A friend wrote: "I find people to be incredibly physically beautiful. I never look at someone and think, "they should change X or Y physical aspect of themselves." I truly accept and, in fact, adore people's "imperfections." Yet I was, since about age 12 or so, horrified by my own physical appearance - enough to surgically alter it. "
I am also always more impressed with people than I am with myself and apparently more than they are impressed with themselves. Part of the problem (I think) is that we (especially men) really aren't allow to go around telling others we think they are attractive. People assume we mean sexually attractive, even when we simply mean they are lovely.
Before Wes Pearson died, Remy and I were watching him play the piano... And I was struck by how absolutely, amazingly, perfectly physically beautiful his old gnarled fingers were. They were so precisely made for playing that piano. I could tell people how much I loved watching his hands because no one would confuse my statement. But I can't tell a married women that I think her lips are stunning or that her hair is wonderful to watch. I for damn sure am not allowed to comment on how pretty some young women or girl seems to be.
I sometimes think if this underlying, dark, horrible fear of sexual molest, abuse, rape, etc... could be "magically" removed, then we could share our actual appreciation of one another and after being told a thousand times that we are attractive, we might come to believe it ourselves. Instead, we each see others as attractive, and never believe that we are ourselves. Women, especially, come to believe that they are only appreciated for the possibility of sexually gratifying that man who is smiling at them. I'm not saying men aren't motivated to seek sexual gratification; we most certainly are, or at least I am. But I am not motivated ONLY by that... and the part of me that can freely appreciate beauty without selfish motive is absolutely cut off by others fear of the other part of me. And I don't discount the need for that fear. It has been my experience that about half the women who have come to trust me have admitted they were molested or raped or abused sexually at some point in their lives. They have every right to be afraid.
It is... unbearably sad to me.