Freelance web writter Julie Neumann has a recent blog post "Flaws & Fame: Susan Boyle vs. French Elle Magazine" which is a wonderful examination on the issues of beauty and body image, especially for women.
Interestingly, she notes that because Susan Boyle sang so beautifully, people take away the lesson "you can't just a book by the cover." But Julie also asks, what is Susan did not sing so well? What is her singing was ordinary or even bad? Would everyone just laugh at Susan and consider her of no particular value?
That is the saddest reflection I've heard.
Why do we have this societal idea that the beautiful are admired and have value, and that the ugly are avoided and have little value? This is what is closest to me. Having never had great looks, in the past I've tended to "stay in the shadows" and be less social, assume a lower social standing, and generally view myself as less interesting than the beautiful and popular. However, the joy of middle age is becoming unencumbered by these value systems and gaining confidence in your professional and other abilities. And just not really giving a shit about what people think about you.
But my point is not to focus on me. My concern is that so many will devalue others who do not possess what society defines as beauty. How many people are there that may not be the most attractive on the outside, yet have great talent, intelligence, and/or inner beauty.
And, are we not so much poorer for never knowing these people?