“Ugly City Burns Beautifully”

In the second installment of our Modern Love series, Frank tackles the subjectivity of
beauty [and bunny suits].

by Frank Morgan

Describing something as fickle as beauty isn’t exactly something I’m good at. Beauty isn’t something one should batter with words. I’m not a musician. I’m no poet. I write, yes, but I ramble, and my best work tends toward funny, lowbrow and slapstick. I tell a mean dead baby joke, but I sure as hell can’t do iambic pentameter. In short, nothing I write will convince you of who or what is beautiful (unless you really like dead baby jokes). Luckily, that’s kind of the point. Especially when we’re talking about what makes people beautiful.

Let me start with a story. When I was in high school, I got it into my head that going to those under-18 clubs was a cool thing to do. I was well under eighteen, and dumb enough to pay five bucks for flashing lights and overpriced sodas. Around this time (fourteen-ish, I think), I noticed my friends didn’t like the same kind of girls I did. In fact, they only liked one type of girl. They’d walk past ten gorgeous brunettes for the chance at the only tanned blonde in the place. I was surprised. Why ignore a beautiful girl because of her hair color or lack of a tan? There was an entire room full of other girls for me to stammer and stare awkwardly at. Being fourteen, I did. My friends’ problem was that they had an idea of what beautiful was. For them, hotness was a California surfer girl with an orange tan. They never found her. Sure, this one was tall, but her tits were too small. This one was blonde and had the tits, but she wasn’t skinny enough. I always had better luck. I was hoping for a pulse and maybe a laugh. I usually found both.

Every day we see things designed to be beautiful. Advertisers taunt us with sexy hamburgers and magazines tell us men should have abs like bags of apples. Beauty is subjective. It involves looks, poise, humor, smell, personal experience, societal norms, the weather, hopes, dreams, fears… probably lunch, too.

About four years ago, I went on a short-lived dating spree with a girl from college. She had freckles (hot) and red hair (even hotter). She liked my stories (handy) and had an evil sense of humor (hottest of all). The most beautiful part of her? She had a scar. A little one, about the size of a thumbtack, on the bridge of her nose. She hated it, but it was my favorite part of her. It was the flaw that made her unique, made her a real person, not some Photoshopped caricature. Was it odd? Yes. Am I weird? Undoubtedly. But she was still beautiful.

So what is beautiful? I’m no better judge than you. If you think something is hot, it is. Do you like glasses and the smell of books? How about cowboy boots and ass-huggers? Even if a full-sized rabbit suit gets you excited, I won’t laugh (well, maybe a little). It doesn’t involve me, and it shouldn’t. Go after what you like. Beauty is subjective. That’s the only advice I can offer, really. Don’t let other people mandate your perceptions of beauty. If you can’t take your eyes off a guy, it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks he’s good looking. If he’s gorgeous but annoying as all hell, why are you wasting time with him? Find someone beautiful. You’ll be happier that way.

The author, Frank, doesn’t read Greek. But the translation and the picture make a better title than he can.

Indoor Boys

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