Beauty And Its Abuses

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Ilya Shambat

Aug 4, 2022, 7:11:38 PMAug 4
I have known any number of women who said that they were physically unattractive, who described the nastiness that they endured for that reason. Many blame beautiful women, or even the concept of beauty as such.

The correct response is that beauty is not responsible for abuses of beauty by ignorant high school kids and unscrupulous individuals. That unethical plastic surgeons exploit women's insecurities to convince the already attractive women that they cannot be beautiful unless they keep coming back for more treatments, does not damn beauty any more than does Hitler's misuse of Germany's national pride to start the Second World War damn national pride.

Anything that has any appeal to people will see any number of people wanting to exploit it. That is as much the case for beauty as it is the case for such things as money and intelligence. That some people use money for wrong does not make money bad; and that some people use intelligence for wrong does not mean that intelligence is bad. The problem is unscrupulous use of what has appeal to people, not what has appeal to people in itself.

I was unattractive in school, and yes, many people treated me badly. I became more attractive as I grew older, and in my adult life I have been at no shortage of female attention. I have also known any number of women who had been unattractive in school, who later became attractive physically, personally, or both. Having seen this from both sides, I say very clearly that being unattractive when one is young does not have to be a death sentence. It is possible to become physically or personally attractive as an adult and attract attention of frequently better people than do the people who have always been attractive.

I know a woman named Louise whose family made her feel like she was the ugliest thing on earth. She never became conventionally attractive; but she became very personally attractive. In her adult life, men went after her in droves. She still has many people who love her. If you are an unattractive woman, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to a life of loneliness. There are many things that you can do to improve your lot.

The problem is not with beautiful women, and it is not with the idea of beauty. The problem is with the misuses of beauty by people who are either unintelligent or unscrupulous. It is not the creators of beauty who are at fault, and it is not the people who appreciate beauty who are at fault. Michelangelo and John Keats, or the people who go to museums and poetry readings, are not responsible for the actions of stupid teenagers and unethical plastic surgeons. The stupid teenagers and unethical plastic surgeons are responsible for these actions.

So it is time to stop blaming beauty or love of beauty and confront the problem for what it is. Nasty school cultures and unethical plastic surgeons do not own beauty. Beauty existed for a long time before they existed, and it will continue existing for a long time after they're gone. Equating beauty with its abuses gives far more credit to the abusers of beauty than they've ever merited. They did not invent beauty; they did not create beauty; and they do not own beauty. Beauty exists, and has always existed, in and of itself.

There is certainly far more beauty in art – both Western and otherwise – than in American high schools or in the offices of plastic surgeons. For that matter there is also more beauty in nature than in either of these things. Nature is a better craftsman of beauty than even the most accomplished plastic surgeon. And there are many, many people in the world who are also fine craftsmen of beauty, for whom abusing an unattractive teenager or exploiting a woman's insecurities is the last thing from their minds.

The problem is not beauty – the creation thereof or the love thereof. The problem is exploitation of beauty by people who either don't know what they are doing or are wilfully doing wrong. Stop blaming beauty and its creators and confront the abuses of beauty by ignorant or unscrupulous people. They did not invent beauty; they do not deserve credit for beauty; and beauty itself is innocent of their misdeeds.

Ilya Shambat
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