Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is Beauty in the eye of the Beerholder?

Man, already the first week of school and already I have an assignment due next week. I now remember why I liked working full-time at one point.

Actually, this first assignment is not so bad. It's for my Philosophy class "Theories of Beauty". I honestly would probably not have chosen this class to begin with. I didn't even read the course description and just registered for it automatically online because I had read Wendy O'Brien (a notoriously 'wacky' prof who says "Yo!" instead of "Excuse me") was teaching the class.

The assignment she asked us to do is to write a 1-2 page report on "10 things we consider beautiful". Easy peezy, right? I've narrowed down my list and it's more tedious than difficult to come up with my Top 10. To make this assignment more 'grade-worthy' she asked us to explain why. Oh, joy.

For some people, it's really easy for them to identify what is beautiful and what is not. However, most people tend to think that there are 'obvious' things that are beautiful (Jessica Alba, anyone?) and obvious things that are not (Umm, I really can't think of anything at the moment that is obviously not beautiful). Once, I was having an argument with a friend over suped up cars in Japan (which are, by North American standards, outrageous and ridiculous because of the 6-ft spoilers). He made a comment that the Japanese people supe up their cars awfully and ugly and had 'bad taste'. I pointed out that it is ugly to him but obviously not to them if they are driving it around and showing it off (I actually thought they were kinda neat). Their perception on what is good-looking is different from yours but it doesn't mean it's the wrong perception/bad taste.

And so, many tend to think that their opinion (which is largely the opinion of the majority of people) seems to determine the good, bad and ugly. A pet peeve of mine is when people make a comment about something you like and say, "Ew, that's so gross. What's wrong with you?", as if to imply that my taste is somehow 'wrong'. This brought me to the conclusion that it may be presumptuous to call one's taste 'bad' (or 'good). Taste should not be determined good nor bad (it would be like calling one's mama ugly). However, that is not to say that people do not make the wrong choices.

There is such thing as wearing the 'wrong clothes' (i.e. appropriate attire for the appropriate occasion, like a job interview) or choosing the wrong car (a car with an intake engine, although makes the car sound loud and fast, is a waste of money if it is driven in a place that has a chance of frequent flooding). The conclusion? There's no such thing as bad taste, just poor judgment. So if we go back to the Japanese version of suped up cars, a 6-ft spoiler and 4-ft lip is not in bad taste, just poor judgment because you can't safely and realistically drive that thing on the road (and we can all agree cars are meant for driving, right?).

Someone, please try and rebut this little theory of mine because I need to know that what I'm saying has at least some merit. As far as I've pondered this statement, I can't really think of a reason why it can't be true. I've seen many guys, who in my opinion were good-looking, with girls who I thought were 'fug' and had to wonder where the attraction was. Of course, that part is really none of my business and it really is to each his own (oh, how the single life can be so unfair). However, how does one explain a guy who drunkenly takes home a random chick and takes off the beer goggles and regret it the next morning?

So with that said, let's go back to my assignment. I've come up with a couple for my list, in no particular order (yet) and perhaps it may change over the next week as my definition of 'beautiful' tends to be interchangeable with 'eccentric' and 'oooooh, shiny thing!'. By going over my choices, would you say I have bad taste or poor judgment?:

- as most of you already know, I love love love weird-looking models. The weirder, the better. I'm especially digging this 'wide-set eyes, alien chic, dwarfism' look. It's a nice change from the generic-looking pretty girls and more power to us strange and/or unique-looking chicks!

^Daria for Chloe
^Daria and Gemma for Chloe (just because they're some of my favourites)
^Gemma for Lanvin (I WANT THAT JACKET)
-if you didn't know this before (who, honestly, doesn't?), I used to be a big, fat, huge Hanson fan about a decade ago. For one, I was madly in love with Taylor Hanson, who was notorious for being mistaken for a girl. I have a thing for feminine-looking men. Sue me.
^Taylor Hanson
^NOT Taylor Hanson, but Kevin Zegers (they look strikingly similar, no?)
-Acura RSX, my future car. 'Nuff said.

- The Kaulitz Twins of Tokio Hotel. There is something oddly fascinating and awe-inspiring about these guys. They are identical twins but they obviously have very, very different styles (hip hop and emo/rock star) and personalities (masculine and even more masculine, although they are equally slutty). There is something beautiful about that, I think.

-Paul Walker's face.

-Paul Walker's body (yes, it does deserve a different point. Look at it!)


Paul Kishimoto said...

Was there some reason they couldn't call the course 'Aesthetics'?

Kathy said...

Are you putting 'Paul Walker's body' as an item on your list?

spinderella said...

Paul: Because it's Humber.

Kathy: Why, yes.

A Concerned Citizen said...

Its a bad choice not to develop good taste.