The mind and the body are not separate entities. Think about it, religious people speak about the “temptation of the flesh”, but what is the origin of your arousal? You get aroused because sensory information is processed and interpreted by your brain which leads to physiological arousal. So boners do not corrupt the mind, your mind corrupted your penis/vagina. Not only does your mind have an effect on your body, but your body does on your mind as well which affects what kind of person you become.
Some of the points I am going to make are based on my own personal experience inhabiting my body, but I will base myself on observations I have made about other people as well as their own first hand reports. This is basically the most useless statement ever though since almost everything we say is based on our experience and personal interpretation of the world, but its just a disclaimer in case people are wondering whether what I write can account for the entirety of human existence. Answer: Probably not.
A tall friend of mine has a theory that children who grew up quickly, in terms of height, are expected to act as adults earlier on. I come from a place where people on average are shorter, but I currently live in a place where people on average are much taller. My friend’s experience could potentially only be applicable to tall people who grow up in a primarily short environment. Maybe people in my new tall-dominant environment grow up faster mentally, but that could also be due to cultural factors. I haven’t had a chance to untangle all the confounding variables, however I have asked a few tall people their thoughts on the matter and they have all agreed. I am a short person and have also discussed this with short friends and they think there might be something to this theory. One issue that I struggle with as I have been getting along with the years, is presenting myself as an adult and claiming respect. I have a difficult time embracing my sexiness, I would rather be seen as cute, but this might soon be age-inappropriate according to TV fashion stylists. I also feel like tall people are older and more mature than I am and can at times be intimidated by them, almost reduced to feeling like a child: “be respectful and don’t waste their time, you are dealing with a grown-up here.” In fact, there have been times when tall people were conversing, when I felt completely excluded from the conversation because I was not at their level. And, just to make things clear here, I am not freakishly short. In fact, I am in the average globally for women.
There is a lot that could be said about all the issues that I will be covering in this article, but I am not knowledgeable enough. This article is like a tasting platter. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but there are basic guidelines that seem to appeal to the majority of the human race. For example, a beautiful man should have clear skin, some sort of muscle definition, a symmetrical face, but there are also cultural factors that come to play. Cultures also vary on whether they like a plumper woman or a thinner one, and yes, those are societal factors. That being said I have yet to see a culture that values acne, so variance in cultural preferences can only go so far.
Believe it or not, beautiful people can be victims of discrimination. Now, the only cases I have heard about have involved women: women who were perceived as materialistic bitches because they were beautiful and dressed well; women who were perceived as stupid or easy or whatever. And yes, oftentimes who discriminates against beautiful women? Less beautiful women. Yes, some people win the genetic lottery and are not only beautiful, but intelligent. It’s not their fault! But there are average looking people out there who could make themselves shine if they weren’t so frumpy. One type of person who I cannot stand is the frumpy mom who is on her moral high-horse because she doesn’t have time to take care of her looks because she has answered the higher calling of motherhood. I think there are moms out there who don’t have time to work on their looks and we shouldn’t pick on them, I am just annoyed with the ones who act like that makes them a better person. It doesn’t have to be moms either. I love animals and am grateful towards those who devote their lives to caring for them, but even Jane Goodall took the time to look good. Besides, you should make an effort to take care of yourself, it’s good for your mental and physical health, but so many moms prefer to be a martyr than healthy.
Being an ugly person is probably not easy. Obviously, there are different degrees of ugly. There is even “sexy ugly”. Some people are homely, but have such great styles and personalities that their ugliness gives them an edge, thus making them much more appealing than a sterile Hollywood beauty. That being said, some people are just plain ugly. If I was ugly, I wouldn’t want anyone to patronise me and tell me that I am beautiful when I am not, if anything, compliment me on the things that are actually worth complimenting.
Consider these two people:
Now imagine both of them were picking their nose.
Who would you be most likely to forgive for committing such an unappealing act? … That’s what I suspected.
I was thinking about something the other day. Especially as a teenager, I liked rats, was really interested in paraphilia (I still am) and was into goth culture, even though I never dressed goth. I’ve met two girls with sort of similar interests as me, yet they were chubby and would wear these cheap corsets and they were just so awkward. I wondered if what saved me from being too awkward, despite my not very accessible interests, was the fact that I am attractive so it helped me be more social. Don’t misunderstand me, I know a lot of people like the things that I like and are normal people, but I do think appearance plays a role in socialisation. If you are ugly and on top of it all, have odd interests, you might have less opportunities than a boring good-looking/average-looking person or an interesting ugly person to learn the rules of social interaction.
This doesn’t have so much to do with your actual appearance, but is another illustration of how your body affects your mind. Have you ever noticed how the lives of some of the greatest thinkers of our civilisation were characterised by illness both physical and mental. Nietzsche, Beethoven, Dostoevsky, Stephen Hawkings… I could go on. Physical illness, especially chronic illness as in the cases of the aforementioned individuals, usually leaves the person bedridden. If you are stuck in bed, what do you do? Read, watch TV, go online, etc… A sickly person has a considerable amount of time to devote to intellectual pursuits. They are not busy being a “well-rounded” person: reading books, but also shooting hoops with the gang after school. Mental illness, despite its many downsides, can also thrust a person to greatness by giving them a unique perspective on things. Many actors, writers, poets, activists and intellectuals have also suffered from this. Some mental illnesses are primarily caused by the environment, but all have a biological effect on your brain and occasionally body.
According to Tooby and Cosmides, reactive heritability refers to our evolved psychological mechanisms that base themselves on heritable characteristics as a guide to strategic solutions. For example, a man could adopt either an aggressive strategy when dealing with someone or a cooperative one in order to get something he wants from someone else, but this decision would be based on his heritable characteristics, in this case, his size and strength. If he is big and strong, he is more likely to pursue an aggressive strategy i.e. instead of working out an arrangement with someone, it would be easier to just brash their head in and take the coveted item. I am not saying that being big always leads to aggression, as there are gentle giants out there, but it makes more sense for a big man to be aggressive than a small man. According to another study, being physically strong and attractive predicts the Big Five trait of extraversion. While, I am unaware of any studies that might support the claims I am going to be making, our bodies influence the way we view the world. If I am a small woman, I am more likely to be intimidated by a big man than another big man would be. If I am pretty, even if I am socially awkward, the world will still be more receptive to me because of my looks whereas if I am ugly, my social awkwardness could worsen because I tend to get a negative reception from people which would prompt me to avoid people even more.
We all play a character in life
I hate to be that guy, but…
An anecdote: I was on the plane, cramped in a foetal position on my seat, trying to get some sleep. While, I cannot really sleep on planes, I just end up really drowsy and in this uninhibited state, I accidently farted. It wasn’t a big one, but enough that the person next to me might have heard it. I continued to pretend to be asleep, but I felt ashamed. It dawned on me, had I been in the guy’s position, I would have probably thought eww gross. I realised that I had become “that passenger” the one that farts. That, the farting woman, was my role in the theatrical play that is flying. We don’t usually pay conscious attention to our role because we don’t have the impression that we are playing a role, we are just being ourselves, but in someone else’s life, you play a role. The role can be situational such as in my airplane scenario, or vary according to your relationship to a person, but you are always playing a role for somebody and sometimes it isn’t flattering. Sally is a kill-joy. Rob is the creepy janitor who breaths down your next at work. Kimberly is a slut. Et cetera, et cetera…
Anyway, that’s enough for today. Also, remember what your mother said too: “appearances can be deceiving.”
I just hope the role I play in your life is that of friend.