Now I do have to admit that I didn't actually watch the show (and by all accounts I didn't miss much) but the "dramality" show The Shire aired last week on TV here in Australia.

From recounts of what took place on the show it seems there are a plethora of topics I could be bringing up based on the shows lack of social conscience.... but what I really want to talk about is beauty. A friend (yes I really do mean a friend, not as in "a friend" who is actually just me not wanting to admit it) watched the show. She brought up a discussion which took place between two of the "characters" which went something like "so, if you could like choose, if your children were either pretty or smart, like, which one would you choose?" to which the reply from her over tanned, over botoxed, breast enhanced, lip filler, false lashed friend was "definitely pretty, cause then it would be like easier for them to get ahead in life" (who saw that coming??!).

Anyhoo, it got me thinking about which one is actually preferable and what are the benefits of both. I mean obviously pretty sometimes gets you in the door but it's your smarts that keep you there...... and really in the end pretty fades but smarts don't. So I know which one I'd be rooting for should I ever have the choice. And really, when you have a good hard think about it, pretty is in the eye of the beholder (and whatever is in fashion at the time)- where as smarts aren't so subjective.

I really believe that beauty is skin deep and sometimes it's not even that deep. I have known pretty people who weren't that pretty on the inside and it was definitely reflected on their outsides (a la Shallow Hale, with Jack Black -  if you've ever caught that movie). I also know people who are not classically beautiful but they are such amazing people they seem beautiful anyway.

My father and I were discussing this phenomenon one day when he recounted a story from his past. He said he knew this guy who was by all accounts a great guy and my dad really liked him. Anyway, I guess he was feeling down one day as he said to my Dad "I don't even know why anyone likes me" to which my dad replied "well, why wouldn't they?" and he went on to say "Well, I'm really short and overweight, and I wear glasses. I mean I'm not much to look at". My Dad later told me that it changed the way he saw that guy, he said he had never even noticed those things about him before. Being a great guy had made him actually seem taller and thinner than he was. Which is something to really think about. I  mean, this guy did himself a disservice by pointing out his faults!

So at the end of all that what conclusion do we come to on the debate of beauty verses brains? Well, a friend said to me today "there are no ugly women, just lazy ones" and that's pretty much true. If you are not classically beautiful you can always opt for outside help but if you're a dumb arse... well, you're on your own. 




07/22/2012 9:25pm

Did you know that you can train to improve an IQ test? Exposure to logic puzzles will improve IQ test results. Do you know someone who did poorly in school then comes out of school and manages to prove that they are smart either academically or otherwise?

Like beauty, how much of a "dumb arse" you are can be a reflection of laziness or just minimal exposure to the right stimulus at the right time. There are hundreds of books out there that look at how to be world class at something. There is a magical number of 10,000 hours of practice with the purpose of improving that is required. So is this the answer of how to be smart? Is the answer to have 10,000 hours of asking questions and reflecting on your decisions and actions so that you can be “smart”.

Like beauty, smart requires effort and the faith that with effort you will see change. Unfortunately as a society we tend to value “natural beauty” or “natural talent” or “naturally smart” as the implication our beauty or smarts can be influenced by our effort would imply that that we deserve what we have.

07/22/2012 10:20pm

Yep you're right Cherylanne - I think you can improve upon your smarts and I think anyone can be great at something with enough practice and determination. But the point is that you are on your own. People today (and I'm not saying everyone - I refer more to the people who see the "characters" on shows like the Shire and such as aspirational) want a quick fix. They want to be beautiful today and famous for it tomorrow. To want to improve your mind is a nobel cause but you can't go to a Dr's to fix it, you have to want to do it yourself. I read somewhere that it takes 10 years to become great at something (which may well fit in with your 10.000 hours of practice) and I feel that many people go through the school system feeling like they are a dumb arse because they don't fit a particular mold of smart. There are many different types of smarts.
But ultimately you would want your child to be a good and decent person before choosing either pretty or smart. At the end of the day, if you child wasn't conventionally pretty or smart you would still think they were special and you would love them anyway.
: )

07/23/2012 9:05am

Amen, sister!

07/23/2012 4:33pm

: )

- you probably have heard nothing about The Shire Hollie, don't even bother googling it. It will be time you will never get back.


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