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There are at least three types of beauty I am aware of in our culture at the moment.
When I think of societal beauty I think of what our society has deemed as the natural beauty with no visual imperfections. Beauty is based more on how the framework of society has shaped our view to control which people are deemed beautiful, probably less than 5% of the population (not including babies).
Societal beauty is very strong and ingrained in our neural network. It is ridiculous even to the point that scientists will tell us that some features are just more attractive to us but I think they have not taken into account societal pressures of ingrained beauty placed on us from an early age.
It does not make biological sense to me that true beauty is only in 5% of the population. Our beauty must run deeper otherwise we would not partner and procreate with the people we do. I do not believe we are just settling for a less beautiful person.
Get to Know Beauty
This is when you get to know someone you do not have an immediate attraction to and then one day you look at them and think, they have beautiful eyes. A month, later their face becomes beautiful when they laugh... For some reason when we get to know someone through spending time with them their physical characteristics become more acceptable to us -- for lack of a better phrase of what I want to communicate.
This type of beauty does not have to be about physical or sexual love although it could develop into that. Get to know beauty is about acceptance of this person next to you regardless of how society chooses to see them and regardless of how you would see a stranger with similar traits.
The third type of beauty is what I like to call affirmative beauty. It is when you finally realize that you are beautiful and that your belief in what is beautiful has been manipulated by every ad, magazine, television show that you have watched since you were a child. By every criticism you have ever heard someone say about themselves and other people ("she has ugly eyebrows", I'm so fat, my eyes are crooked, you should wax your upper lip, blah, blah, blah), about every criticism you have made.
Affirmative beauty is when you decide that the world is a beautiful place (sure it has its troubles) but it is beautiful. People are beautiful. Let's put the whole "natural beauty" back in nature – nature has its cute bunnies and elegant giraffes but even spiders (and trust me I hate them too) are beautiful in their own way. In nature, the ugly things are generally the things we are afraid of or should be afraid if we were in a predator situation. But we are not.
We need to stop with the criticisms and accept one another for the beautiful creatures we all are.
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