. This article is terrible. So offended

    • Anonymous says:

      You missed the point of the article entirely. Try thinking of it from a societal standpoint instead of a religious one and read it again.

      • Menisa says:

        I am a Christian also and I don’t believe that everyone is beautiful. The bible doesn’t say that everyone was made beautiful. he said everyone was made in his image. that had nothing to do with physical aspects of them. even in the bible they took time to mention that people like samson was pleasing to the eye and that even Jesus didn’t have any physical features that attracted anyone to him.
        On another point, I definitely agree with the article. Even when choosing “plus size models” there are certain requirements they need to have to get the job; those evenly distributing fat cells that still give them that hour glass figure. they all look the same. I have yet to see someone with the belly hanging over their underwear line.

  164. rebellefemme says:

    I’m beautiful( like actually lol) but I approve this message.

  165. Anonymous says:

    Quite often I get more enjoyment from reading the comment section rather than the actual article. It’s rather amusing to read the nonsensical comments that were obviously written with a helping hand from thesaurus.com. You’re not going to fool anyone who is worth trying to impress. It’s pretty easy to tell which people are writing outside of their normal lexicon trying to sound smarter than they actually are and those who are simply intelligent.

  166. Anonymous says:

    Awesome job starting a discussion on this. Why is there the need to even feel beautiful at all? Accept yourself for the best you can be and you no longer have to try and be something you are not.

  167. Logan says:

    Perfectly said! Offensive, but true.

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  169. Anonymous says:

    The whole premise of this article is false. The phrase everyone is beautiful is largely interpreted as internal beauty rather than aesthetic perfection. This is a pointless article arguing upon the interpretation of the word on which he is imposing his views as the views of the maass

  170. bellmk says:

    I want to say that I liked this article, but you lost me at wanting to laugh at that photo. I find “you know you want to” statements risky at best. That man reminds me of my friend’s father, who is a wonderful man and has been married to a woman who happens to think he’s pretty sexy, for at least 35 years. This article creates a dichotomy by talking about physical beauty and denouncing it in the same breath: you can hardly list the flaws that a person might have, that will make them physically “ugly” while saying “I don’t care anyway” out the other side of your mouth. As an argument, it lacks consistency.

    Then again it’s just a blog post, and hardly any of my own are well-researched, proofread, and thought-out pieces. I think writers save those for the paid pile 😀

    In response to the Victoria’s Secret model comment, the average age of hire over at VS is fifteen. FIFTEEN. I think we have bigger problems than defining beauty by a set of features. We define it by an age group most of us should not be attracted to: and would NOT be attracted to, if they hadn’t been widely presented to us as if they were fully grown women. If you put enough makeup on a twelve year old you can pretend she’s thirty, but she’ll still be twelve. Most men over the age of 25 are not, in actuality, attracted to the physique of an underdeveloped little girl. It amazes me that the fashion industry has continued to do itself a disservice by presenting children as the “ideal” body type. I suppose it makes sense to some extent: it’s meant to exude nostalgia for a simpler time.

    For some men, the time before they develop hormones is the last time they are able to form a non-sexually based relationship with a woman. For women, before we develop hormones is the last time we will live a joyous life, uncomplicated by aching breasts and periods. These models, if we’re being honest, probably represent to us a means of shirking the system….you can become thin enough never to have a period again, and (if you believe the media) somehow still manage to be strong and healthy and stuff and junk. Your heart isn’t going to explode or anything!

    Realistically, they could depict their clothing draped over a chair or hanging from a tree and people would STILL buy it, because it’s expensive (see apple ipod for further proof). There will always be people who have more money than sense. If everyone is beautiful on facebook they’re going to buy more computers. If no-one but this girl is beautiful in a Calvin Klein ad, they’ll buy more Calvin Klein. If thin is in, they’ll toss their dollars at the multi-billion dollar diet industry. Why?

    Because a sad 75% of people have a low IQ and will basically do whatever you tell them, as long as you tell them they’re special while ramming the rest of what you have to sell them down their throats. (See Also: Amber baby necklaces)

    Of course, I’m probably just bitter because I’m ugly. Or because I used to be beautiful and am now ugly. Or because I used to be beautiful, and everyone said it was going to be great, and it pretty much sucked. Or all of the above.

    • Victorias Secret isn’t expensive at all…I bought a pair of heels, and 2 pairs of flip flops from them today for 110$, that is a great deal.

      • I buy my flip flops for like five bucks at Walmart, and the last time I bought a pair of heals (for my sister’s wedding) they were 30 dollars and were silver and sparkly and have lasted through prom, a wedding, and various other events. 110 dollars isn’t a great deal, that’s just what you think because you think it’s higher quality or you liked the shoes or the flip flops. It might be a great deal compared to other expensive stores, but to find similar flip flops and similar heels somewhere else would be simple and cost a lot less. Also, you only disproved one of the points the person you were replying to had presented. I don’t necessarily agree with everything the person said, but I disagree with $110 dollars being a good price for flip flops and a pair of heels.

      • millyberrioss says:

        you you just proved the articles point to you it may not be expensive but for me (im poor as shit) i can buy like 10 pairs of heels for $110.

  171. anonymous says:

    this whole article is based on the authors false definition of beauty. the author sees it solely just as in looks when beauty is not just about looks, but whats your morals are, and whats inside etc. the author was just looking for something to go against modern society-which i am in no means defending this society…but this is the least of its negatives.

  172. Mind blown. So well said.

  173. Anonymous says:

    One distinct problem here- the writer acknowledges that there is a difference between societal conceptions of beauty and individual conceptions of beauty, and then continues to use the two synonymously.
    I know what qualities I find beautiful and that’s my individual conception of beauty. Even simply on a physical level; those standards of beauty that I hold, are very different from other peoples preferences I know of. Furthermore, my definition of someone as physically beautiful, is simply me saying that the sum of their traits is more attractive than unattractive. Those same human beings that I find attractive, do have some physical features I find unattractive. But overall, they are attractive to me. No one is flawless physically. But we can all be perceived by other individuals as physically beautiful. We just have to meet the person whose perception of attractiveness, aligns with our natural, cared for, physical traits. Unlike the author here I believe that can happen. But what is more important, and what is often addressed as a societal problem, is the ability to love your own traits and find beauty in yourself, without needing the reassurance of someone else. Everyone can look at themselves, and find themselves beautiful. If you cant, maybe you need to change your preferences, or simply not let society, or some other individual dictate what you think is attractive.

    • hqin says:

      maybe everyone should look at themselves, and find themselves good, kind, compassionate, outgoing, courageous, etc etc etc. but why beautiful? it’s such a non-descriptive word anyway.

    • D says:

      Though that’s a valid point, it’s not what the author was focusing on. In fact, it’s rather tangential. They wanted to put the message across that physical beauty is the end all be all of our society, while it shouldn’t be. Society has ingrained physical beauty as such an important asset in our minds that we forget about other internal traits that should be more important. It doesn’t matter that we all have different tastes, because the main point is that we all still think and emphasize that physical beauty is the most important trait a woman can have. “You are beautiful to someone, somewhere” is a mantra said to women to bring up their self-worth, when that self-worth shouldn’t be reliant on such a superficial trait in the first place.

      • what the actual fuck says:

        Disagree. Money is the end all be all. Lust for money has propogated the beauty industry, the fashion industry, the porn and prostitution industry, the weight loss industry, the plastic surgery industry… Those industries encourage beauty as skin deep so they can continue to make money when people realize they are ugly. Those industries and more are exactly what brainwashed the author into writing this article.

    • bellmk says:

      I have to agree with this. Below it says you’ve missed the point of the article but I don’t think you have. The entire logic of the article stems from the definition of beauty….which has been doubly defined here.

    • I think that people can find themselves beautiful without reassurance. However, it is hard to find yourself beautiful when you not only lack reassurance but are also being told by different people that different parts of you aren’t beautiful and it’s mostly women doing this to women which is the sad part. Some skinny women make fun of other women for being fat and then some bigger women make fun of skinny women for not having curves. Some big breasted women make fun of other women for being flat chested and then some flat chested women make fun of big breasted women by saying they look like whores or that their boobs must be fake etc. and same goes for asses…..its just one viscous continuous cycle.

  174. E says:

    lol you guys completely missed the point of the article. We shouldn’t argue that ‘its what’s inside that makes you beautiful’ because people shouldn’t strive to be beautiful at all, they should strive to be good. unfortunately, society has internalized the notion that ‘beauty is good’ and so we say someone is beautiful when we are trying to say they are good, but this only further reinforces the notion that the two are the same. we as a society need to eschew the connotation that attractiveness is inherently good if we ever want to evolve beyond simplistic automatons that automatically group everything we find aesthetically pleasing into the category of ‘valuable’ and seek to find meaning that does not relate to the way that our reptilian brain interprets light waves perceived by our optical inputs.

  175. Anonymous says:

    This article sounds like a way to make attractive, young and hot people even more smug about themselves by focusing on the first definition of Beauty; the quality of being physically attractive; negating the second definition of Beauty: the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind.

  176. Malika says:

    Everyone IS beautiful in the eyes of anyone that matters. Anyone who’s opinion I value would have the same rule I try to go by, God made everybody the way he wanted them to be. Maybe the “tumor the size of a second head” isn’t beautiful, but the person with it is. I get the point of this article, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. I don’t just think of beauty as appearance. You could be a Victoria’s secret model (which is the widely accepted definition of beautiful) with a terrible personality, and that would make you ugly. That’s how I see it.

    • I don’t think everyone is beautiful. There are some people with good looks and terrible personalities so those people are beautiful on the outside but not on the inside, then there are some busted ugly looking people with great personalities and they are beautiful on the inside but not on the outside, but what about the people who are physically unattractive and have terrible personalities? Those people aren’t beautiful on the inside or the outside

      • I have never met someone who isn’t beautiful in some way. Physically there is always something, even if it is a little thing that I find attractive. Intellectually or Personality wise, I also can always find something positive among the bad parts of a person’s personality. There is always a way for people to be beautiful, inside and out, some of us just choose to ignore it and act like since someone isn’t 90 pounds with perfect hair and big boobs that they aren’t physically attractive at all. It’s all point of view. Personally, I find very very skinny guys attractive. I don’t like abs and I don’t like very tanned guys. This is not the widely accepted form of attractiveness in a guy, but I still find it beautiful or attractive to me. It’s all preference when it comes to physical beauty. When you asked if I wanted to laugh at the one picture, I really didn’t. If I did, it would only be because that man was purposefully trying to create what society would see as an ugly picture. He doesn’t naturally look like that, he’s looking like that on purpose. It’s like me dressing up as a witch on Halloween and expecting you to call me beautiful. If someone naturally looks the way that man does in the picture, then that’s fine, someone might even find that attractive. We only want to laugh because he is purposefully making a weird face and using angles to achieve it. I liked the article, I thought it was interesting, but there were many flaws, not only the picture of the man, but also the author’s dual use of the word beautiful. Beauty is many things. I don’t define it was physical beauty. I don’t define it was inner beauty. I define it as both and someone’s beauty cannot be determined solely on one of these definitions, nor should it ever be.

  177. Stacy says:

    I taught my grade 9 class about the word beautiful and that it means more than pretty. We discovered that it is more about inner beauty and that everyone has it. It’s up to you to let it show.

  178. J.T. Hannon says:

    Agreed! I know many people that are classed as beautiful to the eye, but wow scratch at that surface and there’s a real shade of ugly bursting to get out. Of course the opposite applies, i know people that aren’t all that pretty, but to be in their company is the most beautiful place to be. Too many people base a person on their outside beauty and not enough emphasis on the true self. After all that’s the only self that won’t wrinkle and gain an extra 40 pounds, that’s the self that will always shine.

  179. Eliza Carew says:

    I totally agree. Women came into my school the other week marketing fake tan…. exploiting teenage girls’ insecurities for profit (rather than helping accept our skin colour and concentrate on more important things). I wrote a blog about it: elizacarew.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/what-happened-to-love-the-skin-youre-in

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  181. Anonymous says:

    Part of the definition of beauty: The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature. With this being what beautiful means it should be a complement to be referred to as such and everyone can be…

  182. TheDan says:

    Sure, everyone can be beautiful to one person. Let’s face it though, most people would rather be beautiful to everyone else too. I know I would.

  183. MC says:

    the only issue i have with this article is that they don’t acknowledge that many people have reclaimed the word to mean beautiful as a nod to the incredible and amazing traits that people possess: externally or internally.
    The article is dealing in way of external aesthetics and uses the word “beauty” in lieu of what they really mean. “Hot/hottness” would be a better descriptor of something that is simply skin deep attractiveness because I believe (to an extent) that we HAVE reclaimed beauty as a word, especially when one hears the phrase “inner beauty” commonplace now.

    Everyone *is* beautiful, but not everyone is “hot,” and I believe the writer should not have used the word “beauty” to accommodate their argument.

    • Matto Gravy says:

      totally, while reading I flashed back to once when a girl (who was hot by the way) 30 years ago told me I was “beautiful” when I made her laugh one afternoon. I was NOT beautiful by this poster’s definition, which is said to be the definition of society. But when she said that it made me feel really warm in my soul.

      I think people in our mini-communities are more accommodating to the various definitions of beauty than this writer gives them credit for being. I also think the people who BELIEVE that everyone is beautiful and SAY so, are themselves the beautiful ones. And if any of us, in our cynicism, decline to go along with that – maybe it’s we who are lacking in the kind of “beauty” that everyone else really does recognize.

      We can be honest and say that not everyone is magazine-model beautiful while at the same time realizing that you don’t have to be even anywhere near that to be everyday, hey you whistle whistle hotty-hot. Everyone IS beautiful to someone, and good thing too, otherwise the world would be populated by airbrushed 2-dimensional images.

  184. Anthony Campbell says:

    I love this article!!!!!! I say this all the time!!! Why do I say things like this? Simple. It’s because I am ugly but it’s okay people I own a mirror and although it took awhile I love myself just the way I am! This guy summed up the way I feel in a few paragraphs!!! I love it! My favorite line being “Let go of “beautiful”. Not everyone can be beautiful, just like not everyone can climb Everest or play saxophone or become a millionaire.” LOVE IT! I too am I writer my friend and if no one has ever told you let me be the first to say you are an excellent writer your words are so much more than words they are alive and I live for it my friend although you are aware you are an excellent writer I some how felt the need to let you know!!!! P.S. I’m writing a book about this subject I started it a couple of months ago please let me know if your interested in giving me your criticism on it!!! EMAIL: TheoriginalCC@yahoo.com

  185. Merry says:

    Not everyone is beautiful…But most have a talent! Let that be your shining star! No it may not be singing or painting but everyone has some kind of talent! Let the world know you by your talent or your time you spent with them! I paint the neighborhood kids toes (simple huh?), they think I’m the bomb! It’s little things you do that make you beautiful, not your perfect body

  186. mfnunez828 says:

    It is incredibly sad that people view the world in an extremely shallow field. They go around taking things for their surface value, never really diving deep to find real meaning in life. That is what you are reinforcing here in this article.
    You equate beauty to physical characteristics and you establish a high value to people that fall within your very narrow perception of what it means to be beautiful. Beauty encompasses the culmination of a being most of which is composed of their personality and their morality, or WHO THEY ARE. The definition of beauty that you are explaining to above is created by generations of brainwashing from corporations align to portraying hegemonic ideology as the normative and has established a societal preference towards these ideals.
    Judging people based on how they look justifies hundreds of years of genocide, discrimination, and segregation that have occurred simply because people looked different. I truly hope that you stop and think about what you call beauty and begin opening your eyes to the real beauty that is in the world. Is EVERYONE beautiful? No, there are some truly horrible human beings out there that have ugly personalities and horrible morals. However everyone CAN be beautiful. I hope this helps you understand the difference. Because the last thing I would want is for you to spend your life with someone you THINK is beautiful but is actually a very ugly PERSON.

  187. Even a cross-eyed, fat, one-armed woman can be beautiful. If she can have confidence and carry herself well, she can be beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am not ‘pretty’ but my husband thinks I’m beautiful. In his eyes, I am beautiful. It’s a subjective term, not an objective one.

    • Toni Golden says:

      Actually, Christine, you ARE rather beautiful. Big eyes, lovely smile, shiny golden hair. And yes, it’s subjective, but I think your looks are beautiful.

  188. Anonymous says:

    …first I thought, this guy makes a point! Then, as I kept hinking about it, no, he does not .
    Beauty is like art, it’s perception is subjective. So YES, everybody can be beautiful to one person, while being uninteresting to another, just as a Picasso can seem beautiful to you and is the ugliest thing to me. Futhermore,beauy is not really something you can put on a scale, in that way, it is different form being athletic, which is actually something you can scientificly evaluate.
    And yes, I’ve already heard the exact sentence:“You are an amazing writer, whether you know it or not.”. So are we saying there are standarts in art too ? Something that unversally can be considered as beautiful, just like something that can universally be considered as ugly ?I really do not think so! Anyways, crushing young girls self-confidence isn’t going to help either…. I like to think they are not naive and already know what their looks potential is, but believing that they are beautiful helps to make them feel more comfident which opens more opportunities for them.
    Excuse the bad english, it’s not my native language and if i misundersood anything, i’d be happy to hear any opinon you might have :).

    • Anonymous says:

      sorry *its perception

    • Madison says:

      I feel like you are already proving the writers point when you say, “…believing that they are beautiful helps to make them feel more comfident(sic) which opens more opportunities for them.”

      You’re saying that the girl’s self-worth should still have some basis in her beauty, that she can’t be confident unless she feels beautiful, that she’ll have more opportunities. It’s not about ripping apart a woman for her physical appearance. it’s about the idea that self-worth has been confused with physical attractiveness. Yes, there is most definitely a subjective nature to beauty but this isn’t about that. It’s pointing out the idea that at the end of the day, these ads are still selling a product to women targeting the idea that the best thing you can be is attractive. They do that by claiming there is a gradient of beauty but they fail to show things like that first picture.

    • Jared says:

      I really like the way you think, because that’s not something the article covered.

      However, I really don’t think this applies to everyone, and that’s its biggest flaw. You can’t honestly expect someone to look at a full body burn victim and hear them to say “beautiful” and mean it. That’s actually kind of cruel to the burn victim.

      I never liked the concept of “inner beauty” in the first place. I’d rather my exact virtues be complimented.

  189. Anonymous says:

    Beauty isnt just on the outside.

    • Exactly. I’m not sure why anyone would give this the thumbs down. But if so, you have a very limited view on life and human beings. Beauty is on the inside as well. If you’re ugly inside you’re going to be ugly outside.

      • mikii says:

        I think it got thumbs down because of its relative lack of relevance to the article text.

        Unrelated, some people are gorgeous on the outside but have hideous personalities that they’ve managed to obscure through charm and wit.

  190. Anonymous says:

    Check out The New List Project. It is redefining beauty. It is based on what you do and how you are changing your world rather than what you look like.

    • Jane Doe says:

      I checked it out The New List Project and although I definitely appreciate your intention, I failed that definition of beauty miserably. You said we should redefine it as “compassionate, brave and action-oriented”. While I am an extremely compassionate person, I have a life-long battle with anxieties and phobias so I am definitely not brave and as far as action-oriented- getting out of bed in the morning is a daily struggle. While I have been told that I am pretty, I envy those brave, go-getter type gals that you speak of, and know I will never be one and that makes me feel less than. I always feel like people value you in this society based on what you do for a living, even more so than what you look like. The dictionary definition of beauty is, ‘the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit”. I say we just keep the original definition, that way everybody can be beautiful- but we just emphasize that it can mean inner or outer beauty and inner is more important. An ugly, lazy person is a beautiful person to me if they show me compassion or try to brighten my day by making me laugh. But don’t get me wrong, what you are doing is good, I’m just jealous that I don’t make the cut…lol.

  191. I really hope the author of this article is in elementary school, because the limited scope of thought present in this article can only be forgiven if a 6th grader wrote it, and even then, they wouldn’t really be top of their class. I know I am asking too much, but when I read an article that makes the linchpin of the argument a word, I feel that actually either knowing or looking up the definition of the word would be prerequisite to writing. Apparently the author doesn’t share my opinion.

    So here is the Merriam Webster definition.

    Beauty: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit :

    So, when people who are trying to change how we perceive people, who are trying to wrench back the ACTUAL definition of beauty from the scummy, shallow claws of the fashion, and music and TV machine that wants beauty to be an unblemished, perfect sized, impossible standard to strive for, use the phrase ‘you are beautiful. Yes, you. I don’t have to see you or know you to tell you that, because I, and I am sure a LOT of other people in this world, think you are. Because you are you,” THOSE people shouldn’t be lumped in with someone who uses the term to tell a 14 year old girl who is 5’ 10″ and 120 lbs that she COULD be beautiful if she lost 10 lbs.

    The quality, or AGGREGATE of qualities in a person or thing that gives PLEASURE ….EXALTS the MIND or spirit.

    You, author, did not do a very good job on this article, but you, too, are beauti

    I agree that society at large, pop culture, rape culture, youth culture is to be despised, forsaken and ultimately changed to reflect a reality where all people are accepted and the concept of being afraid to grow old is banished. I also have more negative things to say about most new age mantras and movements than I have positive things, but your portrayal of the word beauty, in its most limited sense to try to make an argument for acceptance is just incorrect.

  192. Anonymous says:

    The girl in that pic barely has any fat on her at all. She’s like the prettiest out of the overweight ppl. Show an obese 50 year old white lady in her bra and panties and call her beautiful not some chick with a small gut and tiny legs

    • Anonymous says:

      The point is, the girl in the picture ISNT fat. She’s a bit softer than a typical model, is all. But otherwise a generally flawless human.

  193. Katrina Sandvik says:

    ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.-John Keats

  194. Haley Church says:

    Reblogged this on Happenings With Haley and commented:
    Very good explaination of things that I have always felt, but have never been able to put into words.

  195. harsiese says:

    beautiful[ byoo-tuh-fuhl ]

    adjective

    1. having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.

    2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.

    3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

    noun

    1. the concept of beauty (usually preceded by the).

    2. beautiful things or people collectively (usually preceded by the): the good and the beautiful.

    3. the ideal of beauty (usually preceded by the): to strive to attain the beautiful.

    interjection

    1. wonderful; fantastic: You got two front-row seats? Beautiful!

    2. extraordinary; incredible: used ironically: Your car broke down in the middle of the freeway? Beautiful!

    his is a diect copy of the definition dictionary. It refers to any pleasing to the senses. This author is blatantly wrong in thierrabid claim that it is stristrictly one dimensional.

    • rrpjdisc says:

      The meanings of words change through time, numnuts.

      If a majority of people use the world “beautiful” now to JUST mean physical attractiveness, then that IS what it means.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know what the author was getting at in terms of beauty, it’s clearly stated about visual beauty, you didn’t/can’t grasp the concept of the article.

      • Allana says:

        I actually think the concept of the article was grasped just fine, the problem this poster had was that the artist clearly doesn’t understand the concept of the word beautiful. I agree with what the author is preaching, but I don’t see “beautiful” as having only one meaning which is physical appeal. The definition of the word supports this.

  196. I knew this all along…I just knew it that this statement “Everyone is beautiful” and “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” don’t mean anything to me…its complete bullshit. Not everyone was blessed with “beauty” and yes you can look at different types of beauty like personality, etc but the fact of the matter is it is impossible for everyone to be “beautiful”. Even if you think you are, other people don’t think you are because there is a hidden standard of beauty in our world and there is a standard that most cultures/countries deem attractive and unattractive. Certain features make someone more beautiful than another. There are indeed such things as attractive and unattractive people, not everyone in the world is attractive. I myself think I am very unattractive despite what people say about me, everyone thinks I’m the opposite. Its just a stupid attempt to make people feel better about themselves by proving something, but it just bullshit because I cannot be fooled and I don’t buy into that “Everyone is beautiful in your own way”, because your way might not be beautiful to other people.and some people overestimate their beauty, but I don’t…even though people say I’m attractive, I still don’t believe it at the age of 19…that’s the reality of it, there are attractive features and there are unattractive features and everyone in the world is not beautiful, its impossible…

  197. Thank you for this refreshing look on beauty. The following is a personal viewpoint from my cumulative experiences (disclaimer). I’ll focus on external instead of internal since this topic is about external “beauty.” I would like to add on and say that the word “Beauty” in our societies definition/view of beauty has also penetrated more deeply into the “gay” community (HaHa). But in all seriousness, beauty and physical attractiveness have seem to become the standard in the “gay” community. These standards on “beauty” are incredibly higher for “gay” men then they are for the average “straight” woman (Feingold, 1990; Stroebe, Insko, Thompson, & Layton, 1971). Let’s face it – beauty or physical attractiveness is generally the first thing that all people look for in a person, or rather, at. On “gay” dating sites, apps., and questionnaires, physically attractiveness is one of the highest ranked attribute scores. It’s almost the “must have” thing for the gay community.

    What’s kind of unfortunate, is that it has become the norm to ignore, whether intentionally or unintentionally, those individuals who “(we/society/they)” deem(s) as unfit/inadequate for social interaction based on physical attractiveness. Let’s face it!, when you go to any store or business, who do you WANT to talk and interact with (assuming both are intelligent, efficient and knowledgeable to the same degree) — that guy/girl who has flawless skin, a gorgeous white smile, proportionate features and is athletic and toned ..OR.. that guy/girl who maybe has some moles or skin tags, might have darker or yellowed teeth, and is a little overweight. My guess is probably the first, regardless of however kindhearted, friendly, and how great of a person the second is. That is just human nature. But I question how much of that is socially taught or is genetically driven.

    My glorious experience with the “gay” community has been that there are more than a few “gay” individuals I know that would go out of their way to choose to ignore “(someone/individuals who are less physically attractive)” and not respond to “(someone/individuals who are less physically attractive)” for such simple things as ordering a coffee at a coffee shop. Hell, screw asking out or dating, if you could even get to that point! (That is if you identify as a gay man). What puzzles me is when I see an individual call a “gay” man out on that behavior, when an individual feels ignored by the opposing individual (and it happens in the “straight” community as well!) the general reaction more than not tends to be extremely passive-aggressive and defensive. Ever here the phrase: “Why you gotta be so salty?”

    I know there is going to be someone who disagrees with what I have said and would argue that it’s not true, and I actually would agree with you, to an extent. There are always outliers and exceptions to the rule. There truly are some genuine individuals who fall for others personal traits and characteristics and would help out and talk with anyone regardless of intelligence, physical attributes, race, religion, etc. and I sincerely applaud you and commend you. But honestly, to wrap this all up: If you think beauty issues are bad, try looking at it from a “gay” perspective. In the gay community, if you are not physically attractive or “beautiful” enough, especially to look at, you probably won’t even get the common respect of someone acknowledging you or communicating with you. Our society focuses way too much energy and money on external aesthetics when really; we should be focusing on what’s on the inside.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your second paragraph is complete and utter bullshit. I stopped there. TL,DR

    • sprklygrrl says:

      It’s true that people are generally attracted to people physically first, before getting to know them and/or pursuing a relationship. I think choosing someone to pursue based on their looks is a pretty common thing regardless of your sexuality.

      It’s also true that most often, people of similar attractiveness are attracted to each other. I think for some of us, we have to mature enough to accept that we are the way we are, and there are people like us who will love everything about us. Maybe those people won’t be the cheerleaders or captains of the football team, but if we’re really looking for happiness, we’ll take it as it comes.

      Personally, the worst relationships I ever had were with “beautiful” people, because I knew I’d never be good enough for them. So I stopped worrying about it and found love with someone I felt incredibly comfortable with. That’s just my experience. I’m not saying it’s the way it is for everyone, but I hope it’s a helpful perspective.

    • mbrady says:

      Beautifully put Sean (yes, I see the irony in using this phrase!). I also get the gist of the original post – that there is too much emphasis on a person’s worth being based on being aesthetically pleasing, even though I a don’t necessarily believe that the using the word beautiful to describe someone is a bad thing.
      I would like to add persons with intelectual/developmental disabilities to the category of persons in the retail workplace that are often avoided and unfairly judged by others. I have seen this first hand many times when shopping. I was recently in line at Target waiting to be checked out by a guy who very obviously had Down Synrome and witnessed MULTIPLE people get out of his line as soon as they got close enough to see him at the register. I on the other hand actually enjoyed our conversation about how he got to go to his senior prom and how his favorite tv show is How I Met Your Mother.

  198. PMK says:

    I feel there are greater depth to “beauty” than what you are stating. Of coarse the media creates a thick layer of this idea called beauty that is either unreachable or are entitled to, and their definition is having nice physical attributes. I feel in reality people don’t necessarily base people off of physical aspects but with common interest. The person I fell in love with was not necessarily in the ” hot” scale but I saw inner beauty, he was interesting, passionate and funny. I also see beauty when someone is also passionate about helping others or beauty in a relationship not by their physical attribute but the strong love they have for each other. I see a lot of beauty especially in humans of new york because they show a lot of people having true beauty.

  199. richardlcox says:

    Not everyone has a valid perspective.

    Some people just are not the caliber of writer to handle alternative perspectives well and just expose their inner own frailty and ignorance. And that’s ok. Some people just need to take hyperbolic positions to drive increased traffic and blogtroll themselves into feeling important and controversial saying “what needs to be said”.

    For instance beauty has a definition which is applied to moments, emotions, people, objects of art, scenery, landscape photographs, music, and oh say almost anything in life or imagination. Most of these things do not involve any remote connection to misogynist-derived modern evaluation of the female form which you say we are hopeless to avoid.

    But it’s ok. Informed controversial writing is just not yours. It’s the worlds. There are plenty of other descriptions we can use for you like:

    letter user
    finger typer
    teenage emo genre blogger

    And that’s not a bad thing, it’s just the internet audience we HAVE today. And we have to accept that most writers are just inadequate and a waste of electronic white space. But it’s ok. We don’t all have to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what your definition of “valid” is, but other viewpionts is how we learn from one another. There’s an entire discussion here that may have made some people reevaluate their own thoughts. You see no value there? Of course you also dropped into namecalling, proving what a learned superior man you are. You speak to “the internet audience we HAVE today.” In condescension and judgement. Thank you for enlightening us. Ill wait for you to crtiticize my lack of punctuation or whatever attack youre going to use to obfuscate the fact that you missed the entire point of the article. Just to help, it was about the definition of beauty.

  200. This wins for “most highly ironic opinion of the year” because the author is completely unaware that they have been brainwashed by the “beauty” industry to believe that “beauty” is a physical trait. Talk about unconscious internalized bias, lol. “Everyone is beautiful” means “everyone is beautiful.” Because that’s true. Yep. Not because we’re using “beauty” as a substitute for any other word, like “valuable”. But because “beauty” as they say, is NOT skin deep. It’s the beauty of poets and artists and what they TRY to communicate to the rest of us who are cynical and blind, like this author, who LAUGHS at people for how they look and assumes the rest of us do to. I feel sorry for this author.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see your point, but without context of the problem, how does one address it? Also, I usually laugh when someone tries to make a funny face. You dont?

    • No, she expressed herself entirely and her view entirely. You simply failed… utterly to comprehend what she wrote. My guess? Because you ARE one of the beautiful people, so much so that you could not help but to put her down by injecting an insult of pity with your comment, because her well thought out & written perspective unsettled your view of the world as well as yourself. Have a wonderful day Amy Luna.

  201. What a great and different perspective. Well written and thought provoking!

    Our company, Brown Man Clothing Co., http://www.brownmanclothing.com, we promote models of every size and features and encourage everyone to participate in our photo shoots. We look for great people to work with and who have a positive energy. That is our number one criteria.

    • Anonymous says:

      “we promote models of every size”

      you serious?

      maybe you gave us a link to the wrong website.

      or maybe you’re just a self-promoting piece of s***?

  202. Katie says:

    It’s all in the eye of the beholder, whether a person is beautiful, valuable, important, worth loving, interesting, whatever adjective you want. You will first see what you are looking for through your own lens, but may miss what you don’t initially see. You may not see one trait, but humans are made up of many traits. To focus on only one trait like beauty is to rob that person of their multifaceted personality.

  203. Djellel says:

    And … ALL Songs that we hear day long!!

  204. Devon Waslusky says:

    Good article, though my cynical self even disagrees with calling everyone valuable, important, interesting and worth loving.

    The difference between those terms and beauty, however, is that they are accessible to everyone, while beauty is not.

    I saw this shared picture on Facebook of a girl with Progeria, and it said “Like this if you think she’s beautiful!”

    She wasn’t. Progeria is not a beautiful disease. It physically deforms those children horrendously, and nothing they can do will ever make them beautiful. And it sickens me that beauty is promoted so much in our culture because it shows just how much we focus on physical appearance, and it teaches people that physical appearance is valued more than the “inner beauty” that people desperately need.

    So when a not beautiful person is told they are beautiful, but there are constant reminders that they are not in fact beautiful, inner emotional turmoil comes into play as the two conflictive thoughts battle it because we have taught these people that physical appearance is highly valued.

    And sometimes it even gives people an excuse to continue living unhealthy lives. If a person is obese, they are not beautiful. Don’t tell them that they are if they really aren’t. But value them all the same, love them and encourage them to start living healthily. Please.

    Beauty cannot be achieved in everyone. Yes, some can achieve it. But it’s not important.

    What is important is what most everybody can and should achieve: being a valuable friend or asset to the people around you, being important, being interesting, being worthy of love, being selfless, being good and humble, etc. All of those good traits that Jesus told us to have or strive after. Because, even if you’re not Christian, those traits cannot be argued against because most everybody sees them as good all the same.

    • DT says:

      I agree. It is even a little problematic to assure everyone that they are valuable, important, and interesting. I’d like to believe it, but I don’t necessarily buy it. The one I see the most merit in is ‘worth loving’ but I wonder how easy the people advocating this phrase would be able to express it to, say, the most heinous of criminals? (child molesters, etc.)

      Not cut and dry.

  205. Rick Chen says:

    Can’t blame corporations. You know, if there was a sure way I could rack in profit, promoting beauty among women seems like one of them, and any CEO with a fucking brain would do this lol. I would advertise that way if I were a CEO, Beautiful women are superior and that is that. The world is inherently unequal. If you weren’t born beautiful, too bad. I’m going to pick the girl with the skinnier waistline because well…she’s more physically appealing???!!?? Sorry ugly girls.

    • Bob says:

      What if you weren’t attractive? You would like this article and feel grateful that people actually want to change the social norms surrounding our obsession with physical attractiveness equating to a person’s worth. Please consider that your point of view is not the only valid point of view. Just try to entertain the idea that this article has value, and it is ok if you still think it’s all bullshit because at least you tried to expand your mind and learn another point of view besides your own.

      • Rick Chen says:

        beautiful women start at +1, and ugly women start at -1. It is the ugly woman’s job to work her way up to +1 using some other means. and don’t try that crap about me blaming the victim instead of the perpetrator

      • Rick Chen says:

        If I wasn’t attractive I would take responsibility and work my way up using personality. Also I would optimize my looks instead of gorging on junk food. Maybe go to the gym? Like it or not looks are an integral part of a person overall. People just love blaming big corporations and those who are prettier and more successful for failures. Holy fuck are people that stupid?

  206. Is there a ‘dislike’ button for this? An approach to a pointless conversation. The title pretty-much sums up the article. Blaming corporations for creating the image of what a ‘beautiful’ person looks like is utter nonsense. People’s views on what ‘beautiful’ looks like are very different. “Big bad corporations” are simply using what a majority of people already find as beautiful to promote their products. NOTE to the author: If you so desperately crave attention, brand your forehead “Idiot”, along with anyone else who found this article interesting or insightful.

    • Dee says:

      I think you should read this over Brandon. I think what the writer is saying is very honest and has no political agenda. You seem very aggressive and aggravated over the topic, suggesting the writer craves attention and should brand his/her forehead stupid?!? Why the attack? Whats going on with you? Do you work for an advertising company or produce Hollywood films? I’m trying to figure out this “NOTE to the author” business. Is it possible you need attention, so you write this mean note? Hmmmmmmmmm, if this is the case maybe I should delete the comment. Because I will be giving you what you want. Brandon please stay calm and try not to make a fool of yourself in this manner again.

    • Anonymous says:

      What if you weren’t attractive? You would like this article and feel grateful that people actually want to change the social norms surrounding our obsession with physical attractiveness equating to a person’s worth. Please consider that your point of view is not the only valid point of view. Just try to entertain the idea that this article has value, and it is ok if you still think it’s all bullshit because at least you tried to expand your mind and learn another point of view besides your own.

  207. Heather Kish says:

    My whole issue with this is the models used in these images portraying “everyone is beautiful” (I’m mostly referring to the one in this ad) If you’re gonna say everyone is beautiful, throw in an old wrinkly lady that doesn’t feel pretty anymore. I’m talking like; that 80 year old lady that got too much sun in her 20’s. Or a really morbidly obese girl. Or a girl with cancer who is now bald, an albino girl, a really geeky girl with acne and glasses and braces, or one of those body builder ladies, or maybe even a transgender lady(okay, that might be pushing it for some people, but hey! you get my point). Why aren’t they beautiful? Have some guts behind your message!

    But yeah I completely agree with this article that not everyone is “beautiful”
    What I do believe, is that everyone has good in them. Everyone also has bad in them. But if your good outweighs your bad, then you probably don’t have to worry so much about your physical “beauty”.

  208. Tor says:

    You are an amazing writer, whether you know it or not. Seriously though you are. I needed to hear this my whole life and finally I have. Thank you beyond words!

  209. Noah King says:

    This is a brilliant, refreshing perspective. Love how you elevated the conversation to be about society and human civilization with a seemingly timeless scale. But the scapegoating of big business and multi-billion dollar industry feels petty and small in comparison. If this is a timeless probably with our civilization, how could it be the fault of capitalism? Clearly capitalism exploits us and profits off of our confused, sexist ways, but you seem to be inserting your own personal politics into an otherwise objective piece.
    Would love to hear from anthropologists about the history of our beauty bias and whether or not it’s hard wired versus having been sold to us.

  210. David Meyer says:

    Good article. And it’s true that the world seems to care about the physical appearance much more than it’s worth it. We are hard wired this way, to our genes beauty translates as good health and good DNA. But, luckily, there is more to beauty and there are people who care about the personality and intellect. And there are people out there who dare to be themselves and be unique. Not that anything will change in the beauty-driven industries. So they say they celebrate various body types (Dove)? Well, cool, except for the fact that all of the models in this advertisement have been posed to look as slim, as possible or to accentuate the curves (as in geometry curves, not as extra weight curves). And shot from quite afar, so you are not going to really be able to notice their skin blemishes and flaws.
    As for all other “no Photoshop” ads… Beautiful and healthy model, good make-up artist, flattering poses, soft light. And no Photoshop is needed. But they do not prove that “everybody is beautiful” nor that Photoshop is evil. These ads just prove they had a beautiful model, good make-up artist and a good photographer who likes working with soft light.

  211. Miss Kate says:

    Nope. This was probably written by a white dude who never had any problems accessing anything or had difficulty being accepted in his life. What we consider to be beautiful is largely a construction (the fact that most of the people on lists of “most attractive people” are white isnt a coincidence, for example.) Regardless, acceptance of others doesn’t mean you want to go making out with everyone, and self acceptance, which is essentially the main thing involved with self esteem. I think there’s better ways to build this than with dove ads (which don’t really show all that much variation in body size and the message is still “even these people are beautiful, believe it or not”) or instagram photos with messages written in nice fonts. But i would think that this guy’s opinion would be slightly different if he were, say, a black woman, who experienced job discrimination based solely on the fact that she doesn’t fit the normal standard of beauty. He can be the one to tell women like that to just “suck it up.”

    • Miss Kate the import of this article is entirely lost on you

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry Miss Kate .I don’t know who you are but are you saying Black women aren’t beautiful ? I think you need an appointment with your optometrist !!!

    • uchenna101 says:

      What people don’t understand is that a lot of black girls — at least I did — grew up through the lens of beauty from television. These lens showed physical attributes that we don’t have genetically. Long flowing hair. We don’t have that; hello, kinky. Fair skin. Hello, light skin is better than dark skin syndrome in the black community. Aquiline noses. Hello, “flat” noses.

      The point is, a lot of us girls try to imitate white beauty as much as possible, some wearing weaves, acquiring aquiline noses through makeup or surgery, bleaching skin to look lighter.

      No one is saying black people are not beautiful. But we’ve grown up thinking the closer you look to a white woman, the more beautiful you are. It was not until lately that people started embracing natural hair again. Things are changing, but it’s still there, even in things such as the natural hair movement. You see the attempt to still get a mixed-look effect.

      Young girls have grown to see white women’s beauty as the beauty to compare themselves to. And it’s not just black women. Chinese, Koreans, go through this to. It’s a world tainted by a white man or woman’s lens through colonization, world power influence, and more.

      So I agree partially with your statement that the world is looked through the lens of European beauty standards. However, the point of the article is to show that even if the world doesn’t consider you beautiful, that shouldn’t negate that you have good qualities inside. Beauty is often used to mean two things — physical beauty and inner beauty. What we need is to find a different word for “inner beauty” so it isn’t often confused by physical beauty.

  212. Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone arguing based on their perception of beauty? Really, the article said it’s about the semantics. Get it? Search the word. The author clearly realizes that beautiful can mean all those otehr things and more. But he/she’s not blind to the fact that everyone has different perceptions regarding it. And that no matter how you may think the word beautiful means, or how beautiful is beautiful, or how everyone is beautiful or whatever, in the big picture it matters less because you don’t own the word. You don’t own it. The world does.

  213. Beauty is an opinion, as is worth, importance, or value. You are correct when it comes to your own, yet not if all things considered.
    I want to tell you something, whoever you are. I dont know if you recognize fact from fiction, or right from wrong, or your opinion from someone else’s.
    Even through your mediocre attempt to stomp out blanket compliments, I see your blanket compliment.

  214. Anonymous says:

    This is actually so true! Glad someone finally said it!

    To all of you saying it’s not, BULLSHIT.
    If a morbidly obese partner offered you sex, and a super model offered, you could choose both if you wanted… You’d only choose the model?

    Why?
    Well, it’s purely because the obese person isn’t beautiful and the model is

    • Rick Chen says:

      What’s wrong with that? By choosing the fatass, I would be tampering with my reputation among my male friends, my sexual joy, etc. Women who were born ugly need to take responsibility for their actions and hit the gym or get a hair stylist to OPTIMIZE (notice how that isn’t synonymous with “become a model”) their looks so they can be perceived in the best way possible.

  215. Mom says:

    I developed a visual impairment early in childhood, a kind of visual dyslexia almost, in which I couldn’t see people’s faces. It’s called Prosopognosia, and I had it until my son was in fourth grade. I remember the first faces I recognized were those of Obama and McCain on a poster. Slowly I started recognizing faces, and saw where noses and mouths were, where they hadn’t been before. I saw my son’s face, and I saw my own. Everyone, absolutely everyone to me, no matter what scars or “blemishes” they have is beautiful. And they will always be so. Your values are not mine, and please don’t assume they should be.

  216. Anonymous says:

    To be honest I really don’t agree to this article. When people actually get to know Each other they become more physically attracted to Each other and you’ll see the real beauty on the inside and outside. At least that’s the way it works for me.

    Physical beauty is Also just a standard which is forced upon us by the media. Only the people who have a Tiny waist with big boobs and asses seem to count. Well the majority of men and women just does not look like that and still have people who truly believe they are beautiful. I’m not saying that a slim body Isn’t good (I’m not fat either) but I Also don’t believe that someone who’s fat can’t be beautiful. Besides the standardization of beauty changes almost every decade and voloptuous women were considered beautiful back in the days.(I don’t know About men)

    The writer is talking About women only and considers a man’s beauty a result of his succes.. Well then can you explain to me why thousands or maybe even more women were drooling over that mug shot because the guy had blue eyes and a ‘handsome’ face.. He wasn’t succesful.. He ended up in jail..

  217. Anonymous says:

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Beautiful is all of those words you listed and more. Sure some people may not look *aesthetically pleasing* but that doesn’t mean that they themselves aren’t beautiful. As long as something about them “pleases the senses” then it’s beautiful.

    Also, I agree with the Michael. It’s all perspective I guess.

  218. Mike Mead says:

    I lost my leg 3 and a half years ago, and now I feel I’m not the same person nor will I find love again because of these stereotypes that you see in magazines TV and just everybody is programmed see this god bless you for posting this I could just wow I’m so amazed you came across this! I have been so worried about its not a disability it’s a blunt in the amputation that’s not bad I can work I can do a lot yep my confidence is still there but I question it a lot. Thank you sweetheart so much getting this out there god bless you and God bless everybody we’re all unique there is no such thing as normal! I would like someone to describe normal to me, what is normal? Its not possible. But feel free to try.

    • Les Godbold says:

      Mike, all my life I was attracted to long legged, big breasted women, wouldn’t settle for anything less. I wouldn’t make eye contact with people in wheelchairs ’cause it creeped my out. I fell in love and married a woman in a wheelchair (permanently), and we now have two beautiful children. Love is blind.

      • Carrie T says:

        This is, perhaps, the best reply I’ve seen! God bless you and I’m sure you’re happier than most the people commenting here. You didn’t deny your feelings for who you love. Yay! You’re the minority here! Thank you for this comment.

  219. We all have higher or lower levels of inner beauty and outer beauty. While inner beauty is more important, this article focuses on the outer beauty.

    Indeed, some physical features on people are more beautiful than others. While many features are more attractive than others, ALL features are beautiful.

    Any judgment that any feature on any person is inherently ugly, is a learned belief. Who told you that “tumors the size of a second head growing out of their ears. Some people have skin like the Michelin man. Some people lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents. People have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows” are ugly?

    Sure; warts, hair loss, and third nipples are less beautiful or attractive, but they still have a degree of beauty to me.

    To attain the priceless inner beauty we must deem every part of everyone’s body to be physically beautiful, while repudiating the world’s corrupted belief that wrinkled skin, tumors and pimples are ugly. All these beliefs are learned and can be unlearned.

    Why do I see the wrinkled skin on a lizard to be beautiful while the wrinkled skin on my 90 year old patient to be less beautiful? I am still learning.

    But I am not missing the point that some skin is more attractive than others. And some people are a bit more beautiful than others. Can we agree that the less beautiful people are still physically beautiful?

  220. Anonymous says:

    This is a very articulate and powerful essay. I agree with almost everything. There was just one point that I did not agree with. The thing is that companies only do things that sell… so they use sex. It goes beyond the companies themselves where as you seem to imply that corporations are the enemy. Sex will always sell — that’s just human nature. However, I don’t think “over-sexualization” is necessarily a bad thing. Humans have been celebrating sex for a long time, just look at some ancient Indian architecture (now that’s over-sexualization!). Moreover, sex is a natural part of being human As long as people are not being forced to do anything against their will, I do not think that “selling sex” is amoral.

  221. Anonymous says:

    “All beauty is purely opinion.”

  222. mem13 says:

    Reblogged this on mem13 and commented:
    Not what many want to hear, but worth hearing: we’re not beautiful.

  223. Anonymous says:

    Note that this post was written by a dude. Typical male thinking trying to pass their word on as law.

    • Banana Baker says:

      I’m not sure if your post was sarcastic, but I sincerely hope it was. Regardless, my comment still stands:

      The fact that this post was written by a “dude” should lend it MORE credence, not less.
      If the beautification and over-sexualization of our culture leads to the objectification of women simply for the viewing pleasure of men–in short, if our culture’s ideas of “beauty” mean that all women try to become sex symbols–which is what he asserts in his article (perhaps not explicitly, then implicitly he alludes to its prevalence within our society), then I would applaud this author for his honesty and his “atypical” male thinking. Kudos to him for straying from a worldview that would have easily ensured free visual pornography for him and all other men at every turn. Aplomb to him for breaking the mold, speaking boldly and succinctly, and encouraging men AND women everywhere to change our vocabulary, and with that, our system of values, appreciation, and humanity. He is a good man, and this was a good article.

    • Anonymous says:

      Note that this comment was written by a woman. Typical feminist judgemental bull because she can’t see past whether or not someone has a penis and consider if they might have a point regardless

      • Anonymous says:

        The irony here is you are criticizing and generalizing the “typical feminist” for unfairly judging a man’s article because he’s “just a dude.” Therefore, you are being just as unfair as she is in her judgment with yours. Please do not group all feminists together, there are a few who give a bad name to the rest of us.

  224. aynychee44 says:

    Reblogged this on snapshots and commented:
    This is monumentally important. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  225. Willi Jo Baron says:

    Thank you, for your truth. It was spot on!

  226. Rose says:

    Re blogging- Said well, very well.

    Sam on June 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm
    Yes, I agree that everyone is valuable, worth loving, important and so on but you have pin pointed the word beautiful as physical attraction just like society has.
    You need to understand that not everyone on this plant cares about the physical looks of people. When people use the word beautiful, it also means that they are talking about the personality of a person and your personality is what defines you as a person, not your looks or how much money you have or how many people your friends with.
    Society makes people think that your looks are everything, which is not right!
    And because of this 90% of the human race judges people on what they look like. You don’t understand what some people have gone through so why judge them on their physical appearance? Now that society has the wrong idea of what beauty is and to worried about the appearance of people they be cruel, rude and judgemental. It’s very disappointing how people rather judge someone on their appearance then getting to know someone for who they are.
    I believe everyone IS BEAUTIFUL in their own way because beauty ISN’T just about looks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you may have misunderstood this post. Beauty actually is just about looks- look it up.

      • Rose says:

        No, I understand this post perfectly, what “Sam” said is excatly right. So you believe everything you read?. Sad thing is “looking it up” Google gives you a definition of what they THINK how the word beauty should interpreted. I, myself have ask plenty of people of all kinds, even males and over half the people I have talked to say beauty is on the inside. And “Sam” was spot on when he/she said that beauty can be someone’s personality.
        At the end of the day everyone has their own opinions but to me my opinion I share with “Sam”

      • Mark says:

        What is missing from this discussion is any comment from a scientific perspective. There’s lot of morality (we shouldn’t judge people by their looks) and lots of anger, but not much acceptance of scientific fact. It’s pretty well established what we find beautiful in the opposite sex, and pretty well established about how that makes us behave. I would suggest Dr. Helen Fisher’s “Why Him? Why her?’ and Daniel Hamermesh’s “Beauty Pays.”

  227. Awesome writing Nathan and I thoroughly agree with you. I’ve had the same thoughts many times but never been able to express them this clearly.

    In response to the people who are saying that this reinforces normative standards of beauty, I’d say that you have a point but you’re also missing the point. I find it useful to think of beauty in two different ways. The first is “fashion-model beauty” aka normative beauty, the second is true beauty as in “when I look at you I feel an upwelling of joy inside.” I can feel this second sense of beauty when I see my ailing and elderly grandma or a person who has been maimed. Our cultural problem arises because we don’t have different words to describe these two very different levels of visual appreciation. When we elevate the word “beauty” in the way Nathan describes it tends to reinforce the first version of the word whereas when we use the terms “valuable, important, interesting” etc. it reinforces the second definition. This is a much better thing to do rather than going around telling girls that they’re all beautiful, even if it’s true it just undermines the deeper level of self esteem that they can develop when we appreciate those more intrinsic traits.

  228. B says:

    you’re a good writer

  229. Onetimepost says:

    But, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, could it not be that everyone is beautiful to someone else??? Even if it is just one other person on the planet? Sometimes i think people with buck teeth are cute…lol

  230. Patchouli Rose says:

    But…. Ive seen pretty girls with dudes I find ugly but they have so many good traits that theyve become attractive to those women. Even people with goiters attract mates. Shit, ever see the story of the siamese twin who both got married to different guys?? They still both found love because those dudes saw past their birth defects, liked them for who they were, and obviously had to find her somewhat pretty to give her the time of day given the circumstance. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. It really is, and someone is beautiful to someone. The point is that all those positive thingd about yourself = beauty. You missed the point and are letting stupid social standards or norms confuse you. I think this was a long, article that was a little too negative in an attempt to eventually get to a “positive” message, sorta.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being attracted to someone because of traits beyond the physical doesn’t make that person physically beautiful.

    • Onetimepost says:

      I posted after you but i agree with you 100%!! By simply implying that someone without a finger or leg is not beautiful, the author is unintentionally accepting the normative standards of beauty. Lets not forget where beauty standards are derived from in the first place…Am I right or what lol!!

  231. Sean says:

    Semantics. The ugly, ugly word that, funny enough, is important as f****ng hell.

    When one person says someone is beautiful and means their appearance and another says someone is beautiful and is taking about a more important beauty, guess what? It f****ng matters.

    Meaning f****ng matters. And, it matters a hell of a lot because improper communication leads to all sorts of dirty secrets, grudges, pains, and setbacks in life.

    And when I say everyone is beautiful it’s because, guess what?

    Everyone is f****ng beautiful. Beautifully unique, beautiful in appearance, and more! The person with Michelin man rolls? Beautiful. The woman who lost her leg? Beautiful. And, the f****ng scar, too.

    What is beautiful is subjective, sure. It takes one to become open to see beauty in order to see beauty and our perception of beauty is not carved in stone. It’s why the people we’re attracted to when we’re ten aren’t the people we are attracted to when we are fifty. It’s why we find certain styles attractive one decade and other styles attractive another. Our openness, experience, and wisdom shapes how we see beauty and guess what?

    At one time or another, everyone has been seen as beautiful by another human being. There is always someone in the world who will find beauty in another. Visually, emotionally, compassionately, etc.

    And I’m very comfortable calling of it beauty as we should. Beauty should not be associated with commercial, physical beauty.

  232. Eric says:

    You are valuable.

    You are important.

    You are interesting.

    You are worth loving.

    You also don’t know whether any of these are accurate. Best option – don’t generalize (you’re included).

  233. Anonymous says:

    And still everyone argues semantics? Pathetic. In the commercialized industry of the world, no, not everyone is beautiful. We’re not taking: “In the eye of the beholder”, when we’re talking: “Beauty”, someone being pretty, etc. That people actually line up and go “Oh, I accepted my body and now find it beautiful”, is an issue in and of itself. You had to work at convincing yourself you had beauty?

    The article deals DIRECTLY with the physical, and especially with the commercialism of the physical. Yet, of course, people will still nitpick about the intent. Do you see disfigured people in “beauty ads” to sell products? On Television Shows, Videos, Movies? No? Well, there you go sport. That was the intent of mentioning those things.

    Do you have emotional connections to: Beautiful porn stars, beautiful movie actresses, beautiful models, male or female? No? Well, there’s another check. These are ideals that sell products, but in reality? Nobody is ever truly ideal. Fact of the matter is: When you’re comparing commercials to “The real life” the average person lives, you’re going into a semantic area anyway. Something some people will CHOOSE to get annoyed at when it’s pulled out, when the wizard is revealed, as is done in the comments above. You burst the little bubble of a carefully constructed self-talk that a person has to remind themselves of constantly and they ignore the intent of the article, making it about their: “Personal experience”. Here’s the rub, especially online, where it’s total strangers reading it? Nobody cares about your: “Personal experience.” Outside of aesthetics, your value is based on what you do for people, and who you are with them, what you mean to them. Doesn’t mean much to a group of what is basically collected strangers.

    By all means, continue to try to argue: Semantics, and the intent by ignoring what the article actually said and/or nitpicking it. It doesn’t change the reality. As to the rest: even in the article, there is friendly PC things: Do you still have value? I don’t know. I don’t know: “You.”, it’s a softer sell of the same garbage, but it is well intentioned with nothing for sale in the process. Is the homeless man, the drug addict, the alcoholic, the abuser: Worth anything? That’s where we go when: “Everyone has value.” But much like “Commercialized beauty”/”Everyone is beauty”, it’s a softer sell to avoid the impact of more honest realities. Suppose, in that regard, we need our fictions. Which would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.

  234. This piece is absolute nonsense, and honestly the ableist crap about people who become maimed in accidents or have physical deformities made me gag. I’m gonna guess that the author has never had to overcome any socially-instilled body shame. Simply ignoring the effects of being told, “You are not beautiful,” is totally unreasonable. It has taken a lot of work for me to learn to love my body and I applaud every effort to get others to do the same, regardless of whether or not this author thinks it’s worthwhile.

    • Paige says:

      Honestly, why is being told “you’re not beautiful” so horrible? Beauty does not = value. I’m not beautiful and I really don’t need anyone telling me that I am because I honestly think it’s silly. I’m perfectly happy being average looking. I’d rather someone tell me that my art is beautiful rather than my face. If someone told me I wasn’t beautiful, I’d be like, “yeah, I know. That’s okay.” Same as if someone told me I was hopeless at math. Now, I’d be offended if someone told me I was ugly lol but that’s something else.

    • Anonymous says:

      So people being mentioned who have deformities or get maimed make you gag? Why is that? “Socially instilled body shame”, sounds like a self-accepted spelling out of what the author was actually saying anyway. There would be no need for: “Shame” without the idea that “You had to be physically beautiful”, would there? Otherwise, your counterarguments has zero substance, because it makes absolutely no sense. You can “Love your body”, all you wish, anyone can. This wasn’t about: “Not being comfortable in your skin.” It was actually about having “Value outside the physical”. To argue: “Everyone is equally physically attractive”, would change the commercial industry, but the art of self-shaming means we know, on an innate level, that’s just not true. The confusion therein in confusing “Physicality” with overall “Value of self.” Marking the “Self-shaming” individual as just as bad as anyone shaming them. Because, basically, you’re agreeing. But am I going to see someone who lost a nose in an accident and say: “Well, you look gorgeous!”, probably not. Are they going to show up on a commercial selling me beauty products? Probably not. So the author was merely pointing out those truths, and they remain true, as you said: “Whether you think it’s worthwhile or not.”

  235. Ian says:

    From Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: Beauty, noun, “1. the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit; 2. a beautiful person or thing; 3. a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality; 4. a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance.”

    Your article is about physical attractiveness, not beauty.

    >>”Everyone is not beautiful. Some people have tumors the size of a second head growing out of their ears. Some people have skin like the Michelin man. Some people lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents. People have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows”

    According to part 4 of Webster’s definition, these flaws could be considered beautiful as well.

    Bottom line, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we all knew that already. Each person has the right to make their own judgments of quality and value.

    • Ian says:

      Author, please actually look into the semantics before the next time you try to write an article about semantics.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have to reach all the way to the fourth definition, then the author is probably right.

    • pjwill02 says:

      Oxford English Dictionary: beauty
      Line breaks: beauty
      Pronunciation: /ˈbjuːti /
      NOUN (plural beauties)

      1 [MASS NOUN] A combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight:

      So I guess it just depends which dictionary you read 😉

  236. Charlotte says:

    Very nice, I gues because I have a lazy eye I am not beautiful. It’s a shame since the rest of the article was really quite good.

    • rei says:

      I had a crush on a girl who I didn’t even notice had lazy eye until I got over her. She’s still pretty, though.

  237. hissking says:

    I laughed, your pic was funny. It reminded me of my nephew, who also makes faces like that. They make me laugh too! Laughter, its what makes the most beautiful sounds come alive!

  238. Taylor Novak says:

    So who sets the guidelines as to what makes someone beautiful? – you? I didn’t realize you were omnipotent.
    No. Not at all. Beauty is interpretted in different ways by different people with different emotions and feelings. There is no singular definition, and the connotation a certain society or group adds to the term is completely irrelevant.
    Beauty itself is in finding desirable forms and patterns in chaos – and every individual person identifies these patterns differently. It is purely based upon such interpretations, and is NOT a title that somebody just HAS. Just because YOU don’t find someone “beautiful” doesn’t mean he or she isn’t (by any objective or universal means) because your opinion is not objective or universal!

  239. Emily jane says:

    I agree, our culture does focus too much on beauty and no not everyone is physically appealing to everyone else but I guess the saying that somebody out there thinks you are beautiful is probably true… because a lot of people start seeing beauty in things they understand….things they value.. A person maybe missing a leg and to some people that would make them more attractive because it shows strength. .. or someone may have a lot of scars on themselves and although mainstream people may think it’s unattractive someone who also has scarring would understand it and find beauty in it. End rant

  240. Anonymous says:

    Hm, wow, I like never read anything but that was a really good article I must say

  241. Renee P. says:

    I’m quite positive that when I describe a book or a song as beautiful, I don’t mean how it looks. I’m also sure that the standard of beauty does not, and has never, no matter how many times it has changed, account for the tastes and preferences of every human. So perhaps you should think about what you are trying to say by tightening the definition of the word. And frankly, I’ve seen beautiful people who are missing fingers and limbs. The fact that you see an amputee and cannot see anything but that, and class them as wholly unattractive based on that, proves that you are not qualified to comment on someone’s beauty or lack there of.

  242. Anonymous says:

    An important thing to remember is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It isn’t a fact of whether or not you can run a 4 minute mile or play 10 different instruments. Those are things you either can or can not do. How attractive you are depends on every other person’s point of view. So, almost everyone is beautiful in terms of physical appearance. To someone. Maybe not yourself. But someone.

  243. Carrie T says:

    Has anyone seen the movie “Shallow Hal” it’s a very good movie even though corny, the message couldn’t be any better. America has always been like this. One individual may have trouble changing the way America looks at beauty, but If we, as individuals, take on this message and instill it to our children and then their children and so on we may have hope. I think it’s safe to say we all like to see someone attractive, we shouldn’t lie to ourselves. But if that isn’t backed up by a loving spirit and true self worth how beautiful is that person? Have you ever met someone beautiful and found out who they are and became disgusted with them? Even though they’re beautiful on the outside what happens to your opinion of them? It changes, it becomes diluted and disturbing. But some people I know, who aren’t “beautiful” who have hearts of gold, I could stare at them all day long mesmerized by how they treat others. Something to think about.

  244. elemonated says:

    Reblogged this on Pomelo girl thoughts and commented:
    You know, I used to buy into the whole “everyone is beautiful” thing, but I can’t help thinking perhaps I did it because it was easier to explain and keep everyone happy than saying “so what?”

  245. How many people have you met that were less than pleasing to the eye, but the more you get to know them , the more beautiful theyt look. It’s pretty amazing.

  246. Pingback: Poor Little Pagan Pretty Girl | Animoria Astrum

  247. Reblogged this on the dawdles of a people pleaser and commented:
    This is true. And I love how it’s written. A really good thought.

  248. Reblogged this on Linda Edwards Scribbles and commented:
    This. All of this. I will say, however, that the folks with “a face only a mother could love,” probably do have someone who finds them beautiful, even if it’s just when they smile or from a certain angle or when the light’s just right and the snort in the midst of a giggle fit. I don’t think that just because one aspect of a person is subjectively comparatively “less” than that same aspect of others, that it makes it bad or “ugly”. It simply isn’t something that widely appeals. Maybe it’s just because I’ve rarely met someone I didn’t find pleasantly interesting to look at for some reason or another. It’s probably weird, but I’m okay with that.

  249. Joseph York says:

    I’m only 16years old and I can see there are a lot of great points here, but I’m not too sure if I agree with all of it. I have a deeper thought on a lot of subjects, including this one. I believe that “inner beauty” AND “outer beauty” together truly makes one beautiful. If someone has attractive on the outside but has a horrible personality or something, then I personally don’t consider them beautiful. I have indifference for that person when it comes to whether or not they are “beautiful”. God made us how we are and we should just embrace that and who we are. We are all beautiful in His eyes. Makeup and other cosmetics can make a person lose their attraction, or else that is what I believe. I realize everyone is going to have their own opinion on the matter, but I just felt like if you really wanted to get a deeper understanding on beauty then you should think about beauty as an entirety.

  250. juicebagel says:

    Why is beauty only a physical trait? I’ve heard a few quotes that say something like, “Many times a person’s physical appearance becomes less apparent once someone falls in love with them.” I definitely think that’s true; when you fall in love with someone, your idea of them and how you see them melds together to create someone who you find beautiful in there own way. I agree with your points on some level, but I think they’re overly pessimistic and not necessarily true. Beauty is more complex than someone’s perfections and imperfections. Just my thoughts on a though provoking article.

  251. Andy Lau says:

    It might be that young people associate beauty with physical appearance and cultural norms. I think as I get older, I realize how much more there is to beauty. So the same word can have different meanings and that might be what bugs this writer. Some people are not beautiful however.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Beauty, to me, is truly skin-deep. Outward appearance means nothing if you have an ugly personality.

  252. Anonymous says:

    Wow, uh, no. Fuck this article.
    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I know, people say that a lot, but do you ever really think about it? It’s true. (And I think I just noticed some others mentioned this in the comments? Good on them.)
    In the media, “beauty” is used to make a profit. Women can only have about one body type (clear skin, big boobs, perfect teeth, tiny waist, no body hair, etc.), and if you don’t have that body, then companies release lines of products so that you can try to get it yourself. Woman who aren’t a size 3 are told to look into weight loss, ‘cuz companies can profit off of that. Don’t have clear skin? We’ve got products for that. They’re called “beauty” products, as if using them can, y’know, allow you to be “beautiful” just like the girls in the media. There are beauty pageants, which rank beauty. The media makes us think that there’s a standard for beauty, and if you don’t meet it, then you aren’t beautiful. They make us think that some are more beautiful than others. That’s what this guy is saying. Not everyone is beautiful because not everyone meets the standard of beauty the media gives us. But the real definition of “beautiful” is a whole lot different than the media’s definition.
    Beauty is a matter of interpretation. That’s where the quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” comes in. That’s why “everyone is beautiful”. It just means that everyone has the capability of being perceived as “beautiful”. If you tell yourself you’re beautiful, and really believe it, then guess what? You’re beautiful. It doesn’t matter if you have “warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows”. We’re told that those are imperfections; that those things keep us from being beautiful. But because beauty is determined by the individual, it’s really quite silly to buy into the media’s form of beauty. Instead of hating yourself for your imperfections, you can realize that those “imperfections” aren’t actually not beautiful (excuse the double negative). For example, every woman has uneven breasts. Nature is incapable of making them symmetrical. It’s more noticeable on some than others. Women in the media tend to have breasts where this “imperfection” is less noticeable, or they get surgeries to hide it entirely. This makes woman think that they’re freaks if their boobs are uneven. They think they’re ugly. Some people might think so, too. But just like “beautiful”, “ugly” is an interpretation. It’s an opinion. And you can change opinions. You can do that by changing yourself, like the media urges you to (‘cuz they can profit off of that), or you can do that by looking at it all in a different light. Perfection isn’t real. There’s no standard for beauty unless you set one for yourself. And if you can find a way to just not do that, then your life gets a whole lot easier. People say things like “everyone is beautiful” to remind those struggling to come to terms with it that they, too, are capable of being perceived as beautiful. And once you get past all that, you can also realize that no one else’s opinion matters but your own. You can’t change the way other people think. You can try, but there’s no guarantee you’ll ever be successful. Why waste time and money trying to convince others you’re beautiful, when you can just love yourself and not let anyone else get in the way of that?
    TL;DR: In a way, the author is right. Not everyone is beautiful, if your interpretation of beauty matches up with the media’s. Not everyone looks like people in the media. But that’s not what beauty is. Only you can decide what beauty is to you. And, don’t get me wrong, people in the media are beautiful, just like everyone else. They have the capability of being perceived as beautiful. You have the capability of being perceived as beautiful. And sometimes, yes, “beautiful” loses its meaning over time when people use it too much. But you don’t have to let that happen. It’s all up to you. “Beautiful” is all up to you.
    Look, I’m sorry if I repeated some stuff some other people said in the comments, I honestly didn’t have the time to look through them all. But I did read that article. And I’m disgusted that so many people agree with this douchebag. I don’t think this person is beautiful. I think they’re a very ugly person. They have the capability of being beautiful to someone else, but not to me. And they can’t change that. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    • Jennifer says:

      I am in love with this response. Thank you for not buying into the media’s obscene notion that only people who fit a particular mould are beautiful and that the majority of humanity is too hideous to behold…unless we buy their products that is.

  253. Reblogged this on daroomiesroom and commented:
    Definitely a good read. Everyone has worth and importance, and those are good things to remind ourselves… but being attractive is not the be-all and end-all of existence, and considering it so important to tell everyone they are “beautiful” simply reinforces the societal idea that it IS.

    As always, thanks for reading!
    -George

  254. Lisa Fox says:

    Reblogged this on Lisa Fox Romance and commented:
    An interesting post worthy of more attention.

  255. NHNetzin says:

    I was with you until you started repeating the same fallacy in different areas.

    Not everyone is valuable.
    Not everyone is important.
    Not everyone is interesting.
    Not everyone is worth loving.

    Those benchmarks are just as trite and hurtful as “beauty.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure. All these benchmarks are culture-dependent and are commodities. Now Brad Pitt.. there’s an important person, so important that he’s got the Paparazzi following him around.
      How about the arrogant narcissist who shoots up the ladder yet he abuses his partner and coworkers, well, he demands attention, he feels very important, valuable, and well, interesting.
      The perhaps shy, introverted guy or girl down in row 3, you know, maybe the one who has less energy than other people, has health issues, or a learning disorder, who knows.. they don’t feel valuable, important, interesting or worth loving. That’s something that ‘other people’ feel.

  256. As a trans woman I get it often, people have know IDEAL how wonderful I am in every way I can be. People see what they want to see.

  257. Emma says:

    While I acknowledge that society often determines women’s value by their physical attraction and support the fight against this problematic norm, I have a huge problem with combatting this issue by saying not everyone is beautiful. That idea simply reaffirms the idea that there is one mold or definition of beauty, which is extremely problematic in itself, not to mention incorrect. The word beautiful actually does mean much more than physical attraction to most people – let’s not underestimate ourselves too much – and saying that everyone is beautiful in diverse ways is a wonderful and TRUE idea. Let’s focus on expanding our notions of what is beautiful, and as you say, praising people for other qualities such as intelligence, compassion, independence, etc., rather than settling for the “this world is ugly anyway” copout.

    • I totally agree! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and backed up by judgement. See with your heart and intellect and see so much more.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes. Beautiful means “appealing to the senses” as well as meaning merely “appealing to the eyes”. I also take exception to the idea that there is a definition of what is or isn’t inherently beautiful with regards to a person and her or his physical appearance. Obviously I’m not arguing that everyone looks like the current North American ideal as proliferated in media, but that is not the definition of beautiful!! I am not a 22 year old tall buxom blond in a size 2 dress. I am a 43 year old short buxom brunette in a size 14 dress. I certainly don’t look like a model….so what?! Not conforming to society’s current (they will always change!) expectations is not the same thing as not being beautiful. We are so immersed in this culture we don’t even realize that the criteria by which society measures beauty are arbitrary. I agree that we should focus far far less on physical appearance and more on describing the qualities that people choose for themselves – well-read, kind, open-minded, creative, caring etc.

      • AR says:

        Sigh. Society decides what beautiful is, and it’s not some corporate conspiracy. The majority of people like a certain look, therefore that look is beautiful. To argue otherwise is futile and unnecessary. As the author was saying, when we say everyone is beautiful we can’t possibly mean physically beautiful in terms of the standards set by our society. I am a shorter than average male with a pretty good face structure and quite a bit of body hair. As such, parts of my body fit the mold of beautiful and others do not. I won’t whine about it or blame anyone, but will be happy with myself (or if I wasn’t I would resort to surgery). That is the only true path to self worth, which will in turn show your worth to others. I embrace my insecurities. To project outwards to society and corporations is borderline childish.
        Yes our standards are arbitrary, but that’s the same with any societal norms. There would be no reason to break them down if everyone would simply grow up.
        Also any standards regarding the “qualities that people choose for themselves” would be arbitrary as well. Is well read having read 100 books or a 1000? Many people are not very creative, is that suddenly a bad quality? You find people based on what you like, and physically, a lot of people like a certain look. Boom. Done.
        Be yourself, like yourself (whether that is by staying the way you are or changing), and find others that like you, and you’ve won at life. If no one likes you I suggest changing.

  258. Anonymous says:

    Why do none of these women have any scars or stretch marks of any sort.

  259. While filming the movie “Tootsie,” Dustin Hoffman asked the make-up department if that was the best they could do. When they said it was, he cried. In an interview later, he said he thought about all of the “interesting” women who say alone at parties because of their looks. Since hearing that , I’ve always desired to be interesting over attractive. Great post.

    • rambert says:

      I remember that interview. He was brutally honest, admitting that he had passed up getting to know so many women simply based on their looks, and that he realized how wrong he’d been when he saw himself as a conventionally “unattractive” woman. Now, if only everyone else could realize this… it’s seen with women’s attitudes towards men, too– we want a rugged, “manly” man but we don’t want one who’s too fat or balding or who has rosacea or bad teeth. What we need to do is stop judging each other on our temporary, fleeting looks and love each other based on the souls that we are. Feminism isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone– we fight against the notion that males or females must confine themselves to certain gender markers or standards of acceptable appearances to be loved and fulfilled in life.

  260. Anonymous says:

    Well, supposing I wanted to talk about how the word beauty has become usurped by capitalist production to SELL things, and how its an attribute that is valued above all else. I would not start off my article with a bulletin list of things that I find ‘not physically appealing to look at’ and then wonder why the readership, which probably includes people dealing with all those conditions, ‘misses the point’. It’s also inconsistent–‘unattractiveness’ presupposes a standard of ‘beauty’. Why the comparison to athleticism, is it an objective standard or is it not?
    I don’t wander out into public and tell anyone with a blemish or a missing finger they are ugly or ‘not physically appealing to look at’ not just because it’s insensitive, but because it’s simply not true. Likewise I would not tell everyone they are beautiful, because it is often degrading and patronizing behavior that reinforces the objectification of women’s bodies. None of this has to do with my belief that certain standards of beauty are objective (like good authorship?). I think there’s better ways of making that ‘point’.
    Just saying. Otherwise, good points.

    • Jennifer says:

      Fantastic reply!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Just as an example, that bulletin list also mentions a unibow as something inherently unattractive. Frida Kahlo rocked a unibrow. She was a feminist and not that it matters, but she was considered desireable by many men and women. She did not attract the attention of these people “despite having a unibrow”. The unibrow was simply part of what made her beautiful in the eyes of others.

  261. Anonymous says:

    Yes, as some have intimated, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, like another respondent here, also don’t find Brad Pitt to be beautiful. I also really and truly don’t see the “beauty” in Tom Cruise or George Clooney. In fact, I find each one to be rather unappealing. I never did get how Julia Roberts made it to the ranks of Hollywood “beauties” either. Yes, the media sells us many of our ideas on beauty, but the eyes revel in what the heart yearns for. I was known in high school for elevating the social status of many “ordinaries”, because I valued many things that other’s missed; and girls being as girls often are, wanted what someone else had. Especially insecure girls that don’t trust their own instincts and have to be led. Beyond features, there are facial expressions that show humor, strength, intelligence, self confidence, even vulnerability, and the way someone moves can be the difference between hot and not. You don’t have to be an athlete to move well. Your gait speaks volumes. Finally, to sum it up, different attributes attract different people, and while I don’t believe that everyone is beautiful to me, I do believe, that in most cases, everyone is beautiful to someone, if only his or her mother. Therefore, everyone is beautiful (in their own way).

  262. Sami says:

    Amazing how people managed in miss-understand what is a very simple and clear message here.

    To put it in a way others might get it quicker, what would you think if a advertisement said “It’s okay if you’re not white, everyone is white in some vague way”

    The message given out with this slogan is that beauty -as is commonly interpreted- is paramount so much so that if you’re not beautiful you can at least tell yourself that you are.

    Or worse, “We can make you white with our product”, which by the way is actually happening in other parts of the world, where girls make their skin white to appear like the women in western media.

    I think you have a good point with the inequality here too when it comes to the sexes. Since Men tend to value themselves based on their “success”, whatever that is.

    Ever since I had my young daughter I’ve become more acutely aware of this hideous aspect of our society. In short, it’s disgusting and demeaning to somehow insinuate that a woman, beloved by family & friends, is to feel good about herself based on how pleasing she appears to men.

    It is equally wrong for attractive people to think they are somehow than the rest of people around them.

  263. Pingback: 【羅賽爾伯爵】我們都不美麗,也沒有必要美麗 | FLiPER 潮流藝文誌

  264. mariewords says:

    Reblogged this on marietales and commented:
    Semantics. Agreed.

  265. Jennifer says:

    I agree with you that our society places far too high a value on a narrow description of physical attractiveness and sexiness, especially when it comes to women. It is not a woman’s job to be “beautiful” or “sexy”. I’m guessing we see eye-to-eye on this issue.
    I disagree, however, with your opinion of the word “beautiful”. When someone says that was a beautiful poem or a beautiful piece of music, I don’t assume they meant to say it was pleasant to view. The word beautiful is often used to describe physical qualities, but it is also used in a broader sense to describe something which is appealing to the senses. Words can have gradations of meaning and different connotations. Some people may make an automatic association between “beautiful” and “physically appealing”, and there’s nothing wrong at all wrong with seeing it that way, but not everyone does.

    By using the word beautiful solely to describe physical appearance, one is declaring that what is aesthetically pleasing is entirely objective. It’s not. Different societies, different cultures, different, eras and different individuals have widely varying ideas as to what constitutes “pleasing to look at in an aesthetic sense.” Sure there is a biological element to it, but that is only a part of a whole. If we were still worked entirely by biological instinct we would only look for partners that are very young, symmetrical and, in the case of men, broad-shouldered and physically strong and in the case of women, broad-hipped and robust. The Western media’s images of “beautiful” women in the latter half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries focus more on women who look passive and ultra-thin. Personally, I don’t find that at all appealing physically. Beauty is not something as easily quantifiable as descriptors such as “strong”, “fast”, “tall”. For example, a lot of people would consider super-hard six-pack abs on men “beautiful”. I would heartily disagree! Your description of beauty certainly doesn’t include everyone, but that is because it is a limited description thrust upon us by where and when we live. I am an artist by trade and I find faces gorgeous to look at. Some faces appeal to me more than others, but those faces needn’t conform to society’s idea of beautiful. I’m sure Brad Pitt is a charming man, but I don’t find him beautiful. I understand what other people see, I just don’t see it. I would take John Oliver, Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert over all the male models and “hunky” actors I see. I think they are all beautiful and sexy and I know a lot of people agree with me. Yet John wears glasses, Jon is short and Stephen has one ear different from the other…I don’t find any of these attributes unappealing to look at, quite the contrary!

    If you don’t consider everyone “beautiful”, please explain how you do find everyone to be “interesting”? I have not found that to be the case. Like beauty, what is considered interesting is subjective.

    • Jennifer says:

      Rats. I guess I should have reread this before posting. Please ignore the occasional word or comma out of place.

      • Carolyn in OC says:

        Only the comma or spelling police would have found fault. Most of us would just read right over it. Your reply had a ‘beautiful’ perspective. 🙂

    • Sami says:

      I think you missed the point as well. Not to be rude. It’s not about how this article uses the word beautiful, but how beautiful is understood by people in the context of these advertisements and slogans. Everyone understands beauty to have many shades of meaning depending on what it’s applied to but it’s primary meaning when applied to a woman is physical beauty and everybody also understands that also.

      • Jennifer says:

        I read the article twice already, but I just read it a third time. I’m not saying I’m right in my opinion; I was just offering up my perspective. I’m usually first in line to call out misogynist bullshit and I know the insidious power language has to undermine or control whole segments of society. Honestly considering this was forwarded to me by four of my very feminist friends, I was surprised I didn’t whole-heartedly agree. I do take note of, for example, the fact that in children’s storybooks the heroine is most commonly introduced as “beautiful” as in once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess…I most certainly object to young girls being introduced to the idea that somehow physical beauty is the prime indicator of a woman’s worth. If you asked people for examples of “something you might describe as beautiful?”, perhaps the majority would respond “a woman”. That may well be the case and if so, I agree it would be very telling. I’ve never thought of the phrase “everyone is beautiful” as directed predominantly or solely at women. I may be in the minority on this. Perhaps I’ve missed it (I’m being serious here, not sarcastic), but why are we focussing on the word “beautiful” rather than “gorgeous” or “pretty”? Should I infer that all these words are damaging? I’m offended by ads that tell me to “protect my skin” or “guard against dry hair” or “fight aging” – my body is not a battleground hell bent on eternal youth and absolute flawlessness. I am outraged by the fact that women, much more than men, are deemed of worth based on physical appearance, sexual desirability and virginity. I also find it loathsome that society has such a limited imagination when describing what’s beautiful. My disconnect is with the word “beautiful” itself. I think perhaps my definition is at odds with many here. I’m always open-minded to facts, if anyone feels like illuminating further.

  266. Reblogged this on Confessions of a 20 Something Klutz and commented:
    “You are valuable.”

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  268. phrogmom says:

    Reblogged this on Phrogmom's Weblog and commented:
    I read this today and it really resonated with me. But I have been harping on this for years. This was just too eloquently put not to share.

  269. Mark says:

    Life is unfair and natural advantages like beauty and strength and intelligence are handed out unevenly. Sight is the strongest of the senses and overwhelms the others.

  270. Olivia says:

    You are an amazing writer, whether you know it or not!! 🙂

  271. Laurie Free says:

    YOU ARE A GREAT WRITER.
    freaking awesome blog. Girl I hear you loud and clear. I just spent , no wasted, 15 good minutes looking at fitness people in all their glory feeling guilty bc i didn’t cut the mustard in that industry. your article helped me get outta my damm head.

  272. theylos says:

    I would disagree in that to me beautiful means inner beauty just as much as physical attractiveness, in fact the latter is subjectively formed and influenced by the former.

    If someone is beautiful, they exude some kind of inner beauty, as if they are a kind, gentle, smart, and good person, aware of others and themselves, or innocent in some way.

    Someone who is physically very attractive can be very ugly if that’s the person they act as in life or somehow convey those qualities. I think we can give people more credit for having a broader range of the meaning for the word beautiful, and yes, we do own the word. Words change by usage. Use it in such a way and it will become to mean only that. It’s completely in our hands.

  273. Ginger says:

    Actually…I think everyone is beautiful in their own way. The guy with a bunch of chins, his eyes look gorgeous, he was just trying to be funny. I agree- the media pretty much only shows cookie cutter beauty. But if you look a little closer, instead of seeing ugliness, you’ll see something pleasing to the eye.

  274. Will says:

    Excellent overall. I will take 3 caption at the idea that beauty was created by cprporations. As long as we’ve been telling stories we have had descriptions of the beauty of men and women and how that Beauty has motivated their fellows. (Never heard of Helen of Troy?) What the modern economy has done is found a way to hyper commodify natural phenomenon. As cheezwhiz capitalizes upon the natural phenomenon of hunger all kinds of creative efforts set out to capitalize on our propensity be attracted to (want to mate with) beautiful people. And we all know that science has qualified those qualities that most convey beauty (symmetry, good skin, clear eyes, etc).

  275. Nicole says:

    As a very blessed mama to a BEAUTIFUL girl born with a cleft lip & palate, I beg to differ with you completely. She is, indeed, beautiful on the inside and out.

  276. Anonymous says:

    Well it depends on your definition of the word beautiful. Yes, of course not everyone fits society’s set rules of physically attractiveness. But I don’t think real beauty was meant to be degraded to such a superficial and shallow term anyways. Think about this: when a baby is born, it’s a beautiful thing. Bringing someone into the world is very beautiful but in a physical way it’s not. Blood everywhere, people screaming and all sweaty. True agape love is a beautiful thing, where someone puts someone else’s needs before their own. Real, deep things of the heart make people beautiful, you know? So I don’t know if you could automatically classify all beauty as an “ugly word” because that would degrade the aspects of people’s hearts that are genuinely beautiful.
    -coming from an experienced poet and artist who has been studying real, deep beauty of life for years

  277. Dani says:

    This was great! Thank you for shedding light on “beautiful” and what it really means. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

    Blessings,
    Dani

  278. Woody says:

    Well, Mr or Mrs Anonymous Blog Author, I will take to heart your sentiments about valuing ourselves and other people but quite frankly you can keep your opinions on the use of the word beauty. I will own this word if I so choose and so can anyone.

    I know many beautiful people. Beauty is subjective and I like to think that most people actually realise this.

  279. Anonymous says:

    I was a little confused because I don’t use a lot of blanket statements, so if I want to say someone has a great quality, I say that they have a great quality. But I don’t think that having a missing limb or a third nipple automatically makes someone not beautiful. Instead of just talking about the problem with the blanket statement of beauty, the author caused a problem by talking more about how people aren’t beautiful…it distracted from their main point.

  280. i ve never wasted my time reading so many trash like this…. come on, read a book men… nature its beautyful itself, theres no human needed on nature to puke such an opinion about what you dont understand… nature its has been here before and it will be after US…. beauty its relative my friend.. the more you have it inside the more easy you see it outside…

    light for your mind i hope you reach out….

  281. kris says:

    It’s about time! The “everyone is beautiful” thing drives me nuts! I’m not beautiful. I’m compassionate and kind. I’m intelligent and creative. I’m a loving wife and mother. I’m confident, and accept myself the way I am. I have many wonderful qualities. Beauty isn’t one of them. (It wouldn’t be fair to everyone else if someone as great as I am were beautiful too)
    when, as a woman, you say you’re not beautiful, everyone assumes you have low self esteem. I don’t. My self esteem is fine. I think I’m great, and people should get to know me. But I’m realistic. Don’t lie to me and tell me I’m something I’m not. My body is strong, healthy, and capable. I’m very blessed. But it is not beautiful, and this is not a bad thing. The way I look is the least important thing about me.

  282. joshandlacy says:

    I thought your article was great. The word beautiful seems to be a blanket term, and I think that’s why it’s easy for some to jump the gun and maybe not read the entire article, especially the ending “You are valuable, interesting, worth loving.” It reminds me of how many parents like the idea of giving out trophies to every child, but that’s not how life works. There’s always going to be someone that excels in athletics, is more physically attractive, maybe smarter….we all have different talents and abilities, characteristics, personalities, and stories… and that’s what makes us each unique and interesting.

  283. Anonymous says:

    This article is an attempt to remove any positive connotation from the word Beautiful by highlighting the commercial use of beauty as synonymous with Sexy. This is a dumb idea.

    Yes, sex sells. But the word beautiful has not lost value and become an ugly word because other people are mostly using it to describe sexy. Sexy is beautiful. But to say beautiful only means sexy is dumb. Don’t allow the word to be pigeonholed and then discard it because you can’t get over the corporate success. Physical attraction is natural. Emotional attraction is natural. Don’t shame people for finding someone attractive or unattractive. And don’t tell me that not everyone is beautiful. You just disregard so much of what that word truly means.

  284. anonymous says:

    Your writing isn’t beautiful, neither is your compassion for others. This piece doesn’t help others to feel good about themselves, only worse. Thanks for pointing out that those with a lazy eye are not only different, but not beautiful as well. I have a lazy eye. I know I’m different. I know I’m not beautiful. I contend with these feelings on a daily basis. Thanks for pointing out this difference for everyone else to notice. You should be ashamed. It must be nice to be perfect.

  285. Mark says:

    Well THAT was lovely 😛

    Every year I go to events. Sci-fi cons, ren-faires, etc. A group of people who often in their daily lives are a bit on the trollish side. The beauty is still there, just… subdued.

    We get together, we dress up, we do what we need, we aren’t beautiful. We are beautiful, fabulous, magical creatures. Beauty isn’t a snapshot. It’s a whole complete way of being. It’s how one carries oneself. It’s how one presents oneself.

    You don’t want beauty for yourself, your choice. No matter what our given physical forms, we WILL find beauty for ourselves. And as someone who helps with burlesque shows at these events, lemme tell ya, some of us are AMAZING at it.

  286. Watren blackhawk says:

    I assume you meant Whomever, not whoever. But what a beautiful piece if work.

  287. Adam Michels says:

    Your last comment shows that you did not understand the article.

  288. Anonymous says:

    How does a missing limb, a lazy eye, or a third nipple keep someone from being beautiful? The problem is this rigid box that people fit beautiful into based on what’s portrayed in society. I think people are confusing “perfect” with “beautiful.” This article is addressing a symptom, and the author is trying to fix the symptom using their stereotyped worldview, and not trying to actually fix the problem, which is the idea that having all of one’s limbs and nipples is what makes them physically beautiful.

    • Anonymous says:

      That said, people should take care of their bodies: shower, comb their hair, and strive for a high quality of life by making sure their body is functioning at it’s best (i.e. healthy, balanced, diet with good amount of activity

  289. Jane Doe says:

    And when I was going through chemo I lost my hair- why was I going through chemo? Because I had a tumor on my face. Your opening is absolutely terrible. I highly recommend you find a new way to look at people who may look different than normal. People who look different than normal know that they have their features- they don’t need people like you saying they are not nice to look at. Most of those people are warriors in their own way if they have different physical features. I understand the point- you are trying to have people see other things than physical features- there is beauty in valuing people for who they are, their importance, etc. You can emphasize all of those wonderful things without putting people who have hair loss, cleft palates, tumors, amputees, etc down in the dumps. They are BEAUTIFUL.

    • Anonymous says:

      “….I want to tell you something, whoever you are. I don’t know if you’re beautiful, funny, smart, friendly, musical, caring, diligent, athletic, or anything else about you. All I know is this:

      You are valuable.

      You are important.

      You are interesting.

      You are worth loving.

      So forget about “beautiful”. It’s become an ugly word anyway.”

      Read her whole article.

      • ivysaurr says:

        Who is the author to tell these people they’re not beautiful? I understand where the author is coming from with their last bit, but they’re essentially saying “You’re ugly, but don’t worry about it”. That’s just judgmental and rude. They should have kept their ideas of what isn’t beautiful out of this article if they really wanted to inspire something positive.

  290. Jtrish says:

    I get the point of the article. However if you think that having a cleft is one of the things that makes a person physically unappealing then you need to take a long hard look at the world. Maybe realize that the reason why some people can’t be beautiful is because you have told them they can’t. I will not be told that my scar is a flaw.

    • Zach says:

      The point isn’t that your scar prevents you from being beautiful or that it is a flaw. The point is that your scar is irrelevant to your worth as a person. It has no bearing on the value that is placed on human beings.

      It simply doesn’t factor in at all. You wouldn’t consider a cleft having any influence over how smart you are. THAT’S the point.

    • Anon says:

      My guess is that the author wasn’t saying that having a cleft makes you automatically unappealing. Same with loss of a finger, leg, etc. I have met some hot sexy people with physical deformities. You might well be one of them. And if you are, then okay. I don’t think that’s the point of this article though.

  291. Anonymous says:

    Why do I see people making comments in how a man probably wrote this, portrayed in a negative light? If indeed this was written by a man then consider that a good thing. A man writing an article on how other traits are more important than that of beauty, is a step forward in the battle of equality. And the “we don’t need a man to speak for us” attitude is the reason many view the feminist movement as a push for preference over equality.

  292. Pam says:

    Your photo is NOT diverse! Skin tones are different, body styles are different but EVERY ONE of your models is YOUNG, PROPORTIONED, and on two feet. This is NOT representative of the real world, no matter what you say.

  293. Anonymous says:

    I hate the campaigns that try to tell people that they are physically beautiful when they are not. While they may be great people, they are not physically attractive – in fact, they aren’t healthy. I don’t want to tell someone who is morbidly obese that it is ok that they are that way – that they are beautiful – because they are probably slowly killing themselves (or not so slowly) and it is simply not something I want to promote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Adding: I say we promote health, not beauty.

      • And what about those for whom health is unattainable?

      • Anna says:

        In which case, define health? If health means doing your best to take care of your body by keeping reasonably active (depending on your physical ability) and eating healthy, then health is absolutely attainable for anyone (short of being a quadriplegic). I agree that it should be promoted. Taking care of yourself may not make you look like a supermodel (it definitely doesn’t for me), but it says something about what you value. I value taking care of the body I have, regardless of what it looks like, because my body is so much more valuable than whatever society says about it. If we value our bodies enough to take care of them, regardless of whether society considers them “beautiful” or not, that’s when we can really start to say that beauty is more than skin deep because everyone is valuable enough to be cared for–especially ourselves.

  294. BenG says:

    I think “beauty” involves emotion. You can say “you are beautiful” emotively and not logically. Perhaps it is because I am a male I can separate logic and emotion (the logic and emotion centers of male brains has far fewer connections than in a woman’s brain). Men typically operate in logic OR emotion, but seldom can we do both simultaneously (doing both is overload). Conversely most women do both simultaneously and can’t seem to separate the two. If I operate from pure emotion – for example, I love my wife with all of my heart – I can see her as the most beautiful woman in the world – logically, I understand this isn’t true, but if I ignore logic and operate under pure emotion, I feel that way sometimes. And so I can tell her that she is the most beautiful woman in the whole world, and it reassures her of my love for her.

  295. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it. This article implies that there is something wrong with everyone thinking they are beautiful. If everyone can accept that every single person on this earth is beautiful, then the “wider, deeper and more important” meaning of the word will take hold. The article says, “…we don’t own the word. The world owns the word…” But who owns the world? Do we not? Do we not affect the world we are living in? It is exactly an article like this that fuels the idea that beauty is merely physically.
    After looking at a few definitions of the word beautiful:
    “1. having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
    2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
    3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.”
    I simply must disagree. Everyone is beautiful.

  296. Viktor Emerita says:

    Beauty should not be confused with kindness, generosity, etc. Kindness and such are considered beautiful (eidetically), but they are not synonyms.

  297. Steve says:

    I agree that we should find a different word to use for inner beauty….when you use the same word for the two concepts, invariably they will become conflated and there will be some overlap. The person who strives for inner beauty but lacks external beauty will still feel the sting of the meaning of the word that he can’t fulfill. Why so much pushback on valuable?

    I disagree that everyone is interesting, however….though I think that’s easier to change than beauty.

  298. Anonymous says:

    “But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and nothing more.”

    That statement lacks any basis in factual reality….

  299. Anonymous says:

    You are not beautiful. But I don’t care.

  300. Lenora says:

    You are also one of those who use word “beautiful” to describe how somebody looks. In my world people are beautiful no matter how they look. Not always. But everybody CAN be beautiful! The beauty comes from inside, no matter how cliche it sounds, and I meet really beautiful people everywhere of all sizes, color, theeth-condition and handicap. I have also met people who look beautiful, but were ugly as hell. So just because you have the impression that beautiful being used just to describe physical appearances, it does not mean that it is so everythere and for everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel like you very much missed the point of this article.

    • You missed the point of the article. While some may use the word beautiful to say that someone is a good person, no matter their physical appearance, that is not how society uses the word ‘beautiful’.

    • Mela says:

      Unfortunately my mother subscribed to that view too. When I said or did something wrong, she’d inevitably say, “Don’t be ugly.” That meant ugly is bad, and pretty is good. We have words for character traits, and we need to use them when we’re referring to character traits. We need to stop using the words “beautiful” and “ugly” when we mean “good” and “bad.”

    • Anonymous says:

      You missed the point of this article.

  301. Going to have to disagree on three levels 1) the photo didn’t make me laugh; I thought it was a juvenile attempt to make a point, which faed miserably 2) People who lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents are not unattractive to me. Someone with a big tumor might take me time to get used to, but they don’t become ugly to me 3) Beauty is very much perspective-based. I’m not so shallow as to allow society to define my standard of beauty. That’s the real issue.

    My presumption is that a man wrote this article, because men are typically the only people who use ‘out of your league’ language, but I’m not seeing an author listed. I get the concept of the article which is not a new idea; at the same; the delivery of the message was big fail for me.

    • Butthurt_183 says:

      “My presumption is that a man wrote this article, because men are typically the only people who use ‘out of your league’ language.” Can we all just LOL at this?

    • My presumption is that a woman wrote this comment, because women are typically the only people who use ‘My presumption is that a man wrote this article, because men are typically the only people who use ‘out of your league’ language,’ language, but I’m not seeing an author listed.

  302. Anonymous says:

    I tell my daughters that there is a difference between looking beautiful and being beautiful. Being beautiful is a reflection of their insides, and that kindness is the ultimate source of that inside beauty. Also, happy people are always more attractive no matter what the rest of them look like.

  303. Karen says:

    beautiful! Thanks

  304. Anonymous says:

    So if everyone isn;t beautiful, it’s ok if I get a little ticked off when I see a hot guy marry an ugly woman?

  305. jjl80126 says:

    If you go by the very narrow context of the commercial world, you are spot on. Beauty is a contrived norm for commercial profit and societal engineering. If you expand to the real world, you are so wrong it’s embarrassing. Aesthetics isn’t as simplistic a notion as physical beauty, although beauty being in the eye of the beholder contradicts every point you made. Every part of the human experience can be, and is to the individual, beautiful. Something you gave very short shrift to in this article, the individual. You cannot “take back” a word if you never surrendered it. And in the real world, beautiful was never handed over. Also, no one ever became a doormat for corporations if they didn’t lay down first.

  306. Finn Furious says:

    But you’re simultaneously perpetuating the idea of cultural beauty norms by saying this. Not everyone can be conventionally beautiful, but beauty is a very personal viewpoint.

    Particularly with the comment “Pornography generates billions of dollars a year selling you a sexual experience with people that are, in terms of looks, permanently out of your league.” Seems to me like you’re agreeing that people with certain physical attributes cannot be with other certain people with other physical attributes with that comment?

    When I say everyone is beautiful, I do mean it as an all encompassing word to mean we all have worth and that we can all be attractive as whole people to others, regardless of our outer shells.

    “To use “beautiful” in our wider, deeper, more important meaning only confuses the issue. It sends our young women horrible mixed messages, telling them that everyone is beautiful, and sending them into despair when the boys flock after someone with a thinner waistline and a wider bust.”

    Also this. ^^ What? Everyone has a different idea of what is attractive everyone has different preferences. What we need to do is teach all people to value people for a range of qualities not how they look, instead of not telling our girls that they’re beautiful. We can all find beauty in others if we actually take the time to look for it. So yes I do believe in reclaiming the word beauty. And when we use it on a societal level change it to “looks that are constructed mostly by million dollar industries to sell products” Needs to be shortened to something more snappy though…

  307. 2Karl says:

    I was with it all the way up to the end. Not everybody is valuable. Not everybody is important. Few people are genuinely interesting. Not everybody is worth loving. However, they don’t have to stay that way. If you’re boring, try to find some area where you can make interesting discoveries. If yo have no value, try to make something more of your life so that you can be valuable. If you want love…. well, you’re going to have to earn it.

    You are interesting.

    You are worth loving.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re an idiot

      • 2Karl says:

        Maybe so, but at least I’m not a coward. Are you saying that I’m not interesting? That I’m not valuable? That I don’t deserve to be loved? If so, I can take it as read that you agree with my point.

    • Viktor Emerita says:

      The horrid modern notion that everything is equal to anything else, and everything goes All choices are deemed equal. All wrongly!!!

    • Katie Bock says:

      Not everyone is interesting to talk to, but everyone has a complex experience of the world. You not finding someone interesting is a reflection on you, not them (which is why I’m so embarrassed when I find someone I find boring to to). And no one is worthless, because that’s such an extreme word that it has no meaning.

      • Katie Bock says:

        *to talk to. Sorry for typos. Mobile phone.

        Tl; dr you don’t have the right to proclaim someone is objectively and innately boring. It’s subjective, it doesn’t work thst way.

  308. Megan says:

    I agree completely! So many are trying to find a new answer to the question, “Who is beautiful?” But I’d rather change the question! “Why be beautiful?” Sure, it had its purpose, but it’s not everything. Why not ask about functional, helpful, kind, resilient, creative, kind, persistent, supportive, assertive, strong, determined, peaceful, loving, intelligent, intuitive, our hopeful? Beauty is only one thing, and if we (especially women) were to stop pursuing it just a little, what else could we do with our time, energy, and money?

    • Viktor Emerita says:

      I agree. Only I do not see the pursuit of beauty as a negative thing, it must be remembered that it is only one thing. I wish also that male standards of beauty were considered a little more.

  309. Megan says:

    I agree with most of what this post says. We place far too much value on beauty, and saying “everyone is beautiful” to people who get discriminated against every day on the basis of their appearance is naive at best. However, it is important to note that beauty *is* a cultural construct. What has been deemed attractive by society has changed throughout history. It may not be possible to have a society where everyone attracted to everyone else, but it is possible to widen society’s perception of beauty *just a little bit* through things like inclusive advertising and movie casting.

  310. Lauren says:

    or gifted.

  311. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion beauty is like art. Some might find it attractive, others not, but it doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful. I understand that the word beautiful is being used in more ways than one, but if we just stick to its original meaning, which is physical beauty and nothing else, then still, I do believe that everyone (excluding a few extreme cases) is beautiful but not beautiful to everyone! Saying people have to say and accept that they are ugly is far more demeaning than seeing any advert full of hot people. And where do you cut the line between what is and what isn’t beautiful anyway?

    • Anonymous says:

      The whole point of the article is that we are all worth people regardless of whether we’re physically attractive. Rather than tell everyone they’re ugly, the whole point is to just forget about physical beauty and stop telling people they have to be attractive to be worth something. It’s not demeaning to be unattractive. It’s demeaning to say that everyone is attractive, otherwise they’re worthless.

    • Viktor Emerita says:

      Beauty and attractiveness aren’t quite the same though. I can see a model, or a painting, and recognise them/it as beautiful, without necessarily being attracted to it or enjoying it. But I can also recognise when something lacks beauty, and needs explanation to justify it as being beautiful or art.

  312. Anonymous says:

    People who don’t agree with this article are lying to themselves. Which is basically what the article is saying. There’s no negativity here, just realism. And if you can’t be realistic, then you’re part of the problem. We all need to wake up and realise that the human race was meant for better than what we’re currently giving ourselves.

  313. Not everyone has the same symmetric facial features or a large chest.. Yes, if that’s the narrow idea of beauty then yes not everyone conforms. Not everyone is a good writer by default, but as proven here, a single writer can evoke many opinions of his / her talent. Same applies to beauty.. Guy in the photo? Actually has nice blue eyes and perhaps photo not the best angle.. compared to the buxom lady further down in the article.

    Beauty isn’t just conforming to some one-dimensional standard. It’s a large, all-encompassing word that is positive and uplifting when used in the right way. Difference is beauty, wrinkles are beautiful – beautiful and moving, beautiful and eye-pleasing, beautiful and a joy to listen.. It’s a versatile word, let’s remember that.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re missing the whole point of this article. The guy in the photo’s worth has nothing to do with how nice and blue his eyes are. He’s a valuable person because of his personal qualities, whatever those may be. By pointing out that he has “nice blue eyes” and saying that there is something physically beautiful to find in every person, you are perpetuating the idea that physical attractiveness above all else makes someone valuable, therefore everyone must have some physically attractive quality. Why can’t someone be physically unattractive but still be a stellar person in all other forms? Why must we do our best to find something physically attractive in each person just to make ourselves feel like we’re open-minded, accepting, and escaping society’s standards? By looking for physical beauty in a person rather than appreciating their other qualities, we are still sticking to society’s standards.

  314. Fred says:

    What a load of bullshit. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some like fat. Some like slim. Some like handicapped. Some like old. Some like young. Broaden your worldview sir!

  315. Tracy Rowe says:

    So….basically you commenters completely missed the point of this article…

    • Anonymous says:

      If I wanted to say that people are valuable independent of beauty, that beauty shouldn’t be the measure of others’ worth, and that society places too much emphasis on beauty.. I certainly would not preface my argument with a subjective list of ‘unattractive’ people. Not only is it inconsistent and demeaning, but, this is a public article, people of all stripes who deal with such issues will read this. I don’t go around calling people who are crippled, missing fingers, or with other blemishes ugly. It’s profoundly insensitive and it’s wrong (and incorrect).
      Of course, I could just assume an inherent intellectual/character flaw in all of the readership, because they ‘missed the point’.

  316. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful can mean anything it doesn’t have to always be your looks . This is the most negative thing I’ve ever read . All those qualities named t the bottom is what makes some one beautiful .. Not their looks.can people stop focusing on appearance and focus on the soul.

    Everyone is beautiful in their own way..

    • Anonymous says:

      you sir are totally correct and this article is demeaning, negative towards the human race as a whole; idiotic and just downright silly

    • Snarkygal says:

      Reread the article and take in what the message it is sending. You missed it obviously.

    • “Everyone’s a beauty in their own way!
      You, and you, and mostly me! – And you!”
      Paraphrazed from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog

      Sounds nice, although it is not true. But everyone is valuable, even if they’re ugly!

  317. Can everyone be loved? And if so, will the person loving them not see them as a beautiful person?
    But putting beautiful down as an objective measure is tough.

  318. GReg says:

    Actually, you can control your beauty. Simply being fit today is considered attractive by many men. And the wonders of makeup can make anyone beautiful.

    Those who are not beautiful are those who become content with who they are and chose not to dawn a better appearance for a better chance in life.

    Not what people want to hear, but it is a sad truth in todays age. Its all false beauty

  319. Reblogged this on Of Words and Weirdness and commented:
    Call me a cynic but this is true.

  320. Good point but I think you lost it at the end. The statements “Everyone is valuable / important / interesting / worth loving etc.” are no more valid than “Everyone is beautiful.”

  321. Billy Ward says:

    everyone can play saxophone

  322. Reblogged this on longstoryblog and commented:
    I DO want to reclaim “beautiful.” And I hope, one day, we can.

  323. plasterbrain says:

    I’M ATHLETIC AND I DON’T KNOW IT

  324. erin says:

    Truth. Beautiful. Three cheers and two thumbs up from a humble audience member.

  325. Morgan says:

    I LOVE this article! So well said!

  326. lifeandlims says:

    Reblogged this on Life and Lims and commented:
    This article is beautiful! This guy is an amazing writer, whether he knows it or not. 🙂
    I’m reblogging, which I’ve never done before, because this is valuable. I love the points he makes, and I love that it’s a man doing it. Men and women both in our culture need to take the time to think about and discuss these topics. Awareness is an important first step toward change, and we still, unfortunately, have a low awareness level of just how much our society is focused on looks, on image, especially for women. We are definitely not “one-note instruments,” but we certainly have to wade around in a society that considers us as such. Let’s talk about our value, our characteristics, the talents and gifts and unique combination of personality traits that makes each of us who we are, worthwhile and important members of society. Everyone has something to contribute and everyone is worth receiving something back.

  327. Anonymous says:

    I do believe a lot of people miss the point. I know it’s all repetitive and becomes drab after seeing these posts a hundred thousand times, but I believe the aim is to remind people to look for beauty in themselves that isn’t necessarily of physical form.

  328. Grace says:

    I agree with the issues addressed but find it pointless that there was no true solution provided. Instead, it is more of a discouraging piece about how people should get over the fact that the world has an “ugly” category which they may just fall into. In reality, beauty is subjective. People are attracted to different physical characteristics of others. A model who is considered perfect by one’s standards is considered below standards by another, whether it be her weight, skin colour, facial features, personality etc. So instead of saying not everyone is beautiful, I’d much rather agree on “not everyone will find you beautiful”. People are diverse but it is this diversity that makes the world so wonderful. And you can argue that no person will find a person with tumors, missing fingers, skin disease beautiful but that is an unfortunate condition they encountered in life, NOT the face/body they were born with. Lastly, by saying that the media/industry thrives on attractive people “out of your league”, you are promoting exactly what they want you to. These actors/models/porn stars are human beings. They are not perfect. They have their flaws. The only difference they have from an average person is that their career heavily requires them to take care of their image, which results in diets, gym, makeup, photoshop etc and EVEN with all that, some people will find them attractive and some won’t. I guess what I’m trying to say is to not be so pessimistic. There is more than one way to see the world. Is everyone an amazing writer, singer, actor, athlete? No. But with hard work, determination, and/or some luck, everyone has the CAPABILITY to be. 🙂

    • Emily Bundy says:

      Not everyone is beautiful. There ARE ugly people. Not everyone has the capability to be beautiful, just like not everyone has the capability to be amazing writers, singers, actors, or athletes, like you said. Everyone has their own limitations… but everyone also has their own strong points also. You pretty much just said that this entire article is false. Oh, and that part where you said “And you can argue that no person will find a person with tumors, missing fingers, skin disease beautiful but that is an unfortunate condition they encountered in life, NOT the face/body they were born with.” Some people ARE born with these things.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually every able bodies human being can do any thing . Beauty has nothing to do with being athletic …. Beauty is a general term. Everything is beautiful if you look at it that way. Beauty is a quality ….like being interesting or unique … Doesn’t always have to do with your appearance .

      • Grace says:

        You can state that there are ugly people. You can even point out a few examples of them. But what happens when someone else comes along and finds them beautiful? That’s my point. No one can be the true judge of things. Something you may find to be complete garbage is a masterpiece in another person’s eyes. The world has billions of people.

  329. Virginia Jolly says:

    Yeah, I laughed, but not because you’re not a beautiful person–each of us has our own beauty. It reminded me of Uncle Fester of the Addams Family and I LOVE Uncle Fester! The Addams Family has its own creepy beauty and attraction. Go with it! Lots of love!

  330. Zoran Taylor says:

    The end bit isn’t true, either.

  331. Anonymous says:

    I believe we are made in the image of god is the biggest joke in all of mankind. Some of you religious people are insane.

  332. Anonymous says:

    simply: everyone being beautiful in society (by definition) is not actually true. point: social media is manipulating views of beauty by means of selling product. message to audience: do not stress over the meaning of beauty. be confident in your own way, and don’t feel lesser of yourself based on a majority (or minority).

  333. newscale62 says:

    How about “it’s all an illusion”? How about getting off your high horse by telling the rest of us what words we use pass muster on your ledger. People deserve to feel good about themselves using whatever language works, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else. I’m sure your pet goldfish who substitutes as your imaginary girlfriend would agree.

  334. newscale62 says:

    How about “it’s all a f*****g illusion? How about getting off your f*****g high horse and “telling” the rest of us what words to use as you see fit? We all deserve to feel good if it doesn’t hurt or bother anyone else. I’m sure your pet goldfish who substitutes for your imaginary girlfriend would agree. Next time you feel like making an inappropriate assumption, use your hidden blog page.

  335. When I saw the picture of the man, I did not in fact want to laugh, to me it was not funny. To me this article is an attempt to justify judging people. I have; spoken to, befriended, loved people of all different aesthetics, beliefs, morals, ethics, religions, looks, so on and so forth. Never has the first thought that has crossed through my mind been about their looks. Because everyone is beautiful, you may not think so, as you made so perfectly clear in your article. Yet, the definition for beautiful is “Pleasing to the mind, senses, looks, etc.” See it’s not only looks. You can have your eyes closed, hear someone speak, hear about them, their thoughts, beliefs, actions, everything about them and find them beautiful. The fact is; there’s a lot of people who don’t find people, objects, beliefs beautiful if they don’t agree with them. It’s not that they’re not beautiful it’s because it doesn’t coincide with their beliefs. That is precisely what’s wrong, we should love everyone, everything despite the looks on the outside. We need to have respect and respect others for what and who they are.

  336. Sam says:

    Yes, I agree that everyone is valuable, worth loving, important and so on but you have pin pointed the word beautiful as physical attraction just like society has.
    You need to understand that not everyone on this plant cares about the physical looks of people. When people use the word beautiful, it also means that they are talking about the personality of a person and your personality is what defines you as a person, not your looks or how much money you have or how many people your friends with.
    Society makes people think that your looks are everything, which is not right!
    And because of this 90% of the human race judges people on what they look like. You don’t understand what some people have gone through so why judge them on their physical appearance? Now that society has the wrong idea of what beauty is and to worried about the appearance of people they be cruel, rude and judgemental. It’s very disappointing how people rather judge someone on their appearance then getting to know someone for who they are.
    I believe everyone IS BEAUTIFUL in their own way because beauty ISN’T just about looks!

  337. Rachel says:

    I freaking love you. I work as a figure drawing model, so along with internet whatevers about body image, I realized I didn’t find myself beautiful. And I realized that I didn’t care. I don’t hate myself because either. It wasn’t a bad thing. I can make beautiful things. I do find myself valuable.

  338. marshallgu says:

    those last 5 sentences were wonderful. thank you for this. (followed)

  339. Anonymous says:

    Damn right! Everyone is NOT beautiful, myself included.

  340. Anonymous says:

    look at the rack on that beautiful music…

  341. Amanda says:

    This is dumb. Beauty is completely subjective. Maybe you don’t think big tumors are beautiful, but that might be what someone else is into. Of course no one is going to say that everyone is athletic. Athleticism is objective. No one could ever truthfully call me athletic- I’m terrible at sports and the sneakers I bought four years ago are still white. But just because you don’t think I’m beautiful doesn’t mean that there aren’t other people who do, blemishes and all.

    While I do believe you made some good points in this article, I disagree with the overall message. Everyone IS beautiful, and I am talking about physical beauty.

    • Erica says:

      This is a naive and dishonest way of thinking. Yes, beauty is subjective, but still within “limits” I guess, for lack of a better word. Our minds look at something and decided whether or not it is aesthetically pleasing, and you have no control over what it decides. And while it is true that all minds are different, unfortunately, the ways in which they decide whether something is beautiful or not doesn’t differ much. It’s based in symmetry and other objective characteristics.
      No one TRUELY believes everyone is beautiful. This is just something you tell yourself and tell others because you feel its the “right” way of thinking. And arguing the point that “everyone is beautiful” no matter what this article says is only proving the articles point further. By feeling the need to argue with it is just reaffirming that beauty is something that is SO IMPORTANT that you need to argue for the sake of it.
      I do think that this sentiment would be nice if it were true, but it’s not. I agree that we need to stop telling everyone that they are beautiful, because more often than not, its not a true and honest sentiment. No one is ever going to think Quasimodo is attractive, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a nice guy, or that he doesn’t have plenty of other things to offer the world (yes, I know this is a fictional and exaggerated character. I’m using him to make a point). Instead we SHOULD tell them that they are valuable and important because you can be those things without beauty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you I get told by strangers how beautiful I am every dam day, I have modeled and have a very classic hour glass figure with a unique face but according to this I’m not beautiful because I have a third nipple. No not everyone is beautiful to the author, I think they have some good view but ugly judgements. However we can’t say not everyone is beautiful because everyone thinks differently.

  342. breshna says:

    well isn’t this a beautifully pathetic article

  343. B says:

    Your periods should go inside of your quotations and outside of your parenthesis.

  344. kuksoppen says:

    I thought you were doing fine until the last 5 lines. People like you need to wake up and realise not everyone is valuable. Not everyone is worth anything. There are millions of people that the world and civiliazation would be better off without. The word that should be retired is not “beautiful”, but rather “everyone”.

    • Lauren says:

      I personally believe human beings are made in the image of God, and their soul has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, everyone IS valuable. Every person on earth has worth far beyond what we can even comprehend.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hitler. Stalin. Mao. Not particularly valuable people. Thanks god.

      • Lauren says:

        Excuse me for a second…
        Please understand that value has NOTHING to do with what we do, and EVERYTHING to do with where we come from from and to Whom we belong.
        I hate to sound blasphemous, but Hitler, Stalin, and Mao WERE valuable.
        However, they chose to waste their worth on a life of corruption.
        If they had realized their worth and lived their lives accordingly, there would be far less tragedy in our history.

    • Katie Bock says:

      Even Hitler was a human being. Someone loved him, and he brought immense amounts of evil into the world, and tried to bring his country out from under the heel of the Treaty of Versailles (see again the immense amounts of evil). If you can’t see the villains of our history as complex humans, you fail to see that even you have to check yourself and your motuves. Don’t you remember what you learned in third grade? If an answer involves an absolute, it’s probably wrong.

  345. Anonymous says:

    “You are valuable. You are important. You are interesting. You are worth loving.”

    Hopefully no pedophiles or gang rapists are reading this . . .

    • Katie Bock says:

      Many pedophiles never offend, and even those who do are still people with fully developed personalities and lives and stories and senses of humor and beliefs. Even gang rapists likely have a family who loves them and/or complex stories with compassion in them. If you can’t see the villains in our world as complex humans, you fail to see that even you have to check yourself and your motives. The world isn’t split into the worthy and the worthless. Don’t you remember what you learned in third grade? If an answer involves an absolute, it’s probably wrong.

      • Katie Bock says:

        That said, that’s the level-headed me speaking. Put me or my loved ones in harm’s way of one of those crimes and you’ll hear me spit vitriol about burning the worthless, vile wastes of human flesh.

  346. Anonymous says:

    I didnt realize his article was meant to create a debate about who gets it worse, men or women. All people have something about them that is beautiful. It may not be physical at all. So noteveryone is physically beautiful all over. Someone coukd be ugly but have beautiful eyes. Someone can be ugly entirely on the outside but have a beautiful soul. No one here, mysekf included was put here to judge others on anything including beauty. If something apoeals to someone as beautiful, it is in fact beautiful. Even if only to them.

    • Carly says:

      It’s not saying that people can’t have beautiful internal traits, it’s saying that society defines beauty by the physical and that’s how people are judged.
      “I know what you mean when you say “Everyone is beautiful.” You mean that everyone is valuable, everyone has worth, everyone has good qualities that make them someone to be loved. And if we could reclaim the word and make it mean that, I’d say go for it.
      But the fact is, we don’t own the word. The world owns the word, and to the world, “beauty” is physical attractiveness and nothing more. To use “beautiful” in our wider, deeper, more important meaning only confuses the issue.”

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve missed the point entirely.

  347. #liked #followed #shared absolutely a fantastic blog post.

  348. Hilary says:

    This article is fantastic. I’m SO DAMN TIRED of being told that I’m beautiful as though that somehow validates my entire existence. And I’m even more tired of how I look dictating EVERYTHING.

    I used to be skinnier, sexier. Despite the fact that I had LESS education and experience then, getting a job was a lot easier. I dressed to show off my assets in a nice professional way. If I could get an interview, I’d usually get the job. Since I gained weight and STOPPED being sexy by our society’s standards my ability to find work dropped through the floor. Never mind the fact that I am actually a more valuable employee now. I interview the same way I always did but you can see it when they look at you, there’s no interest. Men, as long as they are not actively hideous, are far more likely to be hired than a non-sexy woman, regardless of ability.

    If the interviewer (as they are nearly always men) doesn’t want to screw you on some level, forget about the job. I’m not talking about sexual harassment, though of course that does happen, I’m just talking about the fact that if he can’t imagine screwing a girl that looks like you you’re qualifications stop mattering. He’d rather hire a man.

  349. You are an amazing writer, whether you know it or not.

  350. Reblogged this on Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? and commented:
    One of my Facebook friends shared this post and I thought it was worth sharing with y’all. Very well thought out and presented. Worth a read.

  351. Flora Pan says:

    I have the same perspective on this and I’m so glad you put it into words for me. I also wrote something similar to this a while back (http://epiloguewriter.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/why-the-aeriereal-campaign-is-problematic/), but it didn’t come out as nicely as this. I hope people will read this and begin to really recognize what the real problem is, instead of just blindly making attempts to fix things.

  352. Tam Brooks says:

    The only thing I really took away from this article is that we should tell people that they’re MORE than beautiful. Not everyone fits into society’s view of beauty, of course not. Not everyone can be Miss America. But that’s only one kind of beauty…that’s not all beauty is. And why the hell should we avoid the word because it’s “impossible” to change society’s views? Who says?

    We don’t say things like “everyone is a good listener” because that’s a fairly defined attribute. We don’t say “everyone is a good writer,” but we may acknowledge that a good writer lives deep down within other people…writing is a skill that needs to be fostered, but not everyone can do it. We don’t say “everyone is athletic to somebody” because being an athlete is also a fairly defined trait…though, like writing, athleticism can be learned. We don’t say “everyone is tall in their own way” because it’s not really true…tallness is defined as taller than the average, so while I would be tall compared to a munchkin, I am not tall in normal contexts.

    I do think we should be more thoughtful in our compliments. Beauty is so subjective…eye of the beholder and all that…you tell someone they’re beautiful, but what does that mean? The world owns the word, but we’re PART of the world…even in our own little circles, we get to define what that means. But because the definition is so nebulous and can differ from person to person, it’s important to clarify what beauty means when you give a compliment. What makes that person beautiful? If you want to tell them they’re important, say so. If you want to tell them they’re worth loving and valuable on this planet, tell them. If you want to tell them they’re interesting, say it. Don’t shy away from “beautiful” because they might not meet western society’s arbitrary definition for the word…clarify it.

    • Alex says:

      Awesome awesome awesome. I also would like to point out that calling something or someone beautiful does not need to be limited to physical appearance. I’ve considered music to be beautiful, a laugh to be beautiful. A spontaneous act of joy can be beautiful. The definition of beauty is elastic, and that itself is a beautiful thing.

  353. Reblogged this on The Procrastinating 'Possum and commented:
    I would even go as far to say this for men as well. Just as a woman’s beauty shouldn’t define her for who she is, neither should a man’s “success”. Success is what you make of it anyway(like beauty). For instance, I would consider myself “successful” and die a happy woman, if I met Lucy Lawless and she punched me in the face “Ai,yiyiyiyiyiyi!”. So…

  354. Dwayne Young says:

    i was gonna give a shit until you made solely a female problem, as if men are not judged on appearance, this article is a joke

    • Sara says:

      Mr. Young, have you not read the article? She mentions that women are basically only judged by their appearance and nothing else, while men are not:

      “Because we have created a culture that values beauty above all other innate traits…for women, at least. Men are generally valued by their success, which is seen solely as a result of talent and hard work, despite how much it depends on luck and knowing the right people.

      But women are pretty much a one-note instrument. Society says, you’re hot, or you’re not. Your looks affect your choice of mate, the friends you have, and even your job. And this factor that will affect every part of your life is something you have virtually no control over.”

      Seriously, don’t bring this “men are judged too” crap in here because in society, you definitely do not have it harder than women. So please, get the hell off of your high “man-rights” horse, and recognize the fact that beauty standards are a lot more extreme and rigid for women.

      Yes, everyone is judged, and that shouldn’t happen at all. We should all learn to see the greatness in everybody. The ideal world should not be such a superficial things based around “ideal aestheticism” but our world is. We know that men are judged too, but not nearly as often or as harshly as women. Atleast not in this day and age.

      Look at it this way. Women wear makeup everyday, they put on a new face before they can even think of leaving their house, because they’ve been told that their natural beauty isn’t good enough. Men don’t wear makeup because they haven’t been told that their personal value is completely dependent on their looks.

      • J Shortsleeve says:

        “Seriously, don’t bring this “men are judged too” crap in here because in society, you definitely do not have it harder than women.” This is not constructive, whether I agree with you or not. Instead of saying “keep your opinions out of my conversation” maybe you should think about the fact that by disregarding others’ opinions right off the bat (solely because they don’t apply to you) is probably how all of this began. That being said, I agree with you that women are judged more harshly on appearance, and I don’t think you should ever be quiet about that fact.

    • I think (or at least felt) that it was implied for men as well. There’s a comparison about men’s “success” being what makes or breaks a man’s value. Success is just as flexible of a term as “beauty” when it comes down to it. *shrug* I would hope you’d still give a shit because whether it’s a “female” problem or not…Is it not still a problem? And shouldn’t all problems when it comes to equality of the human species be deemed a worthy cause for concern? If people said “i was gonna give a shit until you made solely a race problem” or a “male problem”. How would you feel?

      I hope you don’t feel this as an attack but merely a way of explaining and trying to get you to think out side yourself.

    • Number of really ugly dudes who are incredibly successful: many. Number of really ugly women who are incredibly successful: very, very few.

    • Hilary says:

      In other words you are incapable of giving a damn about something unless it specifically and immediately impacts you? That’s so amazingly cold it leaves me somewhat stunned.

      Just because this article focusses on the problems of women doesn’t make it a joke, it just means that it has a particular focus. It isn’t just a female problem, no. However, it IS far more a female problem than a male one.

      Don’t get me wrong, a man’s looks matter. I’m not saying that they don’t. However, not NEARLY as much a woman’s does. Really ugly men have a problem getting a head in life, that’s a fact. But a plain man can get a lot farther than a plain woman can. A heavy man can still get a job a hell of a lot more easily than a heavy women. I can speak from personal experience on this one. I have to find a way to make myself look at least a little sexy for job interviews, despite the fact that I’m on the heavy side, or I can forget about the job no matter how well qualified I may be for it. When was the last time you had to worry about whether someone interviewing you found you personally attractive? For women, if they don’t want to screw you on some level they aren’t going to hire you.

      Is this beauty obsession a female only problem. Hell no.

      Is the problem disproportionally MORE a female problem than a male one? Yes.

      Is what this article says wrong just because it focusses on women. Again, hell no.

    • Lana says:

      I get what you’re saying. To me, the author made it not only a complete female problem, but it sounded as though they were blaming women. I believe that the usage of “beautiful” was to lift spirits. Instead of teaching young girls that they’re not beautiful, shouldn’t we teach young boys that there’s more to a person than what’s on the outside? Should we not teach them that the girl with the “smaller waistline and bigger breasts” isn’t better than other girls because of her appearance?

  355. The phrase “If you have a hump on your back throw some glitter on it and get out on the dance floor” comes to mind. Acceptance of self is what is important and respecting others is a reciprocal of that self. Concepts of beauty are poorly defined and subjective. For any given individual or collectives of like minds… Not everyone is beautiful. Pretty good observation I think.

  356. Anonymous says:

    This guy is absolutely correct, this is a blog site, not a research paper. He’s not required to prove anything. This is a well-articulated viewpoint on how we misuse the english language for the sake of product and convenience. He even says at the end that everyone has value, so what could anyone possibly complain about?

  357. Anonymous says:

    “Beauty of form affects the mind, but then it must be understood that it is not the mere shell that we admire; we are attracted by the idea that this shell is only a beautiful case adjusted to the shape and value of a still more beautiful pearl within. The perfection of outward loveliness is the soul shining through its crystalline covering.” – Jane Porter

  358. Mikko Ahola says:

    Male chastity is based on men seeing women not beautiful enough.

  359. Murphy says:

    Mental masterbation……

  360. ry says: