A Collection of Brief Essays on Various Social and Moral Topics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 8 (v.1) - The Curse of Vanity

Submitted: December 13, 2011

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Submitted: December 13, 2011



The Curse of Vanity

I once drew a sarcastic cartoon of a woman having fat surgically sucked out of her stomach and pumped into her breasts. It was meant to be a joke about the ridiculous extents to which people will go in order to improve their looks. At first it was hilarious, but then I saw a real life advertisement for a procedure to do just that. Now it's not funny anymore. I think that in truth, for a young woman, outward beauty and, in particular, physical attractiveness, can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing. Firstly, if a young woman is too outwardly beautiful, then that beauty can sometimes fill a young man's mind so completely that he is blind to the young woman's soul. Then also, if the other young women know that the young men like that particular young woman for her beauty, they will often venerate her beauty more and more, so that they also are blinded to her soul. Thus are the young men blinded by lust, and the young women by jealousy, and neither sees beyond the surface. Secondly, when people are so obsessed with a young woman's beautiful appearance that they are blind to her soul, they often overlook aspects of her soul which they ought not to overlook, and neglect to hold her accountable for things for which she ought to be held accountable. If she is greedy, she is given what she wants. If she is lazy, she is not expected to work. If she is arrogant, her conceit is not punctured. If she is dishonest, her lies are not revealed. This, all because she is beautiful. Of course, just because a woman is outwardly beautiful does not necessarily mean that she is lacking in other virtues, nor is an especially beautiful woman always given preferential treatment because of her beauty, but I do think that this is often true. I think that any especially beautiful woman would do well to realize that the physical attributes which society considers beautiful in a woman, will certainly fade with age. If you have no virtue other than your appearance, then, when your appearance fades, how will you earn your keep? I do not think that there is anything inherently wrong with beauty. Indeed, many of the traits which society considers beautiful in women, are merely natural, biological indicators of a woman's health and fertility. However, I do not consider beauty to be a virtue worthy of nearly so much veneration as we are inclined to bestow thereon. That is not to say that feminine beauty is not a virtue. Darwinian natural selection has caused men to perceive as beautiful those physical characteristics which, in a woman, do indicate good physical and reproductive health. Thus, if men perceive a woman as being physically unattractive, it is likely an indicator that she takes poor care of her health. It would therefore be most foolish for any physically unattractive woman to delude herself into believing that she is physically attractive. If she is exceeding fat or exceedingly thin, or is especially unattractive in any other way, such an unattractive condition would most likely be bad sign anyway, regardless of whether or not men perceived it as being unattractive, merely because it would be an indicator of poor health. My intention in writing this has been merely to state that intelligence and wisdom are much more important virtues than physical beauty, and moral character is even more important. If someone uses their intelligence for evil purposes, then no matter intelligent they are, they're still evil. (Adolf Hitler's I.Q. has been estimated at about one-hundred-and-forty-one.) In truth, I do not believe that it is so much physical beauty which assists the moral degeneration of a woman or girl, but rather, the eagerness to display such beauty to others. That is to say, it is not beauty which is harmful, but rather vanity. In the end, I believe that humility trumps all other virtues, because no one can learn any other virtues unless they first learn humility.

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