There is a woman I follow on Instagram, and let’s just say that she is a lot of things I am not, physically speaking. She is petite, curly-haired, plumpish, chubby faced… cute as a button. So, I get “cute” a lot myself but she and I look nothing like each other. I find her very beautiful, so much so that I can scroll endlessly through her profile, leafing through her posts and pictures and videos. Also, she writes beautifully. (Beautifully different from my own writing which I find beautiful, too.)
All this to say that beauty (or our experience of it?) is a singular and unique experience, beyond any kind of comparison and/or competition. My mother is beautiful as she uniquely is, and there isn’t a question of if/how she is more (or less) beautiful than anyone else. I am beautiful in a way that only I can be, and it has nought to do with how my looks fare on any scale, Indian or international or whatever.
And this is likely why I find my friends so beautiful, each one looking wholly different from the other. Reminded of something an Art of Living teacher once said, “Praise is unqualified.” I didn’t get it at that time, and maybe I am still unclear about the true import of that statement… and yet, I wonder if the sentiment may not be extended to “Beauty is unqualified.”
And if we were to extend the idea even further, it makes sense that our experience of ANYTHING is absolutely and utterly unique, beyond comparison to anything else. Radical, no?