Bigsley the Oaf

Simply Visible

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on November 22, 2011

The idea that physical beauty moves only for so-called “genetic” reasons is obviously ill-founded. There are two interesting questions which follow:

1. Why is this obvious?

2. If it’s obvious, why is this concept of “skin-deep” beauty so popular?

It’s obvious because I can come up with lots of alternative explanations off the top of my head:

Characteristics like simplicity and symmetry are generally found attractive – perhaps this is because it’s easier to store information related to a person if their characteristics are simple/symmetric (which is a type of symmetry). A person whose face is simpler will not burden our weak little minds as much as the face of a beast.

Lots of deformities are actually related to some type of pain. E.g. burn victims, people with genetic disorders, victims of abuse, people with scars, etc. Seeing a deformity can then remind one of such a type of abuse.

Physical attractiveness is “known” to be important/desirable. This leads to lots of social effects. E.g. wanting hot girlfriend/boyfriend so that others will be jealous -> do more for you.

Certain types of body-attractiveness are associated with freedom. E.g. part of the reason that contortionists are so hot is that they can move freely through space. This is poetic and romantic and therefore desirable.

Certain types of body/face-attractiveness are associated with sexual pleasure. E.g. pouty lips -> better blow job. E.g. flexibility -> more interesting positions. Etc.

And those are just the reasons that come up off the top of my head. NOW. You could be thinking (assuming you’re one of those fetid everything-is-genetics/evolution types) that this all really relates back to genetic pressures. But in thinking so/saying so/doing so what you’re really doing is conflating genetic pressure with genetic relation.

Everything is trivially related back to genetics. We are genetic creatures. The earliest forms of life were little more than a lump of genetic material, lying around somewhere, and they are what you come from -> what you essentially are.

But not everything is genetic. Some things are. E.g. when I am hungry and see meat and my stomach growls and I get this strong urge to eat MUST EAT, that is genetic. When I smell pussy and get turned on, that is genetic. Perhaps even when I see boobs and I’m like “mmm boobs, must suck,” that is genetic.

But appreciation of freedom of movement? Wanting someone because I know my friends will be jealous? Appreciating the fine and gentle curves of someone’s face?

The reason that we want to believe that beauty = genetics is that then we can dismiss it and doesn’t that make us all so much more comfortable?

We can dismiss it at this point because genetic makeup is somehow not related to intention. As far as the moral fabric of the society I’m a part of is concerned, the #1 most important thing is intention. If you hit someone because you wanted them to hurt, that is bad. If you hit someone because you are crazy, that is not bad or, at least, you are not bad.

Somehow we think that mental makeup is related to intention. Like, when I was born, I sat down and just intended the rest of my mental development. I thought “oh, I’m going to care about Math and Science and Art and Language.” And when I was given the chance to stray from my path – I didn’t take it! I didn’t intend to and I didn’t. My mind is my own creation, yada yada.

The real crux is that physical appearance is visible. If you have not yet engaged with the manifold question of “why is visibility important?” then here’s a quick run-down. If no one finds out that you killed someone, then it’s actually 99.9% OK. If you don’t see someone suffering, then you don’t care. If you see them suffering once, but never again, then you will forget. If you saw someone for the last time 3 months ago, you might die right now, and you’ll never see them again. If a politician has plausible deniability w/r/t a morally unsanctioned act then the political may commit it.

Visibility is awkward. It punishes negative behavior much more than it rewards good. It connects us in uncomfortable, awkward ways. It has this pernicious ability to ruin our freedom. It instills neurosis. It prevents us from throwing stones, etc.

It disconnects us from the physical world.

It’s strange to think that this is the case, but surely it is true. The path of our material has been inward and away. Away from reality. Away from phenomena. Build a cell wall. Make a million of you! Create a culture which encodes information about what not to do. Live in a house. Live under a blanket. Predict the weather. Don’t let anything be a surprise, ever. Create your cage, and then sit in it.

And why? Because you can see that there is weather and violence and horror. The fact is that 99.9% of everything is shit. In order to come up with a good idea, you have to have 999 bad ones. In order to make a beautiful painting you must create sketch after sketch, hone your skills, ride the waves of technique passed down through generations of people making mistake after mistake and the only way they could make those mistakes is by being shielded from the fact that: HA HA you just spent your life making mistakes and now you are dead!

As visibility increases – as we see the type of beauty which the physical human form is capable of, we simultaneously see the monsters that we have become. We see what types of twisted forms we have allowed to carry through our genetic histories. We see the disease that has spread and become commonplace because not just someone, but many people, had to get their sex on.

And this is the sick twist! What is really “genetic” is our response to physical ugliness. Now that our psyches are clean and our eyes wide open we can see, and react, fully. We can want, really.

The reason that someone has sex with an ugly person is some other reason. In a society that systematically obliterates all other reasons, only beauty can remain important.

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