June 15, 2004
It wasn't that I disagree with her so much as I disagree with her emphasis. (EDITED NOTE: in a response to my post on her side, she stated she would address the whole issue of beauty at a later date, and that my point was valid, and represented an ideal world view---do I have that correct? The problem, however, imho, is still approach)
She was tailking about breast augmentation, and the over-emphasis on this aspect of the female body. Please read her post, as I am always reluctant to summarize someone else's words lest I have misinterpreted them.
The problem is I think the problem is the value we place on beauty (or for that matter intelligence, musical ability etc. etc.). Beauty is for the most part, G-d, or nature given, over which we have a limited control. This is nothing to be proud of.
What is important in life is, at least imho, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, how we treat animals and the earth in general, how we approach difficulties and obstacles, how we manipulate and appreciate the good fortune which comes to us.
In other words, a person's character should be what we value about someone; not how they look, their mental abilities, their race, size, hair color, ability to sing or swing a baseball bat.
What is important is diligence, caring, respect for others and the ability to appreciate the good which comes to us and share the joy and the wealth.
At least in my book that is what is important.
I have this credo; the purpose of power is to empower the weak (nearly) Everyone has a power, (nearly)everyone has weaknesses. The goal, our purpose here, is to bring an end to all the hardships and pains and sufferings, and make this world an Eden; whether or not one believes in G-d.
It is neither sink or swim attitude nor, tie a life preserver around them for the rest of their life. It is teaching them to swim in the way they can best learn; or directing them to someone who can. It is neither ruling or nor submitting, but partnering in the world.
So how does that all relate to Echidne's post? I think she is missing the boat, and I think we will all keep missing the boat if we try and attack one aspect of beauty, whether or not something represents physical beauty in terms of people or not. We will always regard some person or another as beautiful physically; that isn't as important as seeing beyond the outside into the soul.
We need to start valuing the person for what they do; not who they are or what they look like.