Beauty. It’s such an overused, cliche word.
In fact, sometimes just saying the word beauty makes me nauseous. I hear it thrown around in everyday language all too often, to the point that I have begun counting how many times I hear it in a day. It’s no longer attributed to the special things around us, but to things on our screens that we have never actually experienced ourselves. “Beautiful!” could very well be the single most used comment attributed to Instagram and Facebook, and I have even had people saying it on my photos simply to draw attention to their profiles, so I can go see the beauty that they have captured. If I had $1.00 for every time I heard how “beautiful” my dog is, I would never need a job again. I know my dog is beautiful, and that this scenery is gorgeous, but do these things move you in any way? No? Then it’s time we restored the meaning behind the beauty of which you speak.
“What a beautiful wedding,” “look how beautiful that sunset is,” “you have beautiful eyes,” “your pictures are sooooo beautiful.” Thanks, I think. I mean, a piano is beautiful too, but unless somebody plays the keys and those strings vibrate, it merely becomes a big, awkward, wooden decoration. I want to hear the music that comes from inside the beauty.
Now I admit, I may sound like a pretentious ass right now, whining about something positive in the world, but hear me out. We have desensitized ourselves to beautiful objects, moments, places and people, to the point that we have lost sight of what lies behind the beauty that we see. By losing this, we lose the power we have in language, conversation and human connection.
The sky is beautiful, flowers are beautiful, dogs are beautiful, people are beautiful and life is beautiful. But why do we see these things as beautiful? How does that sunset make you feel? What did you see inside your lover’s eyes? Does this photograph inspire you in some way? We can say that these things are beautiful all day, but if we don’t recognize how they change or shape our perspective and attribute some sort of deeper meaning to the beauty at hand, we become shallow, and our declarations of beauty falter and drift with the slightest breeze, words left hanging on a moment that had so much more to offer. In a society engulfed in social media and instantaneous stimulation, we need more people thinking beneath the surface. Otherwise, take your photograph and move on, because you are a tourist in a land where you could be a local.
Now I know some of you think I’m being cynical, but I’m not saying that some stranger on the trail should hold their tongue when they want to compliment my dog. I’m simply saying that we need to actually appreciate beauty as more than “skin – or fur – deep.” Some people do. I’m speaking to those that do not. There is always something going on behind the scenes, literally and figuratively. A sunset looks great. But it also has the power to help us appreciate night and day, bring closure to an issue in our lives, end a horrible day, highlight the perfection in one, or simply effect gratitude that we were guaranteed one more glorious revolution around that gaseous ball of fire.
Love is a beautiful thing. However, women don’t just want to hear they are beautiful anymore; they want substance, courage, security, inspiration, truth and uniqueness. They want clever. They want fun. They want beauty – raw, deep, no holds bar beautiful moments full of life and laughter and warmth and truth and edgy, interesting conversation. They want passionate love-making and a man that sweeps them off their feet with his brain. They know they are beautiful. Guys are beautiful too. It’s 2015. Stop trying to compliment each other like it’s 1950. You’re just being nice, or trying to get laid.
Beauty has also become extremely controversial in the media today. Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful. Kim Kardashian is beautiful. But I also hear that Bruce Jenner was a terrible person before this change, and I personally dislike the Kardashians, their family, and what they stand for in our society. So do I think that Caitlyn or Kim are truly beautiful? Maybe not. Victoria’s secret models are extremely beautiful, and fun to look at. But you can bet that last beautiful green-faced George Washington of yours that I am going to date a woman who I think is beautiful on the inside over some high-maintenance babe that I meet at the bar who could give a shit less about what I want from life. Beauty is so selfish, ain’t it? Damn right it is, and I want the utmost integrity from both my lover, and my role models.
So what? Am I just some rambling, anger-provoking douche with a chip on his shoulder? Sure. You can call my words ugly. You can call my dog beautiful. You can snap a picture of that mountain, post it on Instagram, hope you get some likes, and have someone call it beautiful. Or you can put down that camera, breathe in the crisp, clear, mountain air, dance on top of the peak, kiss your lover at sunset, jump in mud puddles, get soaked by the rain, talk about the stars, climb that tree, and even break your fucking leg trying to be the most dynamic, well-rounded, poetic, powerful human being you can be without ever hoping for some kind of recognition. Or, you can be like me, and do both. Because I want to appreciate beauty on a deeper level, and share it with the world, in hopes that I inspire all of you beautiful people to open not only your eyes, but your hearts as well, to how absolutely beautiful this wild, wonderful life can be.