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What is Beauty?

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:09 AM   #1
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So I have been doing some thinking. I am convinced that the only reason why i feel unattractive is because society tells me that my weight is unattractive. I think that certain heavier more voluptuous women (myself included) are still beautiful albeit a different kind of beauty than thin women. I just feel ugly a lot of the time because I believe the world perceives me as ugly. So I was curious, what does everyone consider to be beautiful? I know we are all here to lose weight, but that could be for health reasons rather than to look better.
Personally I believe that long hair is beautiful as well as freckles, pregnant bellies and long flowing dresses.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:33 AM   #2
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You know what always lifts my spirits when I get brought down by societal standards? I look at what other cultures in the present and in the past considered to be 'beautiful.' If you ever take a look at Greek Paintings or paintings from the Reinsurance Era, all the woman are depicted as voluptuous. Our societies 'thin' is a very modern thing. Back in the day, if you were bigger it was a sign of status as you were wealthy enough to afford food and not some starving beggar. Haha.

As for what I find beautiful--I love smiles. I think that a simple smile on anyone makes them x1000 more beautiful.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:56 AM   #3
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In the long run, feeling that fat can be beautiful did more to help me than to harm me. I still wanted to be thinner, but I didn't feel I had to be thinner in order to attract wonderful men or to deserve everything that life has to offer.

It gave me confidence to do things that fat women aren't supposed to do in our culture (like ask men out, and be seen in a swimming suit - and actually swimming- in public).
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:01 AM   #4
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Fair warning. This is going to be a winding post.

I'm lucky enough to live in a semi-wooded area. There are a lot of trails, and a ton of trees surrounding my apartment complex. The skies are fairly clear. The air free and clean.

Sometimes when I walk outside, I wander over a tree and put my hand on the trunk. I close my eyes, and let my fingers wander over the rough bark, and feel the patterns the cracked surface forms. I hear the summer bugs calling out the temperature, and flying from plant to plant. I smell the heated wildflowers from nearby. I feel the pine needles that coat the floor snap under my feet. When I open my eyes, the world is clear.

I am a part of all of this in a very literal sense. I was simply blessed enough to be gifted with the senses to observe all that I'm a part of, and the mind to comprehend and appreciate it. I am lucky to simply be here and experience all of it for this all too brief amount of time.

So to answer your question: When I feel lucky and blessed in that way...everything that this universe has made, and everything that this fascinating blue planet supports is beautiful, and is to be celebrated.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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I'm heavy but I know I'm still pretty. Losing all the weight in the world won't give you confidence. I can't count how many people I've known who lost a bunch of weight and still hated how they looked, most of those people of course did it the crazy not eating enough way but... If you don't feel comfortable in your own skin (even if you have more of it than you'd like!), it's definitely something to work on!
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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I agree with all the responses, esp if you look back at paintings and cultures other than ours. We (not me) have an unhealthy perception of beauty in this country. PLUS remember Marilyn Monroe was a 12-14 and considered one of the most beautiful woman in the world & my husband said he always liked woman with a little bit of meat on their bones, who wants to hang on to a boney a**. LOL
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Muffintine View Post
Back in the day, if you were bigger it was a sign of status as you were wealthy enough to afford food and not some starving beggar
This is still true! I lived in Nairobi a couple of years ago when I was heavier (around 175) and the fact that I was heavier made me like some weird status symbol. The only people who are overweight there are the wealthy ones (and usually the ones who eat a lot of expensive processed/western food). You are not going to get overweight in the slums living off of beans and sukuma (a kale-like vegetable). Coupled with the fact that I was white, I got a lot of attention that I could never get used to. You would have thought "Mzungu!" (white person) or "My Wife!" were my names!

Beauty is totally a social construct. It is only what we have decided it is- but there is so much power in that historical "we". Some of what "we" have decided is pretty unfortunate, the way it makes people feel unworthy. To me, the most beautiful thing is someone who stands in their truth, who isn't afraid to just be whatever it is that they are.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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While there are certainly specific traits that I think are more or less attractive (sorry if this offends, but it is true), I have to say that self-confidence goes a long way in how 'beautiful' someone appears to be. Depressed/down-trodden/frowning women, at least in my opinion, look far less beautiful that someone who look comfortable in their own skin. No matter how pretty someone is, slumped shoulders and ill-fitting clothes or no care paid to personal upkeep, doesn't scream beautiful to me.

I agree with previous posters who have said that beauty is quite dependent upon where/who you are. I know that my exact idea of beauty is in no way the same as probably anyone else's, and because of that giving an definitive answer to this question is difficult! In terms of how I view myself, I think that I have a nice face, but I am well aware of the fact that I lack the degree of self-conficence that I think is so beauty-making in other people. I feel my most attractive when I feel the least bloated, haha, as messed up as that sounds!
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffintine View Post
You know what always lifts my spirits when I get brought down by societal standards? I look at what other cultures in the present and in the past considered to be 'beautiful.' If you ever take a look at Greek Paintings or paintings from the Reinsurance Era, all the woman are depicted as voluptuous. Our societies 'thin' is a very modern thing. Back in the day, if you were bigger it was a sign of status as you were wealthy enough to afford food and not some starving beggar. Haha.

As for what I find beautiful--I love smiles. I think that a simple smile on anyone makes them x1000 more beautiful.
I love the renaissance era paintings too. My favorite painting of a woman is on the ceiling of the Paris Opera House, the Palais Garnier. http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b4...ieri05/988.jpg this is my favorite painting in one of the rooms of the palais. When I saw it I was amazed at its beauty! This woman has curves (I love curves) and a bit extra, but its soooo gorgeous! I think beauty is not only on the outside but also on the inside. If a person is mean or nasty then I believe it shows on their outside.

this was a great question to ask. I'm enjoying all the replies.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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I think everyone of every size is beautiful. I used to be so worried about my size and how other people saw me and I thought that I wasn't beautiful...but I mean honestly, everyone has confidence issues at least once in their life. Even those skinny girls who you might look at and think oh she looks perfect...they see flaws in themselves that we don't see in them.

The other day I was complaining about my armpit fat. It was really starting to bother me and I felt like it made me look ridiculous in my swimsuit. My boyfriend and sister had NO IDEA what I was talking about, and apparently it just looked way way worse to me then it did to them...and my sister is brutally honest to the point of being mean, so if she had seen it she would have told me to put a shirt on over my suit. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we are all more critical of ourselves then other people.

I've stopped worrying about little things like that. I feel like I'm beautiful, inside AND outside. I figure if someone really finds me that unattractive, well they can stop looking. lol

Also, I want to point out...skinny girls have feelings too. There are girls who are really upset about how skinny they are and they try and gain but cannot seem to manage it. I always try and avoid saying negative things about "skinny" girls or "big" girls because I know how it feels to have those negative things said about me and it's not pleasant. Yes, curves are beautiful. Yes, we are big beautiful women. I just felt like pointing out those skinny women are beautiful too, and they don't need big breasts and a big booty to be beautiful, just like we don't need to be stick thin.

Oh, and taking care of yourself goes a long way. When I do my hair and put on a little bit of lip gloss and eye shadow and wear clothes that aren't 2 sizes too big, I feel a lot more beautiful then I do when i'm lounging around in my super big t-shirt with my hair sticking up all over the place. Taking better care of yourself automatically gives you more confidence. Go buy some sexy underwear. Even if no one sees it, you'll feel sexier with it on. lol
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #11
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I enjoyed reading this:
http://www.amazon.com/Quest-Human-Be.../dp/0393040046

Shows how it is all totally in the eye of the beholder and "beautiful" can come in many ways.

I'm most attracted to natural beauty that is low key. I can appreciate a more high maintenance cultivated type as well like "Oh, that's striking" but I'm not attracted too it. It's too much work. A simple neat & clean will do and the easiest thing to put on is a smile.

Whatever else is bonus. To me it boils down to having confidence, feeling secure and comfortable in your own skin and being kind to others.

Clothes, make up, jewelry -- all nice accessories. But the main thing for me to find someone beautiful is how they are. I don't care how pretty they seem on the outsides with clothes and whatnot -- if they are ugly acting or mean... it just makes them ugly all the way through.

I know sometimes people have real health and body image issues to work through, and I certainly wish them well if they really are going to try to get better. But I just don't want to hang around it if they are not going to try to work on it.

It takes a real toll. My dad has bad self esteem and is very judgmental. It's leaked out all over the family for decades, colored his outlook, his world and while growing up, us too. It's very oppressive to be living under the "Can't do that! What will people think?" cloud. It also robs him (and others) of joys in life. He's never worked on his anger til late in life and even then only halfheartedly and now he's losing mental faculties. So imagine -- a whole life spent in the doldrums, being negative and ugly at people. It is sad.

Since I'm stuck with him, I have a very hard time being around other people who suffer from the same. They pick at themselves all the time, are pessimists, depressed, whatever. It's a lot of work to be their friend because they keep you at arms distance or they are super critical of you because they are critical of everyone and everything. The poor self esteem is what makes them not attractive to me, not their perceived body flaws.

So yeah... for me beauty carries most weight in the self esteem/self respect/kind to people bucket.

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Old 07-05-2011, 08:07 PM   #12
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What attracts me about conventionally beautiful women--the type you see in advertisements, in magazines--isn't the way they look, necessarily, but how put-together they appear.

I didn't realize that was the case until I began working at a local nightclub (I'm a DJ) that was frequented by a number of gorgeous, bigger women who were some of the most put-together, well-dressed, well-accessorized women I've ever seen. Regardless of their size, their dress sense and confidence made me go, "Dang."

What else do I think is beautiful? Healthy, happy people. That's attractive regardless of one's weight.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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I think a good part of beauty comes from inner confidence and peace with one's self. There are people who aren't perfect 10s who are extremely charismatic and attractive because of how they present themselves as a whole package.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:10 AM   #14
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I think a good part of beauty comes from inner confidence and peace with one's self. There are people who aren't perfect 10s who are extremely charismatic and attractive because of how they present themselves as a whole package.
You always say the best things, Krampus.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I agree with all the responses, esp if you look back at paintings and cultures other than ours. We (not me) have an unhealthy perception of beauty in this country. PLUS remember Marilyn Monroe was a 12-14 and considered one of the most beautiful woman in the world & my husband said he always liked woman with a little bit of meat on their bones, who wants to hang on to a boney a**. LOL
I agree that all sizes are beautiful. Most men I talk to say they think women should have curves and some meat on their bones.

That being said, while Marilyn Monroe was larger in comparison to women of her time... saying she was a 12-14 isnt exactly accurate. Due to vanity sizing, sizes have changed. What used to be a 12-14 is now a today's size 6. Marilyn Monroe was a today's size 6.
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