Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

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Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

Post by reboundstudent on Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:53 pm

Friend sent me interesting thought piece today: http://www.xojane.com/issues/okay-to-not-be-hot-retrospection

I relate to what a lot of the author is saying, but as is often the case when I read pieces like this, it seems like the only way you escape your bad looks is by not caring at all (giving no f's.) I don't frequently see the idea of actually embracing one's own "ugliness"; aka, still caring about looks. Is not giving a care about your looks the same thing as accepting one's ugliness?

I also wonder if there's still a lot of pressure on women to not care about their looks at all, because caring about looks (as a woman) means you're vain and shallow. If you cease to give an F, then suddenly you've ascended. You are no longer considered with the trivial nature of your looks; you don't care if society judges you.

But by giving no f's, and just shrugging at the fact that society is still very much marred in "look-ism", aren't we still passively reinforcing the notion that either you're pretty, or you're too cool to worry that you're pretty? We're not fighting against the norm that still espouses women's value still likes in being physically attractive; we're just saying "Oh well, that doesn't effect me" and ignoring the systematic nature of it.

I dunno, I can't quite pin down why the attitude that one shouldn't care about one's looks bothers me. The idea that caring about looks is automatically shallow has bothered me for a while, as there are plenty of traits we assign value to (smart, funny) that are equally "superficial" (these traits don't necessarily speak to a person's character or values) and yet are okay to care about.

Still sorting through many things in my head, and always love discussion. Razz
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Re: Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

Post by Enail on Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:31 pm

Hmm. Thinking scatteredly, but my immediate response is that a lot of it's oversimplification. I might say "I don't care about my looks", but that's a very short phrase to cover every aspect of the relationship between my self, my appearance and society, tying up everything from liking some of my features that are not considered attractive (maybe even partly because they're not considered attractive), to beauty work that I do to control my image in the outside world in ways that don't relate to attractiveness, to insecurity, to the knowledge that there are some companies that would never hire me even if I were qualified because I cannot meet their desired image even though the jobs should not be based on appearance at all, to thinking "actually, I look pretty damn good." "I don't care" is just the string I tie it up with, by which I think I mean something like "all the various thoughts and feelings I have about my appearance don't feel like they're taking up an unreasonable/unhappy-making amount of my headspace."

...I'm not sure exactly what my point is. Run in circles flail
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Re: Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

Post by rj3 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:55 pm

In any endeavor, nothing looks worse than trying and failing.

You can avoid trying, win, be celebrated for your victory and "making it look easy."

You can try really hard, win and be celebrated for your hard work and victory.

You can refuse to play and be celebrated for being a rebel or not giving a f***

But if you try hard AND fail - that's the worst of both worlds.

But what it appears that you're trying to reconcile here is not as much about effort as the competing ideas that "society is still very much marred in "look-ism"" and "I can't quite pin down why the attitude that one shouldn't care about one's looks bothers me."

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Re: Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

Post by Werel on Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:05 pm

reboundstudent wrote:I don't frequently see the idea of actually embracing one's own "ugliness"; aka, still caring about looks. Is not giving a care about your looks the same thing as accepting one's ugliness?
I think maybe not? I have a strong feeling that there is a way to claim ugliness as a sort of power, but I think it might currently be more easily accessible to men (see: Chris Farley using his body as comedy; the rarity of fat women using their bodies as comedy). Apathy isn't the same as accepting a thing to such a deep degree that you can use it as a tool.

This is interesting, though:
reboundstudent wrote:But by giving no f's, and just shrugging at the fact that society is still very much marred in "look-ism", aren't we still passively reinforcing the notion that either you're pretty, or you're too cool to worry that you're pretty?
Is it always right to conflate "giving no fucks" with "just shrugging" at lookism? Can someone give no fucks about their own appearance (and maybe others'?) as a form of resistance?

But also, this:
Enail wrote:"I don't care" is just the string I tie it up with, by which I think I mean something like "all the various thoughts and feelings I have about my appearance don't feel like they're taking up an unreasonable/unhappy-making amount of my headspace."
I feel very much the same that "don't care" is just my easiest shorthand for "don't care as much or in the same ways as I'm told I should."
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Re: Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

Post by reboot on Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:21 pm

As someone who is ugly, to me "embracing my ugly" was stopping hating the fact that I was ugly and learning to come to terms with my appearance. I still take care of my hair and skin, still wear clothes that are flattering, still put on makeup, etc.. It was more of an internal letting go than anything else. I got past feeling bad about how I look because the feeling bad was not going to change anything
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Re: Escaping Look-ism/Embracing Ugly

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