THE QUERY OF BEAUTY – How It All Got Started

young-NYC

Reflection Eternal from May 18, 2001 @ 19 Years Old

RE:  MY INITIAL INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE OF BEAUTY

Well, I just spent like two hours reading journal entries from the past eight years of my life.  It kind of makes me realize how very insignificant everything really is.  Strange.  I still can’t get over how very strange it is, how things change over time.

Sometimes I feel like such an idiot.  I always used to think I was smart…I was.  I think, I mean I am I guess, but I am such a ditz.  Reading through all those journal entries, I mean I know I can’t compare myself to other people (…or shouldn’t, rather…), but I am an idiot.  I don’t know.  I just have no idea what to do with my life.  At all.

Later

People sometimes think I’m beautiful.  People often think I’m beautiful.  This baffles me.  I’m not tall or extremely thin.  I don’t have long, wavy, gorgeous blonde hair.  I have short dark brown hair…my natural color, no highlights.  I don’t have blue eyes, I have light brown eyes with a hint of green.  My clothes don’t always match…nor do I care.  I’m a pretty smart girl…but by no means a genius like Caleb.  I have little to no common sense.  I act like a ditz half the time, for reasons I can’t even explain.

I bite my nails.  I have scars on my face and arms and feet.  I have huge feet with extremely long toes.  I cry a lot.  I can’t stick to anything…at all.  I have horrible taste in men…so far.  My breasts are small.  I have love handles.  My hair is always in my eyes.  My glasses are ugly.  I have a god-awful lamp sitting on my lingerie chest that I love.  My spelling is atrocious!  And yet people think I’m beautiful.

I just can’t figure it out.  I hate to even think about it because I have this fear that it’s just this huge joke that everyone is in on.  I can’t figure it out for the life of me.  Stella once told me, in more words, that I was beautiful.  I have a high-pitched, annoying voice that people make fun of all the time.  Most of the time I am either completely happy or completely depressed.  I always come up with unbearably unrealistic, off-the-wall ideas.

Do people not see all of this?  Or is it this that is beauty?  I can’t figure it out.  In high school I was so shy for so long…and yet to this day I still find out from strange people that guys I went to high school with were and still are head-over-heals in love with me.  It doesn’t make any sense.  I’m an awful driver.   I’m scared to make new friends.  I’m living in Minnesota now.  I grew up in Ohio for god’s sake.  And yet people think I’m beautiful.  It’s a strange place, this world is.

24 thoughts on “THE QUERY OF BEAUTY – How It All Got Started

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  8. Even though this was originally written in 2001 (see, I remembered *smiles*), I can completely relate. I think women go through this beauty query more than men (although, that can be a grave generalization).
    When I was in my 20s, I felt very beautiful. I was in the best shape of my life. I was very ambitious in college, etc.
    Now I’m a married mom of 3 and I don’t feel beautiful anymore. Why? I’m always asking myself why. My husband tells me all the time I’m beautiful and he always says he doesn’t understand why I don’t feel I’m beautiful.
    I know I should feel beautiful because I’ve birthed three children and giving life is definitely beauty and a great act of love.
    But I just don’t feel I’m beautiful. Hopefully, it’s a phase I’m going through.
    GOOD POST!! :)

    • Thank you!! Honestly, I think much of it has to do with our own thought processes, and sociological scriptures that have gotten in there and screwed a lot of our thinking up. Even more so than having three children, I think the true beauty is found within always remaining committed to the struggle it must be to keep your kids balanced in this world, and in helping them realize their own beauty and potential as well as your own in the meantime. Talk about multitasking!!

      I’m not a parent yet, but almost all of my best friends are at this point, and I don’t think there’s anything more taxing, exhausting and I would imagine too, rewarding, than being a great parent. That, in and of itself, is a most beautiful thing…

      • Very good points. Society and media definitely have an effect on our viewpoints of ourselves and life.
        I didn’t consider the challenges of society and other issues when being a parent. You’re right, it is difficult when trying to raise your children right and not let such things as horrible crimes and rude people effect the kids. It’s like you’re always teaching them life lessons.

  9. There are so many ways to be beautiful. I think we use the term to express attraction, and we are attracted to people who are happy, positive, funny, adventurous etc.

    I know my appearance changes based on my mood. People can read my body language and my face. When I’m really happy, it shows outwardly. Sure I can fake it a little, and hide a little, when I try really hard.

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  11. I once set myself the project of coming to an understanding of what is ‘beauty’. I spent a few hours researching and writing on the topic. I’m no expert, like most of my ‘projects’ I gave up before arriving at a point I was satisfied. I couldn’t reconcile the notion of subjective versus objective beauty. I cannot fault Deodatta’s notion of beauty being in the eye of the beholder, but at the same time, there must be a commonness to concept of beauty that we all share, or else the word itself would lose all meaning.

    So what is it that is common? And by common, I don’t mean just to people or art or landscapes or architecture, but common across the range of subjects to which the term is applied. That was the task I set for myself. I had a few thoughts, but perhaps my favorite was the idea of ‘cohesiveness’. The thing that was beautiful had to ‘cohere’… it had to fulfill the purpose for which it was designed.

    To a mathematician, am equation might be beautiful – but only if it works, otherwise it is but a series of numbers and symbols. To take your idea of inner and outer beauty, they must each adhere to their form. Does that make sense? I’m sorry for my rambling but never found anyone else interested in the concept. I’ll hunt down the paper I did and see if there was anything else that may be worthwhile.

    • Sorry for taking so long to get back…crazy days. Your comment on not being satisfied with projects reminded me of the last sentence of this quote from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis from their song “Make the Money” which I love (obviously…to post it and all) –

      https://thecultivationofbeauty.com/about-me/why-i-write/

      I was wondering whether you had ever heard of that, just knowing you’re not alone and the reason for some of your incomplete thoughts may be a mere result of thinking big, rather than not finishing projects or anything like that.

      I agree with you too about that “commonness” to beauty that we all must too share. It’s such an ethereal, intangible thing to even just think of, let alone try to articulate, but I love trying. (I also love math…coincidentally ;0) I think it might be correct to say something like you said, like something is beautiful if it “fulfill[ed] the purpose for which it was designed”. I might add that such fulfillment, to elaborate, requires a kind of self-acceptance of that purpose, but then how could you say that for a flower?

      Maybe beauty for human beings has a commonness to that of inanimate objects, but is also more complex, in terms of our conscious being. Or, in other words, the part of us that is ethereal, intangible.

      In what you said though, I do wonder where the struggle for perfection with the acceptance that one will never be perfect (which, incidentally makes them imperfect perfection, in my opinion) fits. Maybe in the consciousness part I suppose.

      All you said though, makes sense, and it was so fun to read the collaborations of someone else who has given it too, so much thought! I don’t mind your rambling ;0) And I would greatly appreciate that, if you have anything else to share.

      I said somewhere on my blog, it’s still pretty unorganized and I haven’t had the time as of yet to go in and really play around with that, but somewhere, I said that I have this framework of what beauty is in my head that I’ve been building for some time, but there are still holes and it my hope that this blog will help me to fill those in so that I can finish this book I so badly want to complete (“Cultivating Beauty”). Aha…that being said, it may be on my “About Me” page.

      In any case, thanks for the contribution. It was and is greatly appreciated.

    • PS – I think I tried to reply to one of your posts on your website and it wouldn’t let me without entering my name and other info and then there was an error and I lost all I had written in the first place to you because it was on my phone which is always having errors in the WordPress app for some reason. I will let you know the thought when I get back to it, which will hopefully be very soon!

  12. Kyrielle, in reality, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is always viewed and judged by others (and not by the person.) In my view, you are certainly beautiful, mainly because of your wonderful writing that reflects your honesty and inner beauty; while your recent pictures (or even the picture from 2001 in this post) can only reflect your outer beauty. Have a great day.

    • Deo, Deo…

      With all due respect, I believe that whomever coined the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” was somewhat lazy in nature, at least as it comes to that phrase. While I can see what it means, or perhaps what it is meant to mean, this is more so the way that I see it…

      Beauty is universal because beauty is love. While love may come in many forms, it may not SEEM universally the same, but I can assure you, it’s attributes are, too, universal.

      I’m sorry I cannot elaborate tonight, but I keep getting these comments with “beauty is in the eye” and it does somewhat slightly and pretty much completely and altogether drive me bonkers (for a lack of better word…because I strongly dislike that one in particular). But do you have any idea what I mean by that very short-winded explanation above? This is a theory I’ve been working on for years. It still has holes, so any input you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the comment and hope you’re having a good evening back home ;0)

      • Thanks Kyrielle, for sharing your views. To me the expression “Beauty is in the eye of beholder” simply and often meant that different people can have different opinions about Beauty. Interestingly beauty, if considered as a universal concept, has no intrinsic and/or pre-established meaning, standard definition or even value for that matter in actuality….we can always differentiate inner and outer beauty or associate beauty with love, loyalty, honesty etc vis-a-vis physical appearnce (thatis skin deep). Nonetheless, the definition of Beauty still remains inherently observer-based. Hence the expression, with simple mind thinking, implies that Beauty can be “to each its own”. In other words, each individual may interpret the idea of Beauty according to his/her own biased, genetic, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs, proclivity and predilection.

        I do like your views, and think that it’s an excellent perspective. Thanks a lot for sharing. Best.

        • Hmm…you just blew the lid right off of my mind ;0). Seriously though, you did. I still believe there’s something fundamental here were missing. Can’t figure it out.

          I think inner and outer “beauty” are two different things. I think I speak of “inner” beauty to whomever insists on a split in definition, though I’m not yet sure even whether there is or is not one. But honestly, I think that beauty is derived through hope during horror without a perceived end.

          For example, I’m not too far on right yet but am reading victor frankl’s book “man’s search for meaning” right now and he’s talking about making it through the concentration camp by use of mind over matter. Or, if you’ve even see the movie “la vita e bella”? It’s similar to that as well.

          It’s something ethereal I think, it’s an intangible quality. But I’ve got to get to work hah! So, to be continued…(do let me know your thoughts on the matter if you have time and any rebuttal/consensus/questions/etc., it keeps these gears shifting ;0)

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