While I celebrate beauty, I also revel in ugliness!  Why?  Because ugliness isn’t a negation of beauty but another side of it.
Easy does it on the hallucinogens, you’re thinking.  So let me explain.
I’m not here to declare what is beautiful or ugly.  So much of these definitions are culturally and personally determined.  Nevertheless, we all know beauty and ugliness when we see it, however we define it.
Yet, as Sara Halprin tells us in “Look at My Ugly Face!,” ugliness can be powerful. Ugliness isn’t a fixed state but a creative and transformative process that “offers riches to be mined.”  While she points to various explanations of the role of ugliness, my favorite is this one: sourcing her thinking from ancient myths and current research as a psychologist, she says that being stripped of beauty is akin to being stripped of other societal expectations.  Being ugly frees us! Many times people who have been maimed or sick, and therefore appear ugly to themselves, actually look at the world and their abilities in different ways.  It opens up new doors and allows them to express new sides of themselves.
Ultimately, by being the other side of beauty, “ugliness” contains within itself the “spirit of beauty” she writes.  This resonated with me.  Why?  Because things of beauty or beautiful people force us to compare ourselves and our world to them.  Ultimately they can inspire, enlighten and push us to ask ourselves questions, like “is this all there is?” or “could things be better?”  Ugliness, as I pointed out above, also inspires us to access or express different sides of ourselves and, ultimately, pushes us forward.
Ugliness is beautiful

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