"Beauty is a form of Genius - is higher, indeed, than Genius, as it needs no explanation."
Lord Henry Wotton,
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Lord Henry Wotton is one of those rare fictional characters who is so charismatic, so intelligent, so witty - and pardon my employment of contemporary vernacular - so 'fucking cool' that you can do nothing but be convinced with whatever he says no matter how wrong, immoral, contrary and paradoxical his world views and philosophies are - for the simple reason that he says them so bloody well. He played the allegorical tempter, a Victorian societal edition of the Devil to the titular Dorian Gray, and I had a hard time myself not get sucked in by his words myself when I first read the novel. "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it," said Lord Henry and deep down inside, you know that that was bullshit, but you'd still be impressed anyhow by the way he thinks. And after reading that line a second time, you'd suddenly find yourself convinced that he was absolutely right, and wonder why you weren't before.
But I'm not going to write about him today - at least, not very much.
I did, however, discover that I was inadvertently channeling the irrepressible and oft-reprehensible Lord Henry earlier this afternoon (though admittedly lacking his oratory panache) while drafting an e-mail to a friend of mine on an unlikely subject. One of Beauty, oddly enough, and I was writing in response to her belief that physical beauty is not as important as someone's personality - or as she had so eloquently put it - "the face inside", which is a far less mutable and a lot more durable quality, in her opinion.
I believe that physical beauty is important - which more than a few of my friends have described to be a failing of mine. It's not that I think inner beauty isn't the big deal everyone makes it out to be, but I feel that a person's genetic hotness should be just as significant. All of us are born with our little gifts. Some are born with a predisposition to be sweet natured, some are born with a genius-level IQ - while some just have really, really nice thighs. To consider outer beauty to be any lesser than the inner ones is, in my mind, a rather unapparent but unmistakable form of discrimination. Yes, that's what it is. The Holocaust began in that same spirit too; the conviction that a particular human trait is inferior to others.
And doesn't the fact that beauty is fleeting and does not last just means that we ought to appreciate it while it's still around? Besides, I personally feel that a person's personality is fluid anyway. People will change - just ask any one who have ever loved and lost. At least, someone's physical beauty is good for a decade or more, right?
Also, there's a reason why we are organically attracted to sexy people, you know (Darwin, anyone?).
I'm reminded of this story, which may not directly relate at all to the meditations of this post, about myself and what I said to someone a while back. I remember saying, "I would only fall for a hot girl. And I want everyone to know that I have an incredibly and unrealistically high opinion of how a pretty girl should look like. On the standard scale of ten, I'd give every girl two point lower than the mean score the average guy would give. So, when I finally do fall hopelessly and quite helplessly in love with someone, she'd know that she's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."
Sounds a bit morally suspect, doesn't it? But that's just it. It's a natural desire to want you personal life fairytale to resemble real fairytales (okay, real fairytale is kind of an oxymoron but ignore that for now). Remember Snow White and Rapunzel? Sleeping Beauty and of course, Beauty (the one with the Beast, naturally). It's archetypal in all these bedtime stories which all invariably had heroines of the "fairest in all the lands" variety. The celebration of physical perfection was hammered quite deeply into the human psyche and I'm merely upholding the tradition. In classic Aesopian fashion, the lesson we can learn from these collective stories is quite simply this; hot babes equal happy ever afters.
It may appear shallow of me to want to fall for the most beautiful woman I will ever meet - in spite how out of the league I might be. Maybe, I want to be that shallow. There's something reassuringly masculine in that. Reminds me of "masculine stupidity", a pet phrase of Auntie June, my old English tutor who was quite the Lady Henrietta Wotton herself.
I just believe that hot people ought to get as much respect as everybody else.
k0k s3n w4i