Good Looks: Reality or Perception

After publishing my write-up on Extramarital Crushes, I had a busy day having very interesting conversations with friends & acquaintances on the topic.  Some absolutely loved the article while some could not “stomach my angle”! (which is absolutely fine!) One of the conversations was about the kind of guys I have a crush on! My one word answer was “rare”.  I could literally count the number of crushes I’ve had in my entire life, on my fingers (Including celebrity crushes!).  To answer my friend’s question about “my type”, I said that I like honest men with kick-ass sense of humor! That is when he asked the question that got me thinking, “What about looks?” This has been on my mind for a very long time now.

How do you define “Good looks”?  Fair complexion, sharp features, tall and slim body, thick hair (but not too thick, mind it!) and stuff like that, right? Who defined that a person with most, if not all of these characteristics would be called “Good looking”? Interestingly, your eyes exactly know it when you see a “Good looking” person!  Is it just universal truth or lifetime of mental conditioning?

Did this ever happen to you:

You meet a person and you don’t find him/her interesting enough.  But with time, as you know the person more, the image of the person in your mind changes drastically.  The same person now appears to be charming or interesting or even attractive!  It has happened to me so many times!  Like this one time, I met a friend’s wife and in my head I had already put a tag on her.  But as I got to know her more, how sensible, respectful and fun-loving she was, plus the kind of meaningful conversations we had, the tag automatically changed from “boring” to “fun”!

I know, it is not a very relevant example but look at Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  When I first saw him in Talaash, I could never imagine calling him “handsome” .  And look at this!

I am absolutely aware that it has a lot to do with grooming but it is also about your eyes getting used to the person’s face and the way s/he conducts himself/herself!

There are gorgeous looking men or women who once open their mouth, they seem gorgeous no more!  The looks become absolutely irrelevant.  Remember how people went crazy about Kangana Ranaut in Gangster and the same bunch called her “Dehati” (someone from a lower-socioeconomic rural background) when they heard her talk in some award function? She went from Hot to Not to Hot again when she came back with a bang! The way she talks now could put many Bollywood A-listers to shame!  You have to agree, there is certainly a lot more to a person than looks, even when it comes to finding him/her attractive!

This preset definition of good looks, like fuller lips or sharper nose or pointier chin has ruined so many pretty faces in Bollywood.  But again, we are lucky to be born in times where people are more open and accepting towards the deviation by labeling it as “unconventional beauty”!

Then there is another scenario where you see a girl or guy who you would call absolute definition of good looks but you would also call her/him a b*tch or a jerk ‘coz s/he behaves in a certain way!  In-spite of the attractive physical appearance, you would not find them attractive!

When I got married, there were people who thought we weren’t a good match because Ram doesn’t fit into the conventional mould of a good looking guy.  One of my closest friends called him “average looking”, which he probably is… but for me he is (one of :D) the hottest guy(s) to have walked on earth ever!  Even after being together for more than a decade and a half, his smile still melts my heart the same way it did when I first saw him on the webcam! Hell yeah, I would want him to shed those extra kilos but it doesn’t change the way I feel for him!  I am not sure if it is due to the bunch of incredible qualities in him or just that my perception of “good looks” is a bit messed up!

I want to make three points here!

  1.  If you have found a partner who is “epitome of good looks” then many congratulations!  I am mighty glad you did and I am genuinely happy for you!  But if you love a person who doesn’t meet the criteria, IT IS OKAY!  It is you who is going to stay with the person, not the world 🙂
  2.  I absolutely understand the recent trend of “accepting the way you look” or “beauty comes in all sizes” and it is just awesome!  You actually can’t compete with the “made up and photo shopped” beauties on the magazine covers but it does not mean that you ignore your health and hog on those nachos!  While size is irrelevant, being fit is of utmost importance.  You owe it to yourself. (With my colossal love for food and steady relationship with laziness, I absolutely struggle to maintain decent weight!  But struggling is any day better than giving up, right?)
  3. Above all, our mental conditioning is done. It is over and we can’t do much about it.  But with our kids, we have a chance to change it, chance to look beyond the looks.  Do teach them to look what’s on the inside than the exteriors, be it the world or even themselves.

To conclude, If you think you don’t fit into the definition, trust me, you are THE definition for people who truly love you! 🙂 And I know it is easier said than done but if you “feel” beautiful, the world will see that too! 🙂 (“I Feel Pretty” on Netflix makes a strong case!)

And if you are truly beyond looks, then cheers to life! 😀 Let’s go hog on those nachos together and workout tomorrow! (Procrastination rocks 😉 )