Entry 89, June 12, 2011, 7:12pm (ship time GMT +2)
I've learned one very important thing about human beauty from the beaches in Europe, where nudity is commonplace. I won't go into details, but here's the point: we're all pretty funny looking when we're naked -- and there are no exceptions. Old, young, fat, skinny, men, women, supermodels or hunchbacks, we all are just plain goofy looking when we don't have any clothes on.
So what does this mean for human beauty, and the ways that we're attractive to each other? The absurdity of the naked human body precludes anyone from being inherently more beautiful than anyone else, and yet there are clearly people who are more attractive than others. So where, then, does human beauty reside?
I say that it can be found in two places. First, in the skillset of beautification unique to each culture. In Western society, this includes makeup, fashion sense, dieting, surgery, and all sorts of other tools that people employ to be considered beautiful. Their mastery (or lack thereof) of these skills affects how attractive they appear.
The second place that it can be found is in the development of internal characteristics such as intelligence, compassion, and wisdom. The person who has mastered these traits will appear beautiful to those around them, as they are able to sit comfortably and confidently in their own selves. Understanding and accepting the self is beautiful.
So what does this mean for our own self-perception?
At this point I am getting distracted by the movie that is showing on crew television. A bunch of babes dressed in army fatigues are being hunted through the forest by a bunch of equally attractive guys with machine guns, except that there's also a teleporting skeleton that rides around on a horse and keeps throwing spears through people. It is a pretty fantastic movie, you can understand my distraction . . .