Rowdy got a new camera (this was a more involved process than most house purchases) and last night he was taking pictures of me and showing me the super-duper high-quality results.
At first, I was a little bit appalled. I'm aware that I don't look like the ladies in the magazines, but the photos made it so painfully obvious how little I look like them. If angular faces with big eyes and graceful expressions and coiffed hair are beautiful, I'm round-faced and narrow-eyed and guffawing and frizzy.
But you know, so I am. Is that why I'm not beautiful, or is it why I look like me and not somebody else? Is a linear scale from "good" to "bad" really a way to fairly describe anything in the world, much less a human being? When you go to the grocery store, you don't shop for "the best food"--you put carrots and potatoes and milk and chicken in your cart, because they're different things. Because the very best carrots are really shitty milk.
So I looked at the photos again, and made an effort to stop seeing them as not-Jessica-Alba for ten seconds and instead see what is there. It's me. It's a combination of genetics and luck and history and choices that exists nowhere else on Earth. I don't look like other people because I'm not other people.
We took some pictures of Rowdy too. One of them came out really nice; the focus is crisp, the pose is cool, and there's a lot of personality showing in his face. But Rowdy also has a weird discoloration in one eye, and this is very visible in the photo. "I'll retouch that out," he said. And I questioned: why would he? That's what his eye looks like. It's kind of cool. (It gives him eyes that are different colors! How awesome is that?) Is it more important to have a picture of the Theoretical Perfect Eye than of his eye?
I mean, there's a reason I took that photo of him and not of somebody else. If I just wanted the "best" possible photo, I would've put a picture of John Barrowman in the album. So is the best photo of Rowdy one that makes him look the most like John Barrowman while still being sort of recognizable--or is it a photo that shows what he looks like?
None of this is a protest that I'm beautiful, or that Rowdy is. (Although he so is.) Instead, it's about looking beyond beauty, as seeing appearances as conveying things in entirely different dimensions than "prettier" or "uglier." Not everything in my life is about who wants to bang me, so not everything in my face is about how bangable it is. (Not that bangability requires perfection anyway, considering what else happened last night.) I've posted about how I'm more than that, but even my appearance itself is more than that.
Am I hot or not? I'm Holly.