I have often wondered what beauty looks like to a person who is blind. When a blind person says something or someone is beautiful, what exactly do they mean? Can they have the same point of reference as a seeing person has?
If I were to ask a hundred people what beauty is to them, I’d venture to say that most (not all) of them would describe some physical attribute that they find attractive. Not many describe inner beauty as something they find attractive. In fact, like the above picture implies, only fat (or ugly) people talk about inner beauty.
I guess Sophia Loren must have been pretty darn ugly since she believed that beauty generated from the inside and reflected to the outside. I wonder how a blind person would have seen Sophia Loren since he could neither experience her physical beauty or the beauty that shone through her eyes.
Almost all of us, except for the blind I suppose, are visual beings. Generally, sight is the first sense we use when we take in something or someone. For me, what makes someone attractive or unattractive is what I see after I take my first look. I have seen some physically beautiful people become more and more unattractive to me once they showed who they were inside. The same can be said about the unattractive person who became more and more beautiful the more I learned about them.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind looking at man and growling at their exquisite form but truthfully the staying power is what is between their ears and in their heart. I don’t find too much attractive in anyone trying to conform to what I want them to do or be. I like when a person is his own man or woman. To me, being comfortable in your own skin is pure beauty.
Recently I had the opportunity to people watch at a few different agendas. While each agenda had its own different theme, all of them had one thing in common: people trying to attract other people by being beautiful. I saw women (young girls) walking in stilettos on uneven black top surfaces making their poor ankles bend and wobble while trying to keep them upright. I saw shirts that were tighter than any corsette. I saw shorts that were so short that a camel toe would have been a welcome sight. So many views of people trying to be beautiful and the saddest thing to see is the shows being presented was mostly by women trying to attract men. In the animal kingdom, it is the male who flashes the female with all his beauty, in the homosapien world, it is the female that is made to paint her face and dance.
Maybe my views have changed because I’m older. Perhaps my views have been tainted by working so many years in an Emergency Department where I have witnessed the self-destructive actions of young women because they did not seem to fit into the beauty ideal of society. Sex sells, and having indiscriminate sex sells the soul.
I like this warning. I wish that all people could see the truth in it. Allowing others to tell us what beauty is and is not is detrimental to our well-being and our self-esteem. It is allowing others to define us. I don’t want someone who doesn’t know me have a say in who I am.
View beauty like the blind man. He can only see with his heart.
July 16, 2012 at 12:32 am
Great post!!! One of my very good friends has been totally blind for over 25 years. His idea of “beauty” have stood still in his mind for that entire period of time. Of course his own age and weight have not changed either. He does see true beauty from his heart. Though, on occasion, he sees with his fingers too ….. For myself, when my life changed so drastically, so did my “vision” ….. I truly see beauty in everything and everyone. And, to me, age is a state of mind as well …. not a number.
Loved your post!!