In the eye of the beholder – another musing

I’ve written before about living in the altered reality that is my world since the anti-depressants kicked in. But even after a few months I do find it astonishing how differently I react to or appreciate situations to how I would have done a short while ago.

Was that the ‘real me’? Is this? What I do know is that the world didn’t suddenly change overnight, although it looks and feels really different to me.

Obviously this is quite an extreme change of perception, albeit one which an awful lot of people end up experiencing. But all of us do see the world through our own filters, whether of expectation, preconception, or simply our need to relate the world to our own personal experience.

As part of this, our appreciation of beauty, fashion and glamour are similarly driven by our own personal history and the feelings and emotions which an image invokes, as much as by the intrinsic value.

Just a couple of random examples include:

– the big hair most of us had in the ’80’s: I’m sure we really thought it worked
– the fact that cheap wine always tastes better on holiday than once you get it home

Just goes to show it’s all about the context & associations…

So whilst it makes for popular TV or newspaper columns to produce another analysis or formula for the ideal human face or body, that rarely generates a look that most people can identify with. So is that really beauty?

Your thoughts, please….

Of course, the great Douglas Adams summed this up rather better than I have (from Mostly Harmless): “We live in strange times.

We also live in strange places: each in a universe of our own. The people with whom we populate our universes are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own. Being able to glance out into this bewildering complexity of infinite recursion and say things like, “Oh, hi, Ed! Nice tan. How’s Carol?” involves a great deal of filtering skill for which all conscious entities have eventually to develop a capacity in order to protect themselves from the contemplation of the chaos through which they seethe and tumble”.

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2 thoughts on “In the eye of the beholder – another musing

  1. I totally agree. I’ve been battling depression I think since I was born and I’ve been on so many meds. Recently I was talking w/ my counselor about how easily little things people did irritated me. It was a new problem. She explained it was probably a symptom of my depression & anxiety. I’ve noticed on days where I feel better I don’t have that problem. I also see myself differently. Some days I look at my hands & think those are fat hands. They literally look bigger than normal. Again, another symptom.

  2. What we see on TV and in the media is a severely distorted version of beauty which for most people is unnatainable. The psychological effect of that on youth just results in low self esteem & self worth.
    What we as a society need to understand and teach our children is that beauty manifests itself in many different ways, not just physical appearance and that it’s ok to not have to look like the media distorted image.
    Some of my friends may not be models but they are beautiful people…

    -Andy-

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