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Rambling About Beauty

Beauty is personal, and it is cultural, and it is considered a shallow and fleeting thing. It is the number one hit on the empty flattery hit parade, and one could be forgiven for heavily discounting it. It is not the most important thing, but to deny that it has any importance at all is a lie.

I am very aware of beauty, in general, and as it applies to people (with emphasis on women). I think about what it is, and what it means. People often speak of beauty and attraction as though there is some kind of mind body dichotomy. People speak of someone having a kind heart, or a beautiful soul, and they also speak of a beautiful (or hot) body, and these things are spoken of as if they have no connection, and are entirely distinct realms.

I do not agree with this. A person's appearance is, to some extent a phenomenon of matter. People are constructs of flesh and bone, muscle and sinew. But they are alive, and they look alive because the person, the person within animates the stuff of their bodies. When I look at a person, a person's face, their body, I am seeing more than the physical, because I am seeing the way what is inside renders the physical form into a living person. One does not need to posit a magical spirit to say that one's soul shines from the eyes, that the face relays the character. And one does not need to consider that beautiful soul to be some kind of second rate consolation prize. That soul works in concert with the body to create a beautiful package.

So, what I see when I look at someone lovely, like LilyLloyd, is something more than just a nice arrangement of anatomy. I see the person making that glow. And that's appealing.

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