Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Robert Hoges

I came across this inspirational story today. Thought I would share it with you.

Robert Hoges was born ugly.

He describes his parents reaction when he was born –

“Concerned for my health, my father saw me — strange tumor, wide-spread eyes, mangled legs and all — before he visited my mom. He described what I looked like and together they cried.

“Perhaps he’ll die,” my mother said.

“No chance; he is too strong and healthy,” my father replied….

 Mom refused to see me for a week.

“I wished he would go away or die or something,” Mom later wrote in her blue diary. “I told the hospital staff I didn’t want my baby. I wouldn’t under any circumstances take it home.

“I didn’t feel anything for this baby. I had shut off completely. I had made up my mind I was not taking him home.”

This is what he has learnt about being born ugly –

1. Ugliness is not the absence of beauty.

Ugliness is not the absence of beauty. It’s not in opposition to it. Ugliness is its own, wonderful thing.

Defining ugliness only in opposition to beauty narrows our sense of normal.

1. Ugliness is not the absence of beauty.

Ugliness is not the absence of beauty. It’s not in opposition to it. Ugliness is its own, wonderful thing.

Defining ugliness only in opposition to beauty narrows our sense of normal.

2. We can acknowledge differences in appearance without attaching value to them.

Stop trying to convince people that differences in appearance don’t matter by pretending they don’t exist.

3. Beauty itself is a million points on a map.

Beauty is a contested space. Notions of what is or isn’t beautiful are constantly changing….

Defining beauty more broadly creates room for better acceptance of appearance diversity.

4. The way we talk about appearance robs kids of their natural acceptance.

Folks, I’ve got news for you: our kids are way ahead of us when it comes to this stuff. I talk to a lot of school groups about appearance and disability issues.

5. My ugliness is a big part of who I am.

If you try to separate me from my scars before even engaging me in a discussion about the issue, I may as well have never existed in the first place.

 Raili Tanska
Steps for Peace
Peace is always beautiful — Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

 

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

  1. Wonderful post, Raili. Most people don’t realize that there is an older part the brain that is what they often refer to as “hard wired” to reject differences in appearance — a survival mechanism way back when. (i.e., people who look like us are part of our tribe and can be trusted. People who do not may well intend harm.)

    What most folks today don’t know or think about is that we have a much larger part of the brain (the so called “neo” cortex) that developed subsequently, giving us the cognitive abilities most of us take for granted today – an over-ride, if you will.

    We ALL need to be taught to rely more on that part, and stories like this one become part of the lesson. Thanks for sharing.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an inspiration.. So many of us today think what is on the out side is the most important, when really true beauty is not what we see, but what comes from within our hearts.. And this really brings it home.. Thank you Raili
    Hope all is well down under. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to be reminded of that, isn’t it. All is well here thanks. We’re heading off on a short road trip tomorrow to visit family and friends. Looking forward to it 🙂 Have a happy rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

Let me know what's on your mind...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s