When people say "that person looks hot", they can mean different things. Some people just like a face that's bilaterally symmetric, or a cute nose, or a special color combination in their hair and eyes. Physically attractiveness is in some ways subjective, based on personal preference it shape, size, color, and all of these little things that make you you instead of another. However, in some ways, it is very objective. Biologically people enjoy things that look healthy, and no one wants to date someone who looks attractive but has nothing to say about anything. (Of course, no one wants the other extreme where in reality or as a functional rule their partner never lets them speak.)
I've always believed in attractiveness, as it creates the one thing people seem to want most: Human connection. I've thought of myself as someone in the center of this spectrum.
|But not quite this|
Recently, however, I had an experience that caused me to question my attractiveness, the idea of attractiveness, and even the existence of a higher power, in light of my changed perceptions.
On February 30th, I was walking along the a river near my home, listening to "Firework" by Katy Perry. As the lyrics instructed me, I was attempting to stop feeling like some disposable polythene container without rigid structure. I was done feeling like a plastic bag, and was trying to ignite a light. A light is already capable of shining, and setting one on fire isn't advisable, but I was trying not to overthink my predicament and I did as Ms. Perry said.
I bought a lightbulb at a small shop and started heating it with a lighter. This wasn't just glass and filament, I bought one of those high cost, green-earth-saved-forever bulbs because I care. The chemicals in the bulb heated and exploded, launching my body and self esteem into the river below.
I slowly came to near the body of the river, my fantastic body refusing to sink entirely. The shock of being thrown backwards by a lightbulb combined with inhaling a "probably lethal chemical reaction" caused me to hallucinate to a major degree, as I swear a fish nearby looked at me stirring and called out "Hey everyone! Ugly here is awake!"
Well the shock of hearing a fish speak caused my frail and delicate system to shut me down again, and instead of drowning, I awoke slightly down steam, some number of minutes later.
"Ug... ugly?" I mumbled, seeing a fish stare at me.
"Boy, you sure are. Your mother just decide to name you that?" The fish spat back at me, the current of his voice pushing me into the sand at the bottom.
At this, I began to cry. The fish went on with a couple of his mates to describe my condition. My hands were no new revelation, but the appearance of my burned hair, slightly discolored face, and disheveled clothes made shaming my appearance almost too easy for the aquatically biased steelheads. My hallucinations were not without some glimmer of hope however, as one of them was a Walleye, a notoriously kind species. After the other fish had left, I learned this Walleye (We'll call him Wally) watched over my unconscious body to ensure the other fish didn't nest in my hair, or draw penises on my face with marker.
I lapsed in and out of consciousness, my thoughts meandering to the location of the mean fish, why they fish were talking, why I hadn't died of asphyxiation. Most importantly I was questioning...
was I ugly?
This question left me scarred emotionally, even more so than the chemical burns on my cheek. I was numb from my shattered self image, and the water. It was like 45 degrees there!
I feel that this situation would have been different if I had had thumbs, or if I had long flowing hair that was blonde and glimmered through the polluted water. If I were white and blonde and pretty, I probably could have become aquaman to those animals.
In the end, my mother and everyone since has told me it was basically my fault. I should have known better than to heat a glass filed with flammable substances improperly. I should have just installed it in my room. I should have been prettier, taller, more muscular, more devilish in appearance.
Does it matter if I was a small minority with different sized eyes and drastically deformed hands? Does it give any being the right to ridicule my appearance? Yes, it does. If I were more attractive the entire situation would have fixed itself. The chemicals don't even hurt "pure people" I hear.
I've been told my thoughts on attractiveness are too unattainable, or that my definition makes everyone the exact same, or that my views are too narrow minded. That's not true, because I remind everyone that I'm representing a minority of people, or that they're simply wrong because they're resting in the existence and opinion that's never criticized.
Saying it doesn't make it true, but most people acknowledge that there's no point arguing with me after that. Those that do are usually ripped apart by my one of the few people who actually care about me.
I share this story to remind everyone that the solution isn't to accept that perspectives are constantly new based on the individual, because that would take too much effort on my part. The solution is to agree with me. The solution is for everyone to become attractive, because if everyone is hot, no one is. I share this story so no one has to feel inferior merely because they're different. I need attractiveness, because if I can have it, good; but if I can't have it then everyone else should be like me.