I DO want to reclaim “beautiful.” And I hope, one day, we can.
Every two or three days, I see an article or blog post or forwarded inspirational quote about beauty. It’s usually something affirming like
“You are beautiful, whether you know it or not.”
“We are all beautiful.”
“Everyone is beautiful to somebody.”
It’s cheerful stuff. It builds the self-esteem, makes people feel valued, and spreads joy and happiness across the internet.
It’s also bullshit.
And you know it’s bullshit, because you really wanted to laugh at that picture.
Everyone is not beautiful. Some people have tumors the size of a second head growing out of their ears. Some people have skin like the Michelin man. Some people lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents. People have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows.
There are plenty of people that are not physically appealing to look at, the…
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