On The Uncertain Beauty, or Loving Oddness

(Willem de Kooning — Attic)

“What is beautiful is supposed to be shown.” As a good young lady with a revolutionary heart who daily fights against cowardice (what good could this heart do?), I have my reservations about this phrase. I believe that all of us who seek to go and feel beyond what they make us believe that are the ideal places and the necessary basic feelings to lead a normal life (if they want to see us spend another holiday on the beach, we prefer to stay at home reading a good book; if they want to see us trapped in a relationship even when love is over, we prefer our freedom. Not that there is any problem with beaches and comfortable relationships. It’s just our preferences. When we talk about preferences, it doesn’t make us different from the others.) cannot fully agree with what is the beauty implicit in this phrase, or how far this beauty should be exhibited, considering that beauty is relative, and the exhibition is an imminent danger of egocentrism. I prefer to see the whole world as always beautiful, even with the drifts of clear waters to polluted oceans, even with hatred obscuring love — yes, perhaps what I see is not the beauty itself, but the possibility of it existing anywhere, under any circumstances. It is a survival mechanism, otherwise I’d be in a permanent state of despair.

But I also see beauty in what is mostly considered ugly, the standard of beauty is something that should bother us all daily, at every moment. Because, you see, when something that should have a natural fluidity because it exists under the influence of human volatility, by logic, should not be static and unchanging, being “confronted” with the paradigm breaks, as the concept of modern beauty is. It’s always like this: my grandmother loves the scorching sun of midday, that sun that doesn’t heat you, it burns you, she thinks its light is beautiful, she loves the day that shines on fire; I, on the contrary, detest this sun and prefer rainy and overcast days, thunderstorms with lightning and, of course, lots of thunders, I think the rainwater falling is too beautifully enchanting, making that deafening noise that is a sweet lullaby to my sleep. But I think the sun of my grandmother is amazing when she smiles at it. This is the relativity of beauty. And in the depths of our beings, we all recognize it, we all know that everything that is supposedly ugly has been or will be beautiful one day and that, for this reason, it cannot really be considered ugly, simply because it is a concept transmissible and unstable in its own conception. All men, and all beings and all things of the universe have a beauty that converges to create harmonic chaos, the disorder that is recognized and against which we struggle daily — tell me, then, is there no beauty in our messy union? I say there is: the trust I place in you is as beautiful as your oily hair and your little red pimples on your forehead.

The best proof that beauty is fluid is our own history. What was beautiful one day, is no longer seen like that today, only because there are forces that influence a majority of us so that it acts in accordance to its interests. Cause no, what was beautiful one day is still beautiful today, and the beauty of today will continue to be so tomorrow, as long as we are able to understand beauty not only as an oppressive social construction (which it is, in fact), but also as something inherent to the very notion of existence: we exist, therefore, we are beautiful. We are born, we grow, and even if in one day or another, we talk something, we are something or have something in our beings, physical and metaphysical, that can be considered inconsistent with beauty, beauty belongs to us because there is no force in this world capable of getting it out of us forever.

All the suffering that my first love has caused me, all the daily struggle of one who is part of a lower economic class, all the occasional hopelessness with studies and politics and humanity, all the complexes; as well as all the love I have ever felt, all the little achievements, all the light that a great academic master conveys to me, all hope and passion for learning and social politics and for the human being itself — everything is so beautiful to me, because it is what made me and what makes me, is what gives me my colors, opaque or bright, is what makes my life exclusively mine while I share it with the rest of the world. My heart, ugly, beautiful, intelligent and ignorant, is just like yours, so don’t say you don’t believe in the serenity of the certainty of this life’s charms, even if they’re rare. Even our pessimism makes sense at such times — if we were not so pessimistic like this, we wouldn’t question what is wrong with the system under which we live.

I would agree that everything that is beautiful should be shown if we were not just talking about the superficial side of it, a beauty that drives a liquid modernity mad and liquidates the solidity of the resilience and resistance of our beings. But yes, let’s show all the beauty we have and the one we don’t have, so maybe we’d learn something useful with our wrong notions of “being”…

The common beauty doesn’t enchant me as much as the freak, bizarre, vulgar beauty. But both beauties cause me different kinds of fascination — one inevitably draws me in because I live in its daily life, the other attracts me because I need to understand all the existences of the universe so I can absorb it. Let us be beautiful or ugly, it doesn’t matter: beauty really is in the eyes, heart and soul of those who, in fact, can see it.