Me? Quite frankly I roll my wonky eyes!
Self-esteem enthusiasts love to emphasize that everyone is beautiful. We are all unique, precious creatures. No ugliness allowed. I would probably count myself among them, yet I have pondered this in the context of how I view myself.
I have concluded that I can still love myself, think highly of myself, and not worry about accepting the label beautiful, which when I look into the mirror doesn’t highly resonate — I was born cross-eyed, and to put it in clinical terms, my smile needs work.
I can appreciate the intent and philosophy behind the ideal that everyone is beautiful, but I have another take on it that I like even better:
THIS IS EARTH SCHOOL
We are all here in Earth School to learn cosmic lessons. It’s often said that we are here to learn about love. We do that through choosing various situations to incarnate into. Each new life offers a new research and testing opportunity. This could include, as it did for me, a few lifetimes with certain birth defects. Birth defects are often physical oddities that set you up for teasing because you don’t meet some cosmetic standard. It is substandard. It is ugly.
Rather than affirm that I am beautiful, I prefer to affirm that part of my doctorate studies here in Earth School is to deal with the challenge of being born with cosmetically flawed eyes. I get more juice thinking that I (or my higher self) gave me this growth opportunity to plod along in a dualistic world with a freaky physical condition. I prefer to think of myself more as a ridicule survivor than “beautiful.” I don’t mean to diminish soul beauty in the least nor do I mean to exaggerate the pain of growing up this way. Plenty of people have it far, far, far worse than me. It’s just as a coping mechanism for physical shortcomings, the Earth School curriculum story works so much better.
Along these lines, I find great appreciation in intimate relationships with friends or lovers who can openly share feelings with me about what they perceive as their physical flaws. Too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too hairy, not hairy enough, too this, not enough that. I find myself feeling much closer to them when we can freely acknowledge our feelings about our physical packaging and the social baggage that sometimes accompanies our life journeys.
To me it shows that love is bigger and stronger than superficial traits.
It is wonderful to reach a place of acceptance of those things we usually cannot change even if we wanted to. For example, in my case, the doctors say that they could not guarantee that if I had cosmetic surgery to re-align my eyes that I would not end up seeing double. I’d rather live with the cosmetic flaw than double vision.
THE BEAUTY OF UGLINESS
I discovered during my romantic choices over the years that I find traits labeled ugly or socially undesirable to actually be interesting. For example, sometimes the women portrayed in the movies as the “ugly sidekick friend” turns out for me to be a much more interesting character and one that I would choose for a lover were I so fortunate to have that choice.
I think this was instilled in me so long ago with Zelda Gilroy on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis during my puberty years. I don’t remember her portrayed as being ugly, per se, but she was a brainiac, and that was characterized as weird or ugly. Her dying devotion to Dobie awed me. I remember some other comedy film where a woman on a bus was poked fun at for her buck teeth and her adoring crush on the character (Woody Allen?) who found her adoration obnoxious — I found her as intriguing as a flame is to a moth.
Growing up I had a long-standing lust for women who were six feet or taller even though most hated the freak jokes. I was also drawn to buxom women — boy did they have stories to tell. It came as quite a surprise when women who did not match my physical preferences wowed me with their yummy personalities. Some of them considered themselves ugly ducklings.
Ultimately, of course, the idea of calling yourself or me calling myself ugly is mostly a statement of physical world standards. Much of it is a conditioned response to all the advertising and marketing that creates standards of beauty. Watching shows about bullying in schools brings it home hard how a young person’s physicality is often the key ingredient for being picked on and humiliated. We often carry those childhood messages onward, weaving them into the fabric of our adulthood and believing them as hard fact.
I for one love diversity. I think that I chose this body for a reason, with all its good stuff and bad stuff. It is what it is. So be it.