Thoughts on beauty

The more I think about the sentence “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the weirder it seems when people make posts to assure each other that “everyone is beautiful.”
Because that sentence, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”… it’s talking about where beauty is.
And where it isn’t. It’s not anywhere on the person or thing that is beautiful.
“Beautiful,” that’s a misnomer. The beautiful thing isn’t actually full of beauty. The beauty is somewhere else entirely.
It’s a reaction that someone has to that person or thing. It is in the eye (or more accurately, the mind) of the beholder, the one who’s looking.
All the features of my face are on my face, yes… but the idea of whether or not those features are beautiful is not on my face at all. It’s in the brain of everyone who looks at them, and it’s different in each one of those brains.
So when you say “Everyone is beautiful,” what you’re explicitly saying is that everyone has somebody who finds them beautiful.
And I guess you have to think carefully about why you’re saying that.
Are you saying it because there are such a wide variety of people in the world, and therefore such a wide variety of preferences regarding appearance, so you can be fairly confident that no matter what somebody looks like, there is probably someone else out there who finds that appearance pleasing?
Are you saying it because you, personally, find everyone beautiful regardless of appearance?
Are you saying it because people can find themselves beautiful, even if no one else does?
Are you saying it because people can have inner beauty even if no one finds their exterior beautiful?
Personally, if I were someone who did not consider myself beautiful, I wouldn’t be comforted by any of those.
The first two try to comfort me by suggesting that someone who’s a total stranger to me, whose opinion I don’t really care about, who either has weird tastes in appearance or doesn’t care about appearance at all, would call me beautiful.
The third implies that I am beautiful in the eyes of myself, which I am not able to believe if I don’t actually find myself beautiful and don’t know how to change that perception of myself.
The fourth says I am beautiful by conflating beauty with other traits, like kindness and wisdom, calling them “beauty” because comparing them to an aesthetically pleasing appearance makes them sound better (which can only make me conclude that appearance must really be the most important thing).
I mean, at times when I found myself unattractive, there were things that did make me feel better. Seeing a person who looked similar to me being widely regarded as beautiful, that helped. Having a romantic partner whom I loved and who loved me, who clearly found me beautiful, that helped. Those things actually made me feel beautiful.
But if you’re not in a position to provide either of those things, maybe you’d do better to try and focus more on spreading the idea that beauty isn’t the most important thing, instead of trying to assure everyone that they’re beautiful?
I dunno. Just my mind trying to work some things out.

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