Sep 28, 2012

The Nature of Beauty

JayC Stoddard and I became friends through our blogs.  I really look forward to, respect, and enjoy what he writes and vice versa.  He may just be the author of my favorite blog to follow.  You'll learn a lot & be inspired by him, I'm telling you.  I adore him...and we've only met in person once, last week, briefly! I felt like I'd known him forever and started asking him a million things I only know about through his writing. :)

We decided we'd like to try blogging on the same subject.  Two points of view.  A male and a female.  We asked for suggestions and decided to go with "THE NATURE OF BEAUTY" for this first experiment.  Thank you, Lindsay Marriott for suggesting this topic! 


The beginning of this post may seem shallow.  Hang with me, because I will be working from the outside in.  I hope to leave you thinking.  The more I thought about what beauty means, the more bizarre and intangible it seemed.  

 “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  That phrase has always confused me.  It seems to be something said in defense.  As an explanation for finding something beautiful that shouldn't be found beautiful.  Someone or something not of universal beauty.  But who decides what is categorized as mainstream beauty and unconventional beauty? 

What attracts you? It is a strange thing.  It can be very elusive.  But lets start with when it’s anything but.  When it’s a very specific thing.  Sexual attraction.

You may or may not consider yourself to be boy crazy or girl crazy.  If you are, you may be surprised to learn there are types of people who are quite opposite.  I am one of the opposite.  I am not a person who has been attracted to a lot of people.  Truly attracted.  In general, at the same time, as well as through my life.  

I didn’t date a lot.  I had long term relationships.  I had very few dates.  I could probably count on one hand the number of first dates I had.  It was actually quite hard for me to accept an invitation, and there were a few times when I cancelled last minute because the thought of it was making me physically ill.  I wasn’t trying to be rude, I just couldn’t bear the thought.   

I went through all of high school with only ever liking and getting involved with two boys from my own school.  There were a few I liked from other schools, but only a few.  And I was in a large public school!

I was hardly ever interested.  I was hardly ever attracted.  

Let’s talk about pure physicality.  Most people say they have a type.  I definitely have a type.  In fact it’s very specific.  I haven’t met someone who is as specific as I am (I’m sure they’re out there, I just don’t know it).   

If you ask me to list my celebrity crushes, physical type, who I am attracted to (both male and female) I will give you the following...

Men: Reeve Carney, Robert Pattinson, Cillian Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jackson Rathbone, Jared Leto, Michael C. Hall.  Women: Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Meghan Ory, Jenna Dewan, Ashley Greene, Kate Beckinsale, Rooney Mara.  

See? Pretty specific.  I find glamorous women with dark hair, pale skin (and red lipstick) extremely attractive.  I also like tall, slender bodies. I like runway models.  I also like waifs like Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy.  I also like a flat chest shown off:

Kiera Knightly wearing one of my favorite looks.

No, really.  I love high fashion.  It's beautiful to me.  People tend to think someone with a small chest wishes they had a big chest.  It's not true.  For some, sure.  But not for all.  It's like wishing you had or didn't have any other body part.  And if I wanted them I would have bought them long ago.  Trust me.  I am a plastic surgery supporter.  Thoughts on plastic surgery belong in a blog of their own.  But in a nutshell it's your body, your life.  If you need to make a tweak to feel like "you" then by all means, who cares what anyone else says.  This gets into another discussion of feeling like you're in the wrong body as well, so I'll save it.  I'll stop now and get back on track.  

Men and women reading this who gravitate to types like Christina Hendricks, Sophia Vergara and Scarlett Johansen will think I'm crazy.  So is this where I say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?

As for men, I am drawn to pretty faces, slender bodies, and light hair.  Musicians.  Rock stars.  Men with style.  A man with good shoes and a good hat? Oh.  Yes, please.  

Reeve Carney.  #1 on the dreamboat list.  And the fact that I'm a Spider-Man fan & he plays Peter Parker on broadway? Come ON.

I prefer little or no facial hair.  What about height? Women love a tall man, right? Wrong.  I once dated a guy who was 6’3 and didn’t like it.  Too tall for me.  I feel more comfortable when the two of us match in height more than not.  I have also been taller in heels than the man I was with and it doesn't bother me (In fact, I think there's something sexy about the way Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes towered over Tom Cruise.  And for the record, I find all three of them extremely attractive).

Those again who prefer the muscular, rugged, tall dark and handsome man will laugh while reading my descriptions.  Sure, I can understand that women find Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Vin Disel, and Jon Hamm attractive. But they just don't do it for me. 
So.  We have our "types", right? I bet now you’re thinking that the boys in my past were only those who fit this description, right? Well guess what? The answer is NOPE.  Not even close.  

I have spent long periods of time with boyfriends who didn’t fit this mold at all.  I once saw Ben Stiller on the street, who clearly doesn't fit into my above descriptions, and I couldn't believe how sparkly handsome he was in real life.  My first heartbreak came from a shorter than me dark haired actor with glasses.  As in my life is over I am going to die kind of heartbreak.  When I first pointed him out to my friends at school, one was surprised to see what he looked like, since the way I'd talked about him he was, "expecting an Adonis”.  But I couldn't believe he didn't see what I was seeing.

So what is it? What is the it? Clearly, beauty is not physical alone.  And why, when we are attracted to those outside of our type, we feel the need to explain with, “this is so weird because they are sooooo not my type”.  

Does type really mean anything? 

You can be attracted for many subtle and various reasons.  Like the first boy I ever kissed.  Yes, he was handsome but what made his attraction even greater was the fact that he could dance, drove a vw bus and had a sexy back.  Yes, back.  I’ll never forget driving up to his house one day and there he was working in the yard, shirtless, back to me.  I was 15 and didn’t know a back could be so attractive.  

So, why are we sometimes attracted to someone out of our type? Why is it confusing to us when we are? Type is a starting point, I suppose but in the end it means absolutely nothing.  

If we stick to type and feel we aren't supposed to branch out, we limit ourselves.  We keep our minds closed.  We lose.  We shouldn't be surprised to find we can stray out of the borders we've set for ourselves.  We should lose the borders and the ideas we have about types and beauty completely.  

If I would have known this back in high school who knows how different my dating and relationship experience would have been? But I discounted those that didn't match my criteria.  

What is that something else? That something else that you can’t see, that you can’t pinpoint? The thing that is truly the beauty?

My life really changed the last year, especially in the last four months.  A death changes absolutely everything about how you view life.  How you view the way you lived previously and how you want to proceed.  You are reborn when someone close to you dies.  

Through the loss of a life, a new one begins.  

One of the biggest things I took away from that experience was that we are not at all our physical bodies.  When I really understood that and thought about the ego driven world we live in, it absolutely blew my mind to realize how backwards we have it.  Physical “beauty” has nothing to do with anything.  We can’t help (to a point) what we are going to look like.  If our parents were/are “attractive” or not.  If we are going to be considered “beautiful” or not.  

Yet physical beauty is what we strive for! We reward people for this! Celebrate them for this! And it's not real.  And it's fleeting.  It’s just the shell of the soul.  

How many times have you gravitated to "beauty", be it for romance or friendship and were disappointed when the person didn't live up to the pedestal you'd put them on? Or the relationship felt forced? What about when you've overlooked someone who didn't fit your mold at first, you end up giving them a chance and find out just how beautiful they are? I've experienced all of this multiple times.   

How limiting.  How sad for us.  How much do we all miss out on?

I think I'm starting to understand what beauty really is.  And it's not a physical trait.  It's not blonde hair, or big boobs (or small boobs ;) ), or straight teeth.  It's not.  

When do you feel beautiful? Really? I bet it has nothing to do with how you look.  It's actually a feeling.  And when you're feeling it you're not focused on yourself, your looks or your physicality at all.  

I feel beautiful when I am onstage, truthfully connecting, giving and receiving.  When all attention is off of myself.  When I'm doing what fuels my soul.  What I know I'm supposed to be doing with this life.  When I feel, however fleeting, I'm transcending.  I am experiencing beauty.  Beauty is something to be experienced.  

Beauty is also meeting a true love and being side by side for seven years and counting.  It is seeing my mother speak at her brother's funeral in a brightly colored dress because she refused to wear black.  It is sitting after a mexican dinner talking for hours with my parents and cousin about life and death.

Beauty is not limited to.  It is not definable.  Every person has a part of their life where they are at their most beautiful.  Every person.  When a person is truly in their element, with confidence, doing what they do best, what they love they are not focused on themselves.  They are sharing a sacred part of themselves.  It is always spellbinding.  It is always beautiful.  

It makes me sad to see how much time we spend striving for something that isn't tangible in the first place! And how do I know it's not tangible? Because of types.  Because of breaking our types (See? It's natural human behavior to want to branch out from labels and go beyond!) Because of small things that attract us.  Because of big things.  Because it's not possible for one thing to be beautiful universally.  But we are already universally beautiful.  

Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  

Society tells people that they are not pretty enough or too pretty to do/be.  That having physical beauty equates to a lesser than or greater than existence.  What the hell is that?! What a cruel illusion.  Beauty is already in us.  Each of us.  You.  Me.  Everyone you know.  We are all enough exactly as we are.  Truly, truly, truly.  

Think about all the worlds you don’t know.  I don’t know what it’s like to observe a lawyer kicking ass in a courtroom.  A surgeon saving a life.  A chef making an exquisite wedding cake.  Everyone has their thing, the think they were put on this earth to do and when in it, really and truly in it, they are beautiful. 

Just another reason why I'm sure what we truly are is in, not of our physical body.  Our physical bodies can betray.  They will decay.  When we connect to our essence, our real source of beauty, that is all from who and what we are inside.  

My final words are going to be, of course, about my sweetheart.  My partner through this lifetime.  If you don't know him, perhaps you're wondering how I relate all this to him? His golden insides match his golden outsides.  Completely.  He is isolated to me.  He is in a class above, beyond, out of reach of anyone else.  If you ask me, this guy hung the moon.  He is every bit of everything to me.  I called him my beloved before I even realized that his very name is the meaning of the word.  My David, made of gold.  

Now we'd like to hear from YOU.  

What does "the nature of beauty" mean in your words and world? 
Tweet me: @DeenaMarie 


  1. You and JayC complement each other beautifully. Thank you for this, it's wonderful.

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