Pretty Face; Beautiful Mind
I realize that a saddening amount of my blog posts start with, “I saw this thing on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook…” I probably need to put my phone down and get out more. In any case, I did see this post on Instagram that got me thinking. It read: “If you could post a picture of your mind, would it get as many likes as a picture of your mind, would it get as many likes as a picture of your body?” I understand that it was meant to encourage people to focus more on the value of their thoughts than on their physical appearance, and to call the pretty-but-vapid to a higher standard, but it struck a different chord with me.
I thought about the question for a moment and then came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t get as many likes for my mind as I would for my body because I have a lot of unpopular opinions. I tend to swim against the tide when it comes to topics like sex, religion and politics, and most people won’t like me for it. But, the most important thing I took away from that question was that I am largely ok with being on the fringe as far as opinions are concerned. It means to me that I am thinking for myself, outside of society’s box that says you must like this and do that and believe this particular set of things.
Yes, I do support gay rights. I’m pro-choice. I think that open and monogamish relationships are viable. I think people should embrace their kinks and express themselves sexually without judgment. I believe that physical attraction is equally as important in relationships as emotional compatibility. I am an atheist with an enormous distrust for organized religion. I don’t believe that world peace is possible and I accept chaos and war as a natural part of human existence. I am apolitical, and if I were legally allowed to vote, probably wouldn’t because, unless our political system changes anytime soon, I can’t bear the choice between the lesser of two evils. I’ve gotten into enough discussions about nearly every one of those opinions to know that a lot of people won’t agree with me.
But at the end of the day, I think for myself. I fear that a lot of people whose opinions are widely accepted are those who regurgitate society’s beliefs – things we’ve been conditioned to believe in, but don’t necessarily fit everyone – like heterosexuality, heaven and missionary sex. And while those things are true and fitting for some, there are a number of people in this world cutting parts of themselves off to fit into those moulds. And it’s unfortunate, because it is often those who don’t fit the mould who have the most to offer by their difference.
Now if you hold popular opinions, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, if it’s what you really believe. If you can honestly say that you’ve properly questioned your beliefs—political, religious or otherwise—and you’re still a firm believer then I respect your beliefs, even if I don’t agree with them. But so many commonly held beliefs and opinions are followed blindly and without question and then used to judge and persecute others who choose to disagree and that’s where I question the minds that too many agree with.
So no, if I could take a photo of my mind and post it on a social network, I might not get any likes at all, but I don’t expect the world to agree with my thoughts, even if I’m sure I’m right. I am at peace with those beliefs that mark me as non-comformist, untraditional and against the grain, just as I am ok with those of my opinions that the majority agree with. Because at the end of it all, they are my beliefs and opinions to hold, I know that I will test them constantly, and I am not afraid of changing my mind if I find I am wrong. As far as I am concerned, that’s what a beautiful mind does, and I am more than ok with that. Most beauty goes unappreciated anyway.