Monday, June 28, 2004

The Attractive People Parity Principle

After poring through pages of text and pictures --uploaded in a near-fruitless attempt to encapsulate the individual essences of my friends-- I realize that beautiful people will always gravitate towards beautiful people. Though the attraction is contingent on how concerned groups of people define beauty, one cannot deny that it is present and working, if subtly, most of the time.

This is very much apparent when one observes high school cliques: the jocks are always together; ditto the cheerleaders; ditto the class womanizers; ditto the stylish gay people. This is apparent in my own post-college universe as well.

Many of Bonsai's friends are visually pleasing specimens of humanity and par for the course, she's one herself. It also doesn't surprise me that Bonsai's and Zhiyel's worlds are connected by a bridge of visually pleasing mutual acquaintances. Other factors no doubt come into play to allow this to happen: Bonsai and Zhiyel both live in Lilith-ville, both are well-off and both operate in related trades (Bonsai's in advertising; Zhiyel is a freelance visual artist). But I've seen enough of this like-like grouping to keep me from denying the connection.

Beauty is...

Beauty is, of course, more than skin-deep. Every culture has its token standard of the aesthetically pleasing and every individual has his own take on what applies to the set of "all things beautiful." Taken farther than "a desired visual impression or image" or "the qualities that give pleasure to the senses" these meanings may be attached to beauty:
  • "complete"
  • "simple"
  • "subtle"
  • "sublime"
  • "perfect"
  • "pleasing"
  • "efficient"
  • or
  • "whole."
Conversely, "ugly" can be associated with the appropriate opposites--
  • "incomplete"
  • "garish"
  • "loud"
  • "gross"
  • "imperfect"
  • "displeasing"
  • "inefficient"
  • "deficient"

Segue to Ugly

Ugly people are also drawn to beauty, of course. But "ugliness" carries with it some very nasty baggage. I am reminded of that fairy tale where the Beast is constrained by his own needs --find love, break curse-- to keep Beauty hidden away in his lair, until she miraculously develops actual love and the corollary erotic attraction towards him. The odds of this are nil, and he knows it: as human as he once was, it's not the case now and neither is she going to believe it if he sat her down and told her his whole sob story.

It's harder for people who are acutely aware of their "ugliness" to approach beauty without being hurt by simply knowing the defects that divide them from the beautiful. The constant and nagging comparison is simply too heavy to ignore, and it deterimentally colors their feelings, perceptions; skews their decisions... and the outcomes of whatever course of action they take.

Action: An ardent "ugly" (read: poor) suitor may be put off by the simplest dismissive gesture from the "beautiful" (read: rich) pursued, even if the gesture is of the most transient nature. The disparity between wooer and wooed (present since the beginning of courtship) plays on the suitor's mind and demoralizes him. Outcome: He loses the girl by default to a rich rival.

The point: apparently this is also truth-- to attract something one must become it. When attracting the beautiful to yourself, attempting to ignore your own defects is apparently more costly in the long run than transcending them.

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