#Reverb10 – 8: Beautifully Different
December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
This is totally one of those “toot your own horn, go right ahead!” things, huh? If I must, I’d say I have a pretty whimsical view of the world, some might say childish. But that’s not particularly unique. I also like to think I’m 100% honest, but not in an irritating “I’m just being honest when I insult you, yeah? So you can’t get mad! Just bein’ myself, yeah?” Big Brother contestant way. It’s more that, if I think something or someone is amazing, I don’t see why I should contain myself and not say so. So, if I pay a compliment, know that it’s true, and totally from a good place. Consequently, such statements may seem overly gushing, or laced with sinister ulterior motive. But these barely-worth-mentioning points are just little things about me, and at best, mild character flaws. Beautiful, though? No.
Maybe I just take issue with the phrasing of the question, because it perpetuates that irritating 21st century notion of everything being beautiful, and that everyone is, or has the potential to be beautiful. That’s just not true. It’s not true in obnoxious cosmetic ads that trumpet “real women” as beautiful (while not actually featuring any “real woman” below a 7), and it’s not true from a personality standpoint either.
Sure, some people are beautiful, inside, outside, or both, but the idea that everyone is beautiful and sexy and interesting and worth knowing just brings mental images of MySpace angles, and packs of drunken girls clacking down the highstreet on a Friday night, and immediately posting 10,000 pictures of what they got up to on Facebook under the folder name of “LittleMizzSexxy and THE GIRLS!!” We’re not all beautiful, physically or in the things that we do, and if you think you are, odds are, you’re just being arrogant.
If everybody’s beautiful, nobody’s beautiful. Without the 1’s, there’d be no 9’s and 10’s. Without the nervous, inarticulate folks who can’t express themselves without weirding someone out, there’d be no eloquent, confident bastards at the other end of the scale. Without the bores who are only into stuff you find deathly dull, you wouldn’t get that giddy rush when clicking with someone who loves the same things you do. And of course, there are people whose ways and quirks do make them truly beautiful, but I’m certainly not one of them. The fact that I compliment honestly, or that I always look for the punchline because I like to make people laugh doesn’t make me beautiful, it just makes me me.
We simply are what we are, and for many of us, what we are is not beautiful. And maybe that’s the beautiful thing – the sense of balance. We all have our place, be we ones or twos; the sparkling, aspirational tens; or something in the middle. None could exist without the other. Being comfortable with your place within that balance, that’s the important thing.