Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

Beauty is an afterthought. What we think whenever we behold someone or something we consider exceptional. 

Hence, there is no beauty without humanity judging a person, thing, event, or process as being “beautiful”.

Beauty is oxymoronically both obvious and far more complex than it initially seems. Yes, like every tongue, we all have our own tastes, but at the same time, every element of taste is both universal and simultaneously subject to a wide range of individual influences, influences that sometimes deviate wildly from the norm.

Look out the window, watch tv or a computer, scan a magazine, a newspaper, an advertising billboard or peep the placards on the side of a bus. What are the human images we see? A world of women (most often servants, helpmates, care takers, workers, lovers or sex-mates, and occasionally executives)–behind, beside, arrayed in front of a modicum of powerful men.

Even when the models are people of color, they seldom look anything like who we, individually as well as collectively, actually are. They are not our size, our age, our way of walking, talking, sleeping, being. No matter how loathe we are to admit it, most of the model images of beauty we take in on a daily basis are alien to us, regardless of what color we or they may be.

The beautiful people we admire have money, attractive houses and apartments, wear fashion designed clothes, drive stylish vehicles, attend exclusive functions, etc., etc. When we are shown people like us, whether we are aware or not, we end “not wanting” to be the ones who are less than the beautiful people.

“We are the world” is a lie. We may wish we were the world, but most of us are not what the establishment world says is beautiful. We can work hard to acquire the accoutrements of beauty. Even mold our physical fitness… oh, why go on? Particularly in the world of fashion and physical beauty, we all know the overwhelming majority of us are not hot models in this cold-ass world.

The battle of beauty is to see the beauty in oneself while simultaneously seeing oneself as we really are, howsoever we are.

As I look at Renee Thompson, as I view this 2010 video (the more some things change, the more they remain the same), she describes her drive to be beautiful by industry standards; honestly, regards herself and decides, yes, that’s what I really want to do–as I look at this video, I not only see what is shown, I also, reflexively assess myself when I stare at her image.

At some point what we see is other than what is shown. Even if we don’t verbalize it to ourselves or to anyone else, too often what we take from what is presented to us is a want-to-be-beautiful wish.

That image, our psychic self-image, is most often so unlike Renee or any of those high fashion models, or so we may think. The question is not really what do we want to be but rather “why” do we want to be whatever we consider beautiful, even when the desire is in disconcerting contrast to who and what we are. Not simply what we actually look like but why do we want to look howsoever we strive, or resign ourselves, to appear?

As we seek to make ourselves become one of the beautiful ones, let us not transform into someone who goes for style over substance. The most substantial reality of being a beautiful human is caring for, helping, engaging and identifying with others–regardless of how you, or they, look while doing so.








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  1. Warren Earl Crichlow #
    February 15, 2022


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