The Corruption of Beauty

So I was ranting about Megan Fox to a friend Saturday evening, about how she had been a beautiful girl prior to the lip enhancements, the nose jobs, the reshapings, etc. She really had been gorgeous. Not in the pornstar way she is now, what with the full pouty lips and smoldering eyebrows and shorty short jean shorts jacked up to a centimeter below the crotch. No, before all that, she’d been a gorgeous girl that any mother or father would have been proud to call their own and that any guy would have been thrilled to go on a date with. She looked REAL.

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Why, hello beautiful!

And she threw that all away in the name of a career that likely won’t be supporting her much past her mid-thirties. She went through cosmetic surgery after cosmetic surgery, until the lovely girl who had at one point been was only barely there, showing herself only in a rare and slight glance of the eyes.

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Aaaaand goodbye…

Freyja is the goddess of love and beauty, among her other talents. Surely she has an opinion on this. When a woman feels insecure enough in their own beauty to want to take a scalpel to their flesh or pump it full of chemicals, or crank their breasts up a couple cup sizes with silicone implants, it makes a mockery of Freyja’s domains. Part of beauty is confidence. Freyja of all deities should understand this better than most. She knows in her bones that she is desirable, and she walks the walk as a result.

But I see girls who may not be skinny, or maybe even a little overweight, every day. I walk past them every morning on the way to work and back home at the end of the day. They don’t conform to pop culture’s standards of beauty at all. There’s no room in Hollywood for a leading lady with a little extra to her frame unless it’s for an exploitative “comedy” like Shallow Hal (which still sucks as an example because the “overweight” leading lady in question is the STUNNINGLY Hollywood-gorgeous Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit with prosthetics and CGI to make her obese for the camera, and she doesn’t actually spend that much time onscreen looking like that).

Truly, a woman who knows ALL ABOUT BEING OBESE.

Yet I would not change these girls with surgery at all. They’re beautiful in a way Freyja could easily admire. Even though they may be bothered on occasion with a spot of low self-esteem (as we all are), they are still ultimately comfortable enough that they don’t seek an extreme option. Instead, maybe they hit the treadmills for a few hours a week and substitute a salad for a calorie-heavy meal once or twice a day. With enough of those smaller, incremental changes, they’ll soon be more physically attractive, but they’re beautiful already without those changes.

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Guys, if you don’t go for a gal this pretty, there is something wrong with one of your heads.

Beauty and physical attractiveness are so far from being the same thing there should be eddas about the difference, despite what comic books, video games, TV, and movies all insist to the contrary. Those mediums want to reinforce the idea that to be a beautiful woman, you MUST have an amazing bikini body (that photographers will still touch up in photoshop anyway). But that’s why it’s Hollywood, and not real life. Those women represent a highly idealized rather than realistic view of feminine beauty.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will tell you right here and now what Freyja would say is truly beautiful: Confidence. Loving yourself. When you love yourself, you can not only accept your current imperfections, but actively work to prevent them from ruling you. Here’s the thing, this isn’t just for girls who have a few extra pounds. This is for guys too.

Yeah, Matt Damon and Antonio Banderas are SMOKING HOT (at least so say the magazines and the everything to do with the media) but you know what? I’d be happy to date James Corden. He’s a bit on the chunky side, yeah, but he’s still beautiful. He’s a wonderful man, but if he weren’t a well known actor somewhere, he’d be virtually ignored, because of the corruption of the ideas of beauty in our age.

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Pictured: A worthy guy if ever there was one.

We overwork ourselves, we nip and tuck and cut and carve until little remains that’s recognizable of who we used to be, all for an unhealthy obsession with perceived notions of beauty that are off the mark.

I’m not saying a little tattoo or piercing is an absolute no-no. Our ancestors had both in some form in some strata of society. I’m not saying that dying or bleaching your hair is bad; as long as civilization has existed, wigs have existed for similar purposes. I’m not saying that laying on the makeup is bad either; it’s temporary and can always be undone if you make a mistake.

But to file down a chin, reshape a nose, to inject your lips, etc., these are all permanent changes usually made on what is more or less a whim. Those people who have been in horrific car crashes and undergo reconstructive surgery so they don’t feel ashamed showing their faces in public? They get a pass. But to have a perfectly natural face that really just needed a good smile and a makeover and instead to cut it up and sew it back together? If that job is botched, you must live with that error forever. Remember Jocelyn Wildenstein? A perfect example.

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Somewhere, Freyja is sobbing. And my eyes are joining her.

Do yourself a favor and look up your favorite stars and what they look like with and without makeup. The difference is staggering. I wouldn’t be able to pick out Lady Gaga or Madonna out of a crowd unless they were wearing makeup, myself. A lot of people who get cosmetic (not reconstructive) surgery could be similarly attractive with a good makeup job and maybe a little exercise, but they go under the knife instead. If I were Freyja, I’d be insulted. And she should have every right to be: modern culture has taken her domain of beauty and corrupted it into something horrifying.

Freyja is the goddess of beauty, not merely physical attractiveness. That means a lot to me, and it should to you as well. She’s confident enough that she never really worries about how others might see her. Some might say it’s because she’s the goddess of beauty, and therefore she’s at the top of the pyramid and has nothing to worry about.

Ever been at the top and looked down? It’s a long way to fall. Generally, people with more to lose worry more than people further down the ladder.

But Freyja doesn’t worry. She saunters on, brimming with confidence. She’s in command of herself, and won’t ever reshape herself because someone tells her to or because she got nervous. If anything, she’d look at herself in the mirror and go “I really don’t know what they’re in such a tizzy about. Look at that smile! Who could dislike THAT?” and then she’d pop on a little mascara and lipstick just for a little extra oomph, and if that didn’t go over better, then screw everyone else; she’s beautiful and she knows it.

This is a strength of will we should all be spending more time mastering. Beauty is as much inside us as outside, and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can get back to living the lives the gods want us to live.

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2 thoughts on “The Corruption of Beauty

  1. The “Ideal” body is a hollywood hype. Magazines make objects of worship of both men and women. I myself am no catch by the standards of the media but I have a great girlfriend that looks at my heart and my soul and doesn’t mind the extra pounds. Sure she’d be happier if I took better care of myself and improved my overall physical fitness but thats not why she loves me. We fill the minds of young people everywhere with garbage through the various media outlets (movies, magazine’s, TV, etc). I still have days that looking in the mirror is hard but overall I am comfortable in my skin. I wish others were too.

  2. Pingback: “När skönheten kom till byn…” Amerikanska Asatroende och andra om Frejas vilja, kontra Plastik-kirurgi… « Hedniska Tankar

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