It's a topic that has been on my mind increasingly. It's impossible to avoid because everyone is a lookist, including myself. I don't like that about myself. What would I think of people if I were blind? I couldn't judge people based on their looks, but I would still hear about the concept of beauty and wonder if I was beautiful. Then maybe I would judge people by their voices, and that would be almost the same thing. It's awful but everyone will always be lookist, because appearances are sensory information that the brain processes, and everything that the brain processes gets a judgment.
The other day my parents were tuning in to their favorite Chinese TV dating show, and there was a special episode in which all the participants were handicapped. My parents couldn't watch it, saying that it was disgusting, handicapped people shouldn't expect to be able to find love, and why would they ever put that on TV. It disappoints me greatly that they think this way, and it worries me a lot that my sister has to listen to this kind of stuff. She doesn't have her own mindset yet, and all of these awful remarks will undoubtedly affect her.
I grew up obsessed with my appearance, and not really being able to stand it. In hindsight, it was abnormal and unhealthy how much I worried about how I looked. I still think about my looks a lot, though certainly not as much. I want to erase my judgments, but I can't. Even while I'm painting, I wonder to myself, why do I like these colors better, why am I trying to make it all beautiful? When I see beautiful women on Tumblr, I can't help but to marvel at them. Their hips and breasts and collarbones and lips and lashes entrance me. I only reblog the most beautiful of the beautiful, and why? Why do I love shoes? I love art and I have a profound appreciation for beauty, and while I relish in all of the beautiful things it also disturbs me and I don't know how to avoid it.
I try my best not to comment on people's appearances, even compliments, because any reaction at all to one's looks reinforces their importance. When my friends talk about how gorgeous someone is, I just stay quiet and nod uncomfortably, because I'd rather talk about that person's personality. That's not to say that I haven't noticed how pretty that person is, but I try not to give it too much weight. When DC tells me about how much she hates her looks I don't know what to say. I give her the appropriate positive feedback and tell her how pretty I think she is, because she is, but I wish I didn't have to at all. I wish it wasn't important to her and I know that whatever I say won't change her self-image anyway. When LE looks at me naked and I look at him and we both marvel at how perfect the other is, it feels awesome. But why? Visual stimulus is incredibly pertinent to sexual arousal, it's built into our evolutionary code, and I love being able to enjoy it. At the same time it still bothers me. It especially makes me squeamish when people talk about how beautiful JD is. She is beautiful, there is no denying that, but it's not glamorous because I know how she got there. All of her starving and the isolation and the deception amounted to these petty compliments.
The only way I can come to terms and be okay with my own lookism is if I am conscious of it. I'll allow myself to appreciate beauty, but I also need to make sure that I am not making any judgments on a person's worth based upon his or her looks. I have to appreciate beauty for what it is, and nothing more.