I’ve thought a lot about the idea of beauty. What makes someone beautiful? Is it the physical attributes? Is it the fact that they look good? Sometimes. What about those people who aren’t so pretty? There are attractive people with faces of trolls that I have loved. What made them beautiful?
I’ll never forget the day that my grandma told me that my grandpa was ugly. We were talking about how my grandma and grandpa met. She worked at Dee’s Restaurant as a waitress, twice divorced. Grandpa used to come into the restaurant quite regularly. He was a bachelor and 35 years old, which is very old to be a bachelor in Utah in 1965. I asked why he wasn’t married yet and she said the he was ugly because of the scars.
Before that day, I never saw the scars on my grandpa’s face. He had been in a horrible car accident as a child. He was thrown through the windshield. This was before the safety glass that breaks into a million non-pointy shards. It was the old kind of glass that cut your face to ribbons when you went through the windshield. His face has scars all over it, but even now I have to concentrate to notice them. He wasn’t a scarred man. He was my beautiful grandpa.
What made him beautiful?
When you first look at someone, all you see is their body. It has taken me 37 years to learn that I am not my body. I am a complete package. I am witty. I am the girl who will tell you the truth even when your mother would lie. I am smart. I am fun-loving. I have long dark hair and a little junk in the trunk. I am a complete package and I truly believe that when I take the whole package into account, I am beautiful. I am attractive.
There is good-looking, which is what someone sees within the first five seconds. After that, there is attractive. It’s how you look at someone you perceive as your inferior. It’s how you laugh at a joke and what kind of joke you’ll laugh at. It’s what you say when all hope is lost. It’s how you move when you are happy and how you move when you are sad. Attractive encompasses so much more than visual input and it takes more than a few seconds to evaluate. It’s complicated and messy, but it’s a far more accurate judge on compatibility with a friend or lover than appearance.
If you have been judging people based on whether they are good-looking or not, give it a rest. Give yourself some time to get to know whether they are truly beautiful or not. You might just find a loving and beautiful person behind a scarred face.
This essay was brought to you thanks to Colleen Wainwright at Communicatrix. She started it with her posts that hadn’t been published yet. Then Brandon, one of her readers put his touches on the idea.
Communicatrix was able to distinguish one attribute that causes people to be attractive even when they’re not all that good-looking, but she was writing from the point of view of an actor and acting. Brandon highlighted several things in our lives that are either good-looking or attractive, but not both, with no explanation to the why.
So, I thought I’d try my hand at it.