Isn’t it wonderful how you can find beauty almost anywhere? It can be found within a place, a material piece or in a person. So, both in nature and in art – an argument could be made here that art is of nature, of course, just as much as nature or life itself can be artful – yes, yes, I see you Oscar Wilde, nodding your head in approval from the grave – beauty can be found, made and experienced, which in turn brings us a sense of satisfaction or peace.
One of the more interesting moments that happen in nature is when something that at first doesn’t seem so perfect, happens to be extremely interesting and therefore beautiful. It differs in its beauty from the norm. An example can be the human face. We can argue over the saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Regardless, a human face does not need to adhere to the standard of the golden ratio to be beautiful, intriguing, or at the very least, appealing on a personal level.
Redefining beauty and especially the beauty of the human body and face can be better observed within the realm of art, specifically that of thespians. The masters of their craft know how to use their outward looks to portray their characters best (which would be an approach of many Method actors, who usually build their characters from the outside to the inside, generally basing their technique on observation). Better yet work from the inside out and let the emotion show freely on their faces (which would be the acting approach that starts with the imagination and empathy of the actor towards their character).
Some of them, known as character actors, might not even be considered conventionally beautiful or typically appealing, yet still manage to strike an appearance and impression of beauty both on their face and within their character. One could think of Javier Bardem, the Spanish actor, Jadranka Dokic, one of the best Croatian actresses currently working, or Emma Thompson and Dame Helen Mirren, both stunning and exquisite artists who are all capable of portraying a plethora of characters, ranging from the horrifying to charming. Of course, we can agree how makeup, lighting and the cinematography also make sure to enhance the portrayal, but I would argue that most of that falls on the actor’s shoulder and therefore they are one of the best people on the planet to redefine our sense of beauty and show us how our insides can affect outward beauty, or lack thereof.
Sharp and Soft Faces
‘It’s a good day to be, a good day for me
A good day to see my favorite colors, colors
My sisters and my brothers, they see ‘em like no other
All my favorite colors’
– Black Pumas
I once knew someone whose face was very strange-looking. Somehow stern and sharp in its lines. For all the beauty her face could show, she gave it away to her life frustrations. She decided to trade her happiness and subsequently her beauty for the deep lines above her mouth, on her forehead, around her eyes. Her pale skin was thinly stretched over her sunken cheeks, so serious-looking. It didn’t matter what she had witnessed in her life. Amidst all the tragedy and suffering in the world, she was one of those people that were still under the standard of what would be considered a normal amount of pain; those undesirable occurrences that most people to some extent experience in an average life. But still, her face was awash in worry like it was the only state it has ever known. One state of being. One color to have within oneself. Every other thought, emotion, feeling and attitude, all somewhat muted out by this greyness of being. None of these other emotions had ever fully been lived through or taken seriously enough to be understood as equally, if not even more important than that single one: the Worry. She carried it within herself as a token, or even as a passport, a personal identification card of emotion for all the other countries of Being that exist. A pass through all of them so that she could safely arrive back to her home, her beloved States of Worry.
Worry: always creeping and spreading from the corner of her face to the rest and changing hues from grey into a deep black. A sharp, colorless face is what that is.
But before this sharp and drained face, I hope there was something that I would call a soft face. The type that children have and some wise adults decide to keep. One that is not only soft and round in its outward nature, for it can be also that of course, but a face that is round by the colors one strives to carry within themselves. A way of being with all the colors. All the beauty then transforms and nurtures the face so that it is almost always soft, regardless of age, hardships and the actual bone structure. All the emotions beaming both together and separately, since each one of them is important and here to be lived through. Indeed, all my favorite colors.
That is the face that I sometimes see in the crowds.
That is the beauty that I recognize in people and that is made of people.
That is the face that I aspire to have.