Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down
The phrase, 'Beauty is ( only ) skin-deep' is most likely familiar to my readers. The sad thing is, while it gets a lot of 'air-play' ( along with phrases like, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder ( or 'beer-holder' )' ), this is a total misnomer, based on a wrong assumption of 'beauty'! Like anything else, True Beauty starts on the inside, not with the 'person', but with the True Self. Don't get me wrong, there are men & women out there who possess what many call 'beauty', but inside, they are empty of what defines True Beauty! Then again, there are those whose physical appearance is more of what we would call a 'Plain Jane' ( at best ), but inside, one finds that they are a delight to know! On the other hand, though, there are those whom we would call 'drop-dead gorgeous' or 'beautiful' ( aesthetically pleasing ) who truly shine from the inside out.
Perception is the key. In the lyrics above, penned by Jim Morrison, one should note that it is our perception that makes people seem 'strange' or 'ugly'; when it comes to 'wicked women', this too is based on our personal experience. To one person, certain men or women may seem 'wicked', people may be 'strange' or 'ugly', while to others, they may be 'beautiful'! One reason that this occurs, the main reason, actually, is that many of us allow our emotions to rule us, to rule our actions ( some call this the 'Ego' ); when a person whom we desire does not return that desire, our Ego is wounded; when this happens, the object of our frustrated desire often tends to become 'ugly' ( or rather, we to them ), 'strange', or even 'wicked'. This, of course, is based in 'the person', with its desires & fluctuating likes & dislikes; one moment, we may like another, but then, for reasons outlined above, our 'like' may turn to 'dislike'!
People are either beautiful or they are not; our perception of them matters not ( except to us )! If we really take the time to get to know them, we would find that there are more beautiful people out there than not, although there are those so wrapped up in the 'person', who define themselves by the 'Ego', that they have become, for all intents & purposes, 'ugly'. This is not to say, however, that there is no hope for such a person ( there's always hope ), but, as the saying goes, 'some people, you just can't reach' ( or 'you can't fix stupid' ); in such a case, all we can do is lead by example, gently educate & hope for the best!
As I alluded to earlier, a person may have a sort of outer 'beauty', in fact, they may be 'drop-dead gorgeous', but inside, from the heart, so to speak, they are so encapsulated by everyone else's perception ( of 'beauty' ) that they focus on their 'person' ( 'Ego' ), thus limiting & even neglecting their inner selves, which is where True Beauty lies! When a person takes the time to truly know themselves ( their True Nature ), they will soon realize that, if they don't take of themselves on the inside, anything they do on the outside, however aesthetically pleasing they try to make themselves, will have no lasting effect, at least, no good effect. Again, this is because people, when limited to the 'person', tend to change like the weather; when ruled by the emotions, one moment it's 'love', the next, it's 'hate'!
True Beauty, therefore, is NOT 'skin-deep'; in fact, it has nothing to do with 'skin' at all! Now, don't get me wrong, True Beauty on the inside ( inner self ) WILL manifest outwardly; if a person DOESN'T limit themselves to their 'Ego' ( outer person ), but develops their True Selves, they will become Truly Beautiful, no matter what they look like on the outside; in fact, one should note that, the outward appearance ( to certain people ) will be so softened, that, no matter how 'plain' they are, to the right person ( s ), they will become very attractive.
In their very Essence, one might say, EVERYONE is beautiful! Many have, however, lost sight of this glorious fact & limited themselves to their particular society's perception ( standard ) of what IS 'beauty', thus viewing themselves as 'ugly' or not 'beautiful'. Again, as before, these people tend to become, for all intents & purposes, 'ugly', whether because of being 'jaded' by their experiences or for some other reason. These, again, are not beyond hope; with the right education & love out-poured, they can be convinced of their own worth, but first, they must convince themselves! This is not an easy thing to accomplish ( kinda like 'forgiving oneself-these are strangely inter-related ), but it CAN & MUST be done!
If we cannot see Beauty in ourselves, we will not be able to see it in anyone else! In the same vein, if we do not recognize the Beauty that is us, it while be hard, though not impossible for others to see that Beauty in us. Sometimes it takes that one special person, that one beautiful soul, to help us see ( recognize ) that we are indeed beautiful, contrary, often, to what our particular society has taught us. When we do recognize that Beauty in ourselves, that Beauty manifests on the outside & we understand that rather than being 'skin-deep', 'True Beauty is as Beauty does'!
Charles Haddon Shank