October 10, 2013 in Anna's Journey to Life
In and from this blog post, I am going to dissect and deconstruct the concept of beauty within the context of self-empowerment of women. Because this is something that I’ve seen within my own life and mind having a major impact and influence. I will therefore walk an interconnected process of investigating my own relationship to beauty as empowerment as well as investigating the concept as how it is manifested in the world-system.
The online etymological dictionary defines beauty as follows:
beauty (n.) early 14c., “physical attractiveness,” also “goodness, courtesy,” from Anglo-French beute, Old French biauté “beauty, seductiveness, beautiful person” (12c., Modern French beauté), earlier beltet, from Vulgar Latin bellitatem (nominative bellitas) “state of being handsome,” from Latin bellus “pretty, handsome, charming,” in classical Latin used especially of women and children, or ironically or insultingly of men, perhaps from PIE *dw-en-elo-, diminutive of root *deu- “to do, perform, show favor, revere” (see bene-).
Dictionary online defines beauty as follows:
the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, beauty doesn’t have to any practical value. When the whole world is sorted out and we’re living together in harmony on earth with all beings living their full potential, then beauty can be something of enjoyment, enjoying the beauty of music, nature, the human body. But until then, beauty doesn’t have any substantial value. So why do we become so obsessed with it? I understand that it has a lot to do with the dynamics between males and females in the world, where beauty is something that the female is dependent upon to ensure her own survival through being selected by a man who can care for her. Beauty has also been argued is a marker for optimal genetics as a reason why men pick beautiful women: because it ensures the survival of their genes. But this should all be irrelevant in a world where women are able to fend for themselves shouldn’t it? And yet, we’re so caught up in it.
So something I see as distinct specifically in this context of the male/female dynamic is how we as women define and accept ourselves as ‘objects’ as ‘ornamental’ and how this ‘objectification’ is the only place where we have power over our own lives. But then again – there are women who don’t care about beauty, because they don’t define themselves as ‘objects’ where others (the men/society in general) are the ‘subjects/agents’ – but as agents in their own right.
In sociology an agent is a person is a person who acts on his or her own volition independently. Obviously this term is a construct, because it is highly debatable whether we’re even able to act on our own volition independently. But in the context of the discussion of beauty it is applicable to talk about agency vs. objectification – meaning: do you see your own value/yourself as dependent on others valuing you based on certain parameters that are predetermined or do you see your own value/yourself as independent of what anything/anyone else thinks or does?
Obviously not many people can say yes to the latter, because we’re all in one way or another dependent upon a social system of approval to survive in the context of the current system. And beauty is simply one aspect or dimension of this.
But – when I look at my desire to be beautiful, it doesn’t so much have anything consciously to do with what I’ve described above. What I mean is that it might be an underlying reason, but it’s not something that I’m consciously aware of as I walk my daily life. On the contrary – and I see that this is true for many women: when we feel attractive/good-looking, we feel powerful. So it is fascinating that in our abdication of power over ourselves through self-objectification, we find ‘power’ in being ‘the best object’, an ‘attractive object’ – and obviously there’s an entire industry catering to this obsession, meaning all the shops and businesses that in some way has to do with beauty and being attractive.
Ironically, we’ve been trying to empower ourselves through the abdication of power. In this cruel and twisted world, women can even have power over men through objectifying themselves, revealing that it isn’t the men themselves who are in power and control, because they too have fallen prey to obsession with beauty. But at the same time, it is seen as empowering for women, to objectify themselves, to embrace the objectification. It’s like there is this idea and belief that if one effectively objectifies oneself, one will eventually become a ‘subject’ – a real person. Not unlike a Pinocchio happily embracing the strings that makes him dance because of a dream to one day become a real boy.
This is for example why Miley Cyrus, Sasha Grey and other prominent women of todays pop culture have found it empowering to ‘be like a man’ in the sense of deliberately objectifying themselves. We see the same occurring with nearly every teenage girl. It’s an ‘if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them’ kind of scenario. But I am here to investigate and show and share that there is another way of empowering ourselves.
Taking all of this to a fundamental understanding of the concept of beauty, bear with me as I explore the topic with Destonian eyes.:
So what I see is that beauty was merely a specific dimension/strategy within the mind/physical ‘evolution’. It was a way to identify the best genes to ensure survival. And it is practical in the sense that there might not have been any other means of checking if someone has damaged genetics. But then what happened is that the mind took this point and ran with it to further its own agenda, and one of the reasons why it did so was because of the specific conditions that beauty involves, namely the eyesight through which the mind reigns over man, sex (because beauty had been about reproduction), the survival dynamics between men and women, the consumer industry constantly looking for new target groups, the egos of both men and women (to be the one on top). But then also some deeper existential reasons, such as the quest for perfection as well as the existential separation between the male and the female as described in Heaven’s journey to Life. So beauty was given a prominent ‘spot’ in the minds of people because it was a useful tool for the mind to ensure its own agenda of survival.
This all might seem far-fetched and ‘out there’ but as I continue walking this point, I will expand further on these topics. In the next post I will continue to investigate the concept of beauty in the context of self-empowerment of women using my own experiences as a point of departure.
I recommened the following interviews that expand on the idea of beauty:
Investigate Desteni, investigate the forum where on is invited to write oneself out in self-honesty and where any questions regarding the Desteni Material will be answered by Destonians who are walking their own process. Visit the Destonian Network where videos and blogs are streamed daily. Suggest to also check out the Desteni I Process and Relationship courses as well as the FREE DIP Lite course