Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ugly People?

In an earlier post on art and aesthetics, I wrote "If beauty is a Biblical concept, then how do we recognize it? What does its opposite look like? And since beauty is Biblical, isn't it reasonable to say that non-beauty (ugliness) is unbiblical - or perhaps even anti-biblical?. . . There ARE standards of beauty. . . Many who love [modern art] probably do so without discernment, without believing that there ARE objective standards of good & bad, beauty & ugliness, just like there are objective standards of right & wrong. Too many believe the lie that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We live in a subjective world, where everyone's opinion is equally right - even if its wrong.

A friend raised a question (in a different context - commenting on another blog)

Regarding eye of the beholder, what about "ugly" or "beautiful" people? Does their outward appearance represent art and their expression of it? I know I can become more "beautiful" to the world if I put on makeup "correctly," style my hair just so, and wear clothing to "trick" the eye and give the illusion of a more proportioned body, i.e. according to what the media has defined as "beautiful." Aren't we conditioned by our society and upbringing to define what is beautiful and what is not? Perhaps, subconsciously, we are assigning God's definition of beauty to what our mere minds have defined it to be.
My response was this: Without taking much time to think through, I'd say that the case of humans is different - even unique/distinct. Because we're created in God's image, we are in a unique position - separate and distinct from the rest of creation, as well separate and distinct from all man-made creations. Humans are not to be judged on outward appearances (God looks on the heart). . . Yes, we DO judge others on our looks, etc., but it is due to our sin nature; it's not the way it's supposed to be. "Beautiful" or "ugly" people are judged that way because the one doing the judging is a sinner (as we all are). Before the Fall and after Christ's return, there won't be any such labels.

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