Brainwashed Beauty

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I have a thing about heights. I don’t like them, unless they’re in relation to my partner. I do like tall partners. Over 6 feet, at least.

Yes, I’ve dated short ones before–men that it is. There’s nothing wrong with them normally (nor morally), only that I don’t seek them out. Accidental lovers, I like to say. Just like when, whoops, it slips in!

Height aside, my list of requirements in potential lovers is pretty slim. Other than a charming personality, dashing looks, sane mind, and generous spirit I’m not so choosy about a man who chooses to worship me. It’s not even a question of beggars being choosey. Because believe me, I’m not a beggar (unless there’s a drink involved and some side eye action at a bar). Rather, it’s a matter of a universal truth: that more than good enough men abound.

Truth or philosophy, call it what you will. One begets the other, and before you know it the universe is filled with abundance, possibility, potential. ‘Love is everywhere!’ As they say in Venice.

This is how I see it. Truly. I’ll often tell friends, almost daring them, to drop me off any where in the world and I can guarantee to find myself a suitor that will capture my heart. I’m really not worried. But it wasn’t always this way. That was, before I had moved from one continent to another and then again another, before then I had set definitions of love. Love was not only a certain height (and generosity and personality), but also a certain look, or type. You know that look, because you probably have your own in mind too. Maybe for you he’s olive skinned, green eyed, fit. Or, perhaps he’s got long locks, blonde, blue eyes and a summer glow. To others, he’s dark, a big smile, buzzed hair. I can’t remember what mine was, it’s been so long since I’ve had a type. But judging by pictures, there most definitely was. Nonetheless, now to even think of having a type of lover sounds as weird to me as someone who won’t eat a type of chocolate simply because of its colour. ‘I only do dark’, I hear too often. Or, ‘White isn’t even chocolate.’ This is all ludicrous. Chocolate is chocolate. The question is not a matter of colour, but moderation. True?

Unfortunately, too often it seems as if partners do come like chocolate bars. Girl friends will tell me they don’t do Asian. Or black. Or white. I’ve heard it all. Asian men are too short. Black guys are too intense. White guys are too privileged. Let’s be clear about stereotypes: they’re ruining your life.

In a recent podcast, I asked our guest Giovanna something. As a self-identified ‘curvy’ woman, she always wanted to be skinny because that was the standard of beauty she was measuring up to. For years, in her mind ‘fat girls’ weren’t beautiful. That was, until she made a documentary about plus-sized models. While making that award-winning documentary, ‘A Perfect 14’, it forced her to spend years behind the scenes of the beauty world. And I asked Giovanna, did you finally see fat as beautiful after then? Unsurprisingly, her answer: a resounding ‘yes’. Simply by surrounding herself by empowered women who celebrated their beauty, she learned to love and even revere the oversized. Makes sense. But it also makes me wonder as the body positivity movement upends female beauty standards about my own apparent non-standards for lovers. That there is one more thing that gets to me about men: other than height, he must also be fit. I’ve never dated a ‘fat guy’.

Could I ever?

So now I’m curious to know, when did you first realize beauty was not defined by a specific shape, size, race, or colour? Or, maybe you haven’t realized it yet. And maybe I haven’t either.

 

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