Friday, December 14, 2007

Stranger than fiction...

I swear I just don't get it. I really don't.

British glamour model KATIE PRICE is planning to have a breast reduction and will sell her retired implants on auction site eBay. The operation will downsize the busty beauty from a FF cup to a “smaller and more pert” size - and the 27-year-old claims she will give a percentage of the unwanted silicones’ selling price to charity. She says, “Some people may say I’m sick, but I think it’s better than them being dumped in a hospital bin!”

(H/T: Manolo the Shoeblogger)

One can find many other such oddities on Manolo, who offers us a window into the lives of the rich and famous through their shoe issues. I remember once Oprah saying that rich people are just the same as anybody else, except they have more money. I think she meant that rich people have feelings, too. They get offended, they get hurt, they love, they cry, etc. Money does not cure them from the disease of being human. But I have encountered on Manolo's blog such strange apparitions and reports of bizarre behaviours that I have to wonder. Maybe having so much money, and the fame that comes with it, or having money that comes from fame, causes some persons who are victimized by these two circumstances to lose their sense of reality? By which I mean, what kind of person would have the kind of inflated self-worth, that she imagines her removed breast implants would be of any interest to anybody? What's next? Her discarded tampons?

One thing is for certain. Being famous or having money do not cure stupidity. Take a look at this video, courtesy of Van-der Galien:

“Is France a country?”

“Budapest? I know they speak French there…”

Read the comments, whom, I suspect, were mostly made by men. A mixture of drooling and contempt.

Again, I'm stumped for words. What is it about beauty that excuses these levels of ignorance that defy description?

****

Of Truth and Beauty...

The most sensible women have always aspired to be looked at and considered beautiful.

Elizabeth Bennett is injured when Darcy deems her not pretty enough to dance with:

Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.''

``Which do you mean?'' and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, `

`She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.''

Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him.


Jane Eyre comes to mind, too, whose thoughts , on this matter, I daresay, reflect her creator's own:

I rose; I dressed myself with care: obliged to be plain--for I had no article of attire that was not made with extreme simplicity--I was still by nature solicitous to be neat. It was not my habit to be disregardful of appearance or careless of the impression I made: on the contrary, I ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please as much as my want of beauty would permit. I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer; I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry mouth; I desired to be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I felt it a misfortune that I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and so marked. And why had I these aspirations and these regrets? It would be difficult to say: I could not then distinctly say it to myself; yet I had a reason, and a logical, natural reason too. However, when I had brushed my hair very smooth, and put on my black frock--which, Quakerlike as it was, at least had the merit of fitting to a nicety--and adjusted my clean white tucker, I thought I should do respectably enough to appear before Mrs. Fairfax, and that my new pupil would not at least recoil from me with antipathy. Having opened my chamber window, and seen that I left all things straight and neat on the toilet table, I ventured forth.

But when she gets the man she loves, and he starts treating her as if she were a prized object of beauty, she recoils in disgust:

"I will myself put the diamond chain round your neck, and the circlet on your forehead,--which it will become: for nature, at least, has stamped her patent of nobility on this brow, Jane; and I will clasp the bracelets on these fine wrists, and load these fairy- like fingers with rings."

"No, no, sir! think of other subjects, and speak of other things, and in another strain. Don't address me as if I were a beauty; I am your plain, Quakerish governess."

"You are a beauty in my eyes, and a beauty just after the desire of my heart,--delicate and aerial."

"Puny and insignificant, you mean. You are dreaming, sir,--or you are sneering. For God's sake don't be ironical!"

"I will make the world acknowledge you a beauty, too," he went on, while I really became uneasy at the strain he had adopted, because I felt he was either deluding himself or trying to delude me. "I will attire my Jane in satin and lace, and she shall have roses in her hair; and I will cover the head I love best with a priceless veil."

What does it all mean? Why are we, women, so vulnerable as to how we look, and how these looks are interpreted by the other sex? Is this what Charlotte Bronte means when she says , through Jane, that she had a "logical, natural reason" to want to be beautiful? To attract men, or rather, the man? Beauty does seem to excuse a great deal of the folly and cruelty manifested by some women.

"Jane Eyre" sets out to defy these stereotypical expectations. Jane becomes better looking when Rochester looks at her with eyes that love.

Jane Austen charts the same course for Darcy:

For my own part,'' she rejoined, ``I must confess that I never could see any beauty in her. Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome. Her nose wants character; there is nothing marked in its lines. Her teeth are tolerable, but not out of the common way; and as for her eyes, which have sometimes been called so fine, I never could perceive any thing extraordinary in them. They have a sharp, shrewish look, which I do not like at all; and in her air altogether, there is a self-sufficiency without fashion which is intolerable.''
....I remember, when we first knew her in Hertfordshire, how amazed we all were to find that she was a reputed beauty; and I particularly recollect your saying one night, after they had been dining at Netherfield, "She a beauty! -- I should as soon call her mother a wit." But afterwards she seemed to improve on you, and I believe you thought her rather pretty at one time.''

``Yes,'' replied
Darcy, who could contain himself no longer, ``but that was only when I first knew her, for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.''


I think women tend to underestimate men's good sense. I wonder how far have we really evolved in this respect, since the Victorians, and the feminist movement. It would appear that these two nineteenth century novelists understood and trusted men much more than we do, today.

2 Comments:

At 4:23 PM EST, Anonymous A True Janian Reply said...

Very interesting comment on the nature of beauty. Yes, beauty does have its power, but nowadays it has been distorted into something else entirely. I believe that in time, some men, but not all, will sicken of mere outward physical appearance and will yearn for more subatance, much like Mr. Rochester did in Jane Eyre. Please view Chapter 4 of my blog to what I imagine is Mr. R's description of Jane Eyre. It is nothing serious, of course, just an exercise to get "into a character" and learn from Charlotte Bronte's inimitable style.

 
At 9:06 PM EST, Blogger A True Janian Reply said...

Thank your for visiting my blog. I don't know if you read my previous reply, but upon consideration, I erased it because it has, embarrassing, typos, and was entirely too long winded. Please go to my blog to read my "new" reply. Thank you.

 

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