Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some Thoughts on Beauty

Yeah, I don't get it, either

Here are the final shots from the photo shoot. Neither the photographer or I are very happy with them. My inexperience shows in how stiff I am, the lighting was really tricky that day (it was intermittently raining) and the costumes were hokey. Hey, at least I don't have to take credit for that -- he picked my wardrobe. I thought it looked cheesy to begin with.

I got what I wanted, however -- a nice head shot. The rest of the pictures didn't matter too much to me at the time, however seeing just how bad they are is, admittedly, a disappointment. Why? Because despite my hesitance, resistance, and the fact that it is "so not me," I kinda wanted to be good as a model. I mean, isn't that a great bomb to just drop into a conversation? "Yeah, I was a model once..." It makes people look at you differently. At least it makes me look at people differently. I've heard people make statements like that before and suddenly, the average-looking person turns into something more as I scrutinize their features, wondering what caught someone's eye enough to want them to be their model.

I have no idea how other people look at me. My long hair certainly draws attention, but in terms of beauty or any measurable physical standard of excellence, I am low, low, low. I'm not saying this publicly for a rush of assurance that I'm not hideous -- trust me, there have been many times in my life when I thought I looked like Quasimodo and now is not one of them -- but rather to say that despite knowing that I will never have people look at me and envy my looks, I am more than happy with my appearance.

First of all, my body is healthy and does what I want it to do. What more could I ask for? Secondly, I would much rather be known by my personality and my talents than my appearance. Beauty fades so quickly, and in our culture that values youth, we very rarely have role models who are more beautiful on the inside than on the out. Especially if those role models are women.

Celopatra set the bar high. Her seductions changed the course of history. Yet unlike popular belief, she was not beautiful. As the Roman historian Plutarch said of Cleopatra VIII, "Her beauty was not in itself incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her. What made Cleopatra attractive was her wit, charm, and the sweetness in the tone of her voice.”

And no, I'm not saying all this as a huge preface to my "ugly" pictures -- if I really thought they were that terrible, I wouldn't be sharing them. I'm just saying something that I think we all have to remind ourselves from time to time. Confidence isn't always easy to come by. But true beauty is found within.

To be mean, I could throw up a picture of someone I know who is fairly homely and has a self-centered, shallow, selfish personality, which makes their appearance all the more hideous. Where sometimes I look at this person and think that if they were nicer, I would look past their physical failings without thought and see someone beautiful. Kind of like when you got to know someone you like, they just get prettier and prettier.

Okay, this post wasn't very coherent, so that's enough from me for right now!

Waiting for a train in manipulated colors so that I look super white

I think I'm supposed to look irritated while waiting for the train... in that ridiculous pose... with duck lips that could rival Christian Bale's

My face mirrors my thoughts

The headshot! If I look awkward, it's because he made me flick my hair every two seconds then would snap a shot of it in "action."

I like to call this one "Three days sober and ready to leave the rez!"

I was waiting for him to adjust the flash. I swear half of the shots he gave me were ones he took claiming he was adjusting the flash.

Do I look smug? It's cuz I totally put a bomb on that train, heha.

I should've worn make-up. Otherwise your face comes out looking super fat in 2-D, like it does here, but if you have blush or something to highlight the contours of your face, it comes across as looking more 3-D. But as someone who normally never wears make-up, that was asking too much. I mean, I have the facepaint crayons I use to draw on Ronon's beard, but that seemed like it would've been too dramatic.

Okay, so I leave the last word to Natasha Bedingfield who has several inspirational songs, but this one's about true beauty! And reflects a journey many of us young women have gone through.


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