Tuesday, 9 June 2015

What Makes You Beautiful...

Let's get this out of the way: the title of this blog post is not an admission that I have succumbed to the lure of One Direction.  I am not, dear reader, about to suggest that you and I might like to dance all night to the Best Song Ever, nor am I concerned that everybody wants to Steal My Girl.

No, I'm merely using the song title because... Well, it kind of works.

I've been thinking a lot about attraction, recently.  Specifically, I've been thinking about how brilliant is is that our tastes are so individual.  Oh, sure, there are plenty of celebrities out there who are considered beautiful (or handsome) by the majority of people.  But when it comes down to real folk, like you and me, beauty really is incredibly subjective.

I wouldn't say that I have a type, as such.  My longest-running celebrity crushes (James Dean Bradfield, James Bourne, Danny Jones, Matt Smith, David Tennant and Graham Coxon - yes, there are a lot, don't judge me) don't exactly share a whole heap of physical features.  They range in height, weight, eye colour and hair colour.  

One of my friends told me last night that in her opinion, my "type" is "cute geek."  Granted, that doesn't cover all of those celebrity crushes, but I did applaud my friend for her general accuracy.  I'm a bit nerdy and I think I do subconsciously find myself being attracted to men who look like they might be, too.

Exhibit A:

Damn right, they are.

This weekend, my best friend and I were discussing the fact that when you like someone, as cliched as this sounds, they become more beautiful in your eyes, the more you find out about them.  That dude you think is "kind of cute" might become "gorgeous" if you find out he spends his spare time volunteering at a shelter for orphaned puppies (who am I kidding; I would marry that guy).

The phrase "you're beautiful to me" always used to sound suspiciously like a back-handed compliment to my ears, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.  After all, people really are more beautiful in the eyes of those who love them most.  When we care for someone on a deeper level than just "PHWOAR!" then the physical characteristics that might put other people off (insert your own turn-offs here) cease to be even noticeable.  Or even become attributes that we find ourselves helplessly attracted to.

Being single, I don't currently have anyone to love my less than appealing physical attributes.  But the more I look at the couples I know, the more I realise that those things don't actually matter.  I might think my nose is massive and awful, but someone else might think I'm so awesome that they'll happily look past that (as long as I'm not turned to the side; it pretty much blocks out the sun when I do that and you literally can't see past the damn thing).

We live in a rather shallow society, in which people (especially women, if we're honest) are airbrushed to "perfection" in magazines, giving us all a ludicrously high standard to live up to.  But in reality, there are billions of us living on this planet and we don't all fancy the same types of people.  I don't fancy any of my friends' partners.  None of my friends fancy my crush.  And if we're brutally honest with ourselves, we've probably all got at least one person we know, whose partner we've seen and thought: "What the heck does my mate see in them?!"

And the reason for that is that real beauty - as corny as it is to say it - does come from within.  Give me a man with a brilliant sense of humour above a guy with a six pack any day.  Looks are just our initial hook; it's personality that makes us truly want to be with someone.

Basically, what I'm trying to say in writing all of this, is that I'm kind of done with being down on myself about my looks (massive conk, aside).  And I don't give a stuff whether the kind of men I find attractive "in real life" make anyone else I know go:

And those realisations are good things.  Because we shouldn't care whether the object of our desire makes anyone but us swoon.  And because the most attractive qualities a person can have are not found on their faces.

A sense of humour.  A kind nature.  A personality that just "clicks" with yours.  That's so much more important than having the perfect smile, or hair that always behaves.

So, to paraphrase the Raggy Dolls: if you're not at ease with your knobbly knees (or your big nose, wonky teeth or whatever else you don't like about your outer shell), try not to worry about it too much.  Someone out there is going to think you're funny, or clever, or kind.  Or all bloody three.  

And that's what makes you beautiful.

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