The beautiful, iconic image of the slender, shapely lines of a woman meet my eyes. The tasteful monochrome styling. The delicate tightrope between natural beauty and expensive polish is perfectly walked by the way another presents herself. How should one feel?
One might say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Certainly, there is variance in taste, what we see, how it makes us feel. Yet sometimes, instead of looking at someone and thinking, ‘That’s amazing, I feel good for seeing this,’ one is left feeling shabby in comparison. Garish, poorly put together, untidy and cheap. One wonders if, with extra time, money and effort, one might hope to present oneself the same way. Then one looks at the basic starting point one is at and realises that with all the polish in the world, the natural state beneath that which is presented is never going to shape up into something so exquisitely classy. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it won’t be a beauty queen. You can polish a turd until it shines, but it will never be a thing of beauty.
The green-eyed monster rears its head and pokes you in the ribs with negative self-judgment and shame. Maybe one would do better to accept, hide away and not try. Maybe the things of value that one has for the world, for individuals to enjoy, be soothed by or to touch their spirit, will never be able to shine because the packaging you can fit it in is too rough, too damaged, too spikey and brittle. Maybe it will be too hard for anyone to want to see that which is underneath. Maybe that which is wrapped in crass packaging is not worthy of anyone’s attention anyway. Maybe you were deluding yourself all along that you might have value.
It might be said that the way we react to something is more an indication of our own feelings about ourselves than an objective measure of how others see us. We always see all our flaws and downgrade our merits. We get stuck in a rut, fall into a comfort zone and then it takes the realisation that someone else has something much better, they present themselves much better, they are easier to like, to access, to connect with, for us to take a look and wish that we could be better. That we could have something more like they have.
Our competitive streak, however rationalised, converted to team spirit, mutual support and sisterhood, stirs within us. We don’t want to be the basic bitch, while another person models a better version of ourselves that we might have been if we’d lived a different life, had a different story. We want to be a queen too. We want to be in the higher echelons of taste and desirability. Their sleek image makes us look and feel bad. They cast us onto a lower rung within the monkey troop that still dwells within our evolutionary social mentality.
What can one do?
- We can withdraw, shut up shop; accept that we can never create a beautiful package to carry ourselves in, the way that they have.
- We can let the green-eyed monster rule us, try to destroy a thing of beauty, and the person who made it so. Make the whole world a little uglier, so that we look better by comparison.
- We can spend effort, time and money trying to bring ourselves up to the standard they portray; the cool look, the grace, the approachable yet high-class image
- We can accept that we are all capable of making beauty in different ways. That one man’s meat is another man’s poison. That just because we see something that looks perfect, desirable, flawless, and attribute value to it, it doesn’t mean that everyone will, including the person who has crafted the image, with background care and effort we didn’t see go into it. That the very creator may well look down and see nothing but flaws and problems themselves, while looking at your own projected image and feeling their own green-eyed monster stir, for things you probably no longer even think of.
I must confess, this weekend I have had the green-eyed monster, a silly beast I long thought I had rationalised into submission, stir within me. I looked at the beautiful, professional way she presented herself – the natural artistic ease with which she crafted and moulded natural femininity with smart, sassy style. The way she used the tools at her disposal to make an icon of soft, ferocious beauty. The way charm and intelligence oozed out of every crack, like golden honey flowing over the sensual female form.
I looked at my own humble appearance- a bit cheap, stuffed with trying to do too much, a struggle with my own limits in putting together colour, shape and form into a pleasing array. My somewhat outdated ideas of how things should look, not adequately invested in, not kept up to date. The ongoing tendrils of a hundred small mistakes still tangled in the body.
I looked at her website, her WordPress theme, and thought, ‘Wow. I wish I could be more like that.’
That’s right. I’ve got blogsite envy.
What are your top tips for making your landing page a thing of beauty? I’m feeling like Libre 2 theme may just not be doing unicornhunting.blog any favours any more. From the oversized (and somewhat randomly sized) feature images that appear on the blog list, to the long vertical presentation, to the inability to switch off the logo on blogs where I’d like just a feature image at the top, I’m feeling like a shabby old Grandma in the world of blog presentation.
It doesn’t matter so much that the Grandma is a saucy sexual deviant with a lot of stories to share- only the most determined are going to be willing to pull off those shabby granny pants and see what’s underneath.
So, sexy bloggers, what are your favourite themes to use and tips for making your site appear in ways that send a shiver up the spine?