I want to just write about something which has been travelling in my thoughts across the past week or so. It is a thought about beauty and appearance. A thought which stems from a comment my best mate made. In conversation he made the statement that a certain young woman was beautiful, continuing on to clarify that she was beautiful all around as a person. Now I must add that I love hanging out with my mate, because he always has something surprising and insightful to say. And what he said next was that precise thing. He said: 'I think you go for the looks, but stay for the personality.'
Of course that is a rough paraphrase, yet it covers the gist of the idea perfectly. And while we were obviously talking deeply about relationships and what attracts individuals to one another (we may have been particularly talking about young Aussie men in terms of being attracted to young Aussie women). It is an idea that has stayed with me across the entire week and has led me to ponder the concept of true beauty.
As a young single male I won't deny that I consider myself something of a romantic. Not in terms of my attitude towards love necessarily, but towards life. I'm an idealist - and yet I tend to believe that I am quite grounded in reality all the same - while also being a very harsh critic of myself. If I do not execute an idea or goal to the best of my ability it can nag at the perfectionist side of me. I mention this to admit that I am perhaps somewhat romantic when it comes to my idea of love. I suppose what I aim to say is that I believe in not merely falling for whatever comes your way but of looking for the right match. Having never been in a proper romantic relationship I'm still very naive as far as life is concerned in this area.
I say all this in connection to the idea of beauty. I cannot deny that I recognise beauty in many of its forms in life. I would admit that many of my female friends (most of whom I consider as sisters) are physically beautiful women. There is a truth in admitting this. So when my friend mentioned that 'you are attracted to the looks, but stay for the personality', something clicked in my head.
I've always been taught to respect others. I believe this is something so often missing from our world. A world where too often men have little respect for women as anything other than objects. A world which is demonstrated by a group of women I saw mouth off at cops the other night, merely for being cops. There are other examples I could provide but will not. The point is that I know many, many men of my age or a little older who consider it perfectly acceptable to leer. And I know as many women who consider it acceptable to encourage such behaviour. I don't consider this respectful in the slightest, nor do I find it attractive inwardly.
So when my mate explained his theory it clicked into place. As mentioned I aim to respect the beauty of others by accepting it as a truth and affirming it. But I cannot be attracted to those who flaunt such beauty and corrupt it in a manner that falls into line with a world lacking respect. And the reason for that is that true beauty is within.
This is a cliché, I am fully aware. But clichés often have plenty of truth connected to them. And the truth of which I have become aware is that in a world concerned with appearances and hyper-reality. The truly beautiful things like knowledge, wisdom, wonder, truth, life and laughter are often drowned out in the chaos of sparkling colour and body modifications. I don't say this to demean any act which helps dress someone up as they wish to be (I'm not averse to using hair gel on the odd occasion). My main point is that personality is what is truly attractive in an individual and this is so often under-emphasised.
A pretty face might cause me to think for a second, to acknowledge the beauty of the person. But what will stay with me in regards to that face is always the smile or the hint of personality emphasised within that face. The aesthetic is momentary, the person inside is eternal. And it is for this very reason that whenever anyone questions my age, my single status, my attitudes towards love I am quite content as life is. Because until the right personality captures my heart, I will only ever be confronted by external appearances. And for me, doing what is right does not mean doing what is seen to be right.