Wednesday, 19 December 2007

On Beauty. Or: God Makes Mistakes ALL THE TIME!

So I was pottering around online last night and I found this question Yahoo Answers in New Zealand: Did you know that there is no such thing as an ugly person? My favourite answer comes from Charity:

'I believe that no one is ugly. God made no mistake when he created any of us and we need to know that not because the person may be unattractive to us mean they are ugly, he/she may be the sweetest, loving and kind person you will ever meet.

Beauty is not on the outside but on the inside.'
Awwww, sweet. Barely literate and definitely wrong, but sweet. Anyway, it made me want to say a few things about the whole beautiful versus ugly thing. So here goes.

I know I’m ugly. People have been telling me my whole life that I’m ugly. I accepted pretty early on that it was true; that it was objectively, unequivocally a fact of my life.

I was an ugly baby. With elbows hidden in my face.

I was an ugly boy. With eczema on top of the elbows.

I was an ugly adolescent. With acne on top of the eczema on top of the elbows.

And now I am an ugly man. With elbows hidden in my face. And with scars. Lots of nasty, ugly scars.

Really. Accept it. I’ve accepted it.

But there are probably still those amongst you – probably Christians – thinking and believing that there is actually no such thing as ‘ugly’ or ‘beautiful’, there is only what society tells us or fashion dictates; thinking that beauty is not something on the surface, rather it is a light in the heart; thinking that ugly is a state of mind, beautiful thoughts make a beautiful person and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Why, even Confucius he say: ‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it’.

To all of which I say: balls.

Ask the philosophers and the poets. Not Confucius, but the others. They knew. Anyway, it’s obvious. It’s screamingly obvious.

Beauty exists, objectively. And I can prove it.

For example, imagine a magnificent cheetah hurtling through a vibrant, verdant jungle. That’s beauty right there, you see. Now imagine a fat brown slug leaving a trail of slime on a dirty kitchen floor. Ugh. You see?

Or – maybe you’re a fan of slugs and you don’t buy that. Fine. Imagine instead a tropical sunset on a clear, lucid night, palm trees swaying in the breeze and waves lapping at a crimson beach. Now imagine a row of dilapidated council houses on a smoggy morning, a drunk old man staggering in the street and his wife coughing up blood and phlegm into a piece of crispy toilet roll. You see the difference?

And it’s the same with individuals. Only more so. I’ll show you. I’ll test you. I’ll show you some photos of some famous people, in pairs, one of them is – in my most humble opinion, objectively good-looking, attractive, a thing of beauty; the other a pig. If it isn't obvious to you as it is to me, then I will hold my hands up, admit that I was wrong and write a letter of apology to Charity.

George Formby vs George Clooney...

Jessica Alba vs Jade Goody...

Bruce Willis vs Bruce Forsyth...

Tracey Emin vs Monica Bellucci...

Wayne Rooney vs Thierry Henri...

Scarlett Johansson vs Sister Wendy Beckett..

Johnny Depp vs Shane McGowan...

Jocelyn Wildenstein vs Beyonce...

So there you have it. QED.

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