We make too big a deal of our supposed flaws
Most Hollywood actors tend to be either good-looking or physically attractive to both men and women. So imagine a film with Bruce Willis where he is the ugliest person in the movie.
He may not be the quintessential good looking male lead. Certainly he’s no Cary Grant or Sean Connery. But he’s not that far off the mark.
The movie I’m talking about is Surrogates, which I recently caught up with and which I would say, I really enjoyed.
For those unfamiliar, Surrogates is a 2009 movie set in the future where 90% of the population use a kind of artificial robotic version of themselves, called a surrogate, to carry out their daily activities whilst they remain at home lying on their beds plugged into a kind of virtual reality headset which connects to these surrogates.
These robots essentially go to work, do the shopping and basically carry out all the usual jobs that we usually have to do in normal life. The difference being that you could design your surrogates.
They could be physical stronger with the ability to leap great heights and run faster than normal humans could do. They would also be more attractive.
Bespoke Bruce Willis Surrogate
For example, Bruce Willis’s surrogate had a full head of blonde hair and perfect skin. He looks like a model from the cover of GQ. In fact everyone’s surrogate looks like a model. It is an entire world full of models.
In this movie, Willis plays a detective investigating a suspicious murder somehow connected to the inventor of the surrogates.
What I found its that the fact that everyone is so good-looking, starts to become tiring to process after a while. Everyone seems sterile and fake.
As we learn, these surrogates also become a way for people to run away from life problems as evidenced by Willis’s wife in the movie who never leaves her bedroom.
Au natural Bruce Willis
The movie also becomes far more interesting when Bruce’s surrogate is damaged whilst pursuing a suspect and he has to go about investigating the case ‘au natural’ in his normal form, sans hair. And when he does this the contrast is telling. He appears more rugged, rough, more like a middle-aged man instead of a Ken-doll.
In a world full of ‘perfect‘ models, he seems more alive, more interesting, more real, and more attractive than all the synthetic people he encounters, even though physically they are more attractive. And well, I think this is a metaphor for real life.
We place so much emphasis on looking good and on our physical bodies, our shells. It is understandable. We want to look the best. It is great to be considered attractive by others. However, I think that our celebrity culture does create some unrealistic expectation of what attractiveness is.
Even more than that, it tells us what is attractive. How sure are we that what we find attractive is what we really find attractive? Could it be that this idea is something that has been planted there?
Media implanted perceptions of ugliness
Media also encourages us to subtly feel that our so-called imperfections are unattractive when in fact they are exactly what makes us different, unique and attractive. They do this by constantly shoving images of supposed human perfection down our throats.
As a child, I was told that I have a relatively large nose. Its been broken once and for a few years was bent to one side. I could quite as easily taken this in a negative way, or maybe considered a nose job. Instead, I’m grateful, I think of it like a Roman nose and imagine myself to be like Julius Caesar. How’s that for ego?
I think that the insidious part of popular culture and reality TV is that it makes us all narcissistic. We care too much about what (we think) people think of us. We let that control our lives. We are less content with accepting things as they are.
Our blood lines
For centuries our ancestors have been breeding and passing on their features to us. If they were so inferior, this would not have happened. No, it is our uniqueness, our differences, our perceived imperfections that have made our blood lines strong.
We don’t all want to be like penguins with barely perceptible differences between one or the other. Our features also reflect our personalities. Though we may see an imperfection, for example someone may think they are “too fat”, actually that supposed imperfection carries with it all manner of advantages.
For example, a more robust level of health, stronger immune system, a louder voice and a more yang character, which conveys many advantages in the workplaces of this current society. It is our differences that make us more interesting to converse with.
Prisoner of good looks
So going back to the movie. All the people became prisoners of these good-looking shells (in effect, their egos) by locking away their real selves in dark stuffy bedrooms, whilst these artificial models went out and operated the world.
The world became a sterile uncharismatic world fun of fake personas. We never really saw the real people. Perhaps this movie was telling us that this is the price of perfection, if we ever get to choose it.
So embrace those looks that God, or the universe, (or whichever deity you believe in or not) gave you. There is a real beauty in you. Perhaps you are just really lousy at seeing it.
Steven Seagal is good looking
In which case I recommend watching Surrogates. And if you still don’t get it, then I advise you to watch every Steven Seagal movie ever made (there are over 50) until you can no longer make up your mind whether Segal is an ugly actor or actually a handsome one.
The point when you realise that Seagal’s character and appearance produces a somewhat strange seductive effect upon you, is when you can stop watching. Then you will understand inner beauty.
Here is a video adaptation of the above blog post – Imperfections make us ATTRACTIVE
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