“It was my choice, and now I will question myself for the next few weeks, maybe months.”
That’s the opening sentence for this advertisement.
I chose something, and now I feel self-doubt.
Question your choices with Dove®!
What the fuck.
Ignoring the fact that a multinational corporate brand wants me to “choose beautiful,” which is usually clue number one as to why something would be a totally bad idea; “choosing” to be “beautiful” is a really terrible idea.
Let’s be honest, what does beauty do? What has beauty done for you lately?
How much of the time do we refer to men as being beautiful? By contrast, how much do we refer to things as being beautiful? How likely is it that we are objectifying a woman when we call her beautiful? And I’m not talking about sexual objectification, although that’s a portion of it. I’m talking about good old fashioned seen-and-not-heard objectification.
Something that is beautiful is “pleasing the senses.” That implies an outside observer and ignores the true state of the beautiful thing almost completely. Someone experiencing this thing feels pleasure. At its core, the very concept of beauty annihilates agency.
We have all this shit floating around the Internet right now about “inner beauty” and word ownership, and there’s some validity to the latter, but the former is complete crap. The corporate concept of inner beauty is merely an attempt to commodify principals as well as appearances. It doesn’t work. Because you know who has inner beauty? People who don’t care whether or not they have inner fucking beauty.
The list of things I would rather be than beautiful could go to the moon and back, and one of them is probably “a mouse.” I am smart, and I am driven, and I can be frantic, and sarcastic. I take good care of my dog, and I get knocked down, but I get up again… and this is turning into a terrible 90s rock station flashback. But you get what I’m saying.
Do some people find me pleasing to the senses? I certainly do. But what the fuck does that have to do with who I am as a person? In my 30 years of life, if I had cared even 5% more about what other people’s senses experienced around me, I would have nothing that I have today. No businesses, no sassy haircut, certainly not good sex, or any of my cute and affordable clothes. Definitely not my collection of quirky woolen hats.
Because every single thing about who I am today starts with the simple rejection of my perceived obligation to other people’s senses. I am not a carpet. I am not a stove-top. My existence is in no way justified by how other people experience my physical body.
I can tell you, if you aren’t in the know, that experiencing this physical body is a great time. One of my favorite hobbies, in fact. But that’s just it: my affect on your senses is a byproduct of my affect on my senses and it always will be.
There is a vast universe both external and internal to my physical self that is yet to be explored beyond the smallest tenth of a millionth of a fraction, and there are entire swaths of that universe dying and being born anew every second of every day. The fact that I have mere decades in which to experience this incalculable wonder means that I do not have time for your shit, Dove®.
I will never be beautiful, because I will be so much more.