I hadn’t actually planned on writing an entry today, mostly because I’m gullet-deep in gynecology.
That came out weird. Ah well.
But here I am. Because I read a blog post. It’s from an absolutely amazing little website called Martin Freeman is Not a Hedgehog. Trust me, it’s too good. (Don’t believe me? Google “Martin Freeman.” What’s the 2nd result after IMDB?)
Admittedly (and unfortunately?), this particular post has little do with Bilbo, doctors, or porn stars (major cred if you got all that). But it did make me think. And not about ovaries. And for that, I can only offer the Tennant Clap of Gratitude:
(This post is getting a bit silly. I’ll return to writing after a moment of silent giggling.)
The aforementioned blogger touched on something I’ve been unable to put into words – how bloody difficult it is to recognize your own beauty. In fact, there’s been a few friends who’ve been on my case regarding the issue recently and I’m never able to give them a satisfactory result. No matter how lovely they are or how nicely they say it, I simply don’t see what they see.
Which brings me to reason # 863 why Benedict Cumberbatch is my soul mate: He doesn’t see it, either. A quote that I liberally steal from the interwebz: “I am horse-faced and ass-named, but there we go, what can you do? It’s what I was born and blessed with.” – BC
Believe it or not, there’s a huge troupe of teenage to 30-something ladies that regularly berate him for his perceived low self-esteem and self-deprecation. If he has an international flock of drooling, beautiful women hanging on his every word, how could he ever think himself unattractive?
It’s an interesting question. And to be fair, not everyone out there sees what the fangirls see in Mr. Cumberbatch. But then, if we don’t all agree… what makes someone beautiful? It can’t possibly be something intrinsic and unchangeable or we would all see the same level of attractiveness in Person X. It’s therefore got to be a subjective quality. (Oh God, here it comes.) It’s in the eye of the beholder. (CRINGE) Obvious so far, right?
So what happens when Person X is the subject and the beholder? They’re entitled to disagree with the next person, aren’t they? NOT SO. If you think yourself attractive and everyone else doesn’t, you’re being an overconfident, preening prat. If you think yourself more unattractive than others do, you’re being “down on yourself.” In a world where every Dove commercial is supposed to empower you to own your body and your beauty, NOT prancing about naked and glorying in your womanly, divine looks is considered a fault. A weakness in character. In fact, it’s considered a hell of a lot worse – not to mention annoying and frustrating – than not actually being good-looking.
I don’t mean to criticize my excellent friends and their perfectly wonderful intentions. I just mean to say that seeing a less-than-smokin’ miss in the mirror does not equate with low self-esteem. Trust me, I wouldn’t have gotten far in my life if I didn’t think I was capable of something awesome.
Bottom line: don’t judge others on how they view themselves, especially if you disagree. They’re not poor creatures deserving of pity and inflated compliments. Throwing around superlatives cheapens what you’re trying to say. Don’t feed them trite tidbits you heard on Oprah about inner beauty. Newsflash: You can’t see inner beauty. (You don’t chat up the person you find inwardly, invisibly good-looking, amirite?) And most importantly, don’t try to force them to see something they don’t. Can’t be done. There’s a part of self-recognition that’s core to how we identify ourselves and is really resistant to change. It can change – slowly – but it needs time and a subtle touch. Not a dump truck of saccharine BS.
Anyway, I’ll let it be. I congratulate you if you made it the end of this one – following my twisty-turny mind is a challenge on the weekend. Happy studying!