Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's Beauty That Captures Your Attention; Personality Which Captures Your Heart

The notion of 'beauty' has been playing on my mind recently. Probably a combination of:

a) reading on a forum that one girls blog was doing better than another girls blog because the first girl was better looking than the second. Are we really that shallow?? (and who honestly is competitive about blogging?)

b) Trawling through Facehunter one day, I realised that all of the people featured on there were spectacularly beautiful. It may have taken me awhile but to be completely honest, I don't really notice their faces... I'm too busy looking at the outfit combinations. Does he only take pictures of gorgeous people or are gorgeous people more confident/daring style-wise because they don't have self esteem issues?

All photos - Facehunter

What is beauty?

To a certain extent I believe it is power. Personally, people who appear flawless scare the hell out of me and I try to keep away from them. In my experience, they are usually fully aware of their looks and will use them in anyway they can.

But is beauty all there is? Hopefully not. I hope that the second girl finds readers who love her for who she is and what she writes and she learns to be comfortable with that. Secondly, it's not always classically beautiful people who make some of the best style choices - look at Nan Kempner, Diana Vreeland. These women were amazingly fashionable but not necessarily the definition of beauty.

Just to share, some of my favourite style icons who don't fit into the 'classic' definition of beauty -
Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Patricia Field and Vivienne Westwood

Cory Kennedy

Please feel free to share some of your 'out of the box' style icons! It's actually really hard to come up with people who aren't your typical gorgeous celebrity and who still have some sembleance of style. The other thing I think is that the concept of beauty is something that is so personal.


The Clothes Horse said...

I think Facehunter does have a "pretty" slant. They're not always conventionally beautiful, but none of them are plain either. And I do think certain sites get more attention for their blogger's beauty...we live in a vain world. I get frustrated by how many tv shows there are around beauty (ANTM for example) or looking better and none really seem to be about improving your intelligence, book smarts, advancing in the office, etc...
As for my unconventional beauty icons: Jean Harlow (her face is interesting, but not exactly beautiful), Anna Piaggi, and Vanessa Paradis (but I think she is stunning, but not in a conventional American way).

♥ fashion chalet said...

Cool collection of style. Love your blog's background too<3

Thanks for the comment on my outfit.

And you're right, The Dark Night was amazingggggg! ^_^

fashion herald said...

Tilda Swinton. Also always loved the unconventional models - kristen mcnemany, erin o'connor, etc.
Unfortunately, if it's fashion or tv or film, it's all about the pretty. luckily if we find it egregious, we can turn it off, or not go to the movie. Or not read blogs of people who say they like pretty girl blogs best!

Lady Melbourne said...

Ok I was going to write what The Clothes Horse wrote but she took the words right out of my mouth!
Instead I will list my 'unconventional' beauties, although I don't think they are that off the radar.
Zooey Deschanel
Christina Ricci
Irina Lazareanu

PorcelainBlonde said...

Great post. Beauty is everywhere and in everyone but I think most people just admire conventional beauty because we're so marketed to it by the's easier and more obvious.
The whole plastic surgery craze with celebs of all ages starting to look alike is a good but scary example of this!

I love Nan Kempner's style too :)

Skye said...

I really enjoy looking at people who are more individual and have something to say - conventional beauty is not the drawcard for me AT ALL, it gets rather dull quite quickly.

It did take me a few years to learn that very basic message though, the fact that the funniest and most interesting people come in all kinds of packages and wrappings.

My contribution:
Bjork (always and forever)
She inspires me every day.

CoutureCarrie said...

Very thought-provoking post!
Sadly, I think the blogging world is ultra-competetive . . .

Style icons that aren't traditionally beautiful? Hmmm, Isabella Blow, certainly.


Nothing Elegant said...

I also avoid "flawless" people -- they are terrifying...and boring ;)
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and questions. I would have to add M.I.A. to the top of the outside-the-box beauty list. She does her own thing fashion-wise and she is artistic, smart, and beautiful!

Marmalade Wombat said...

beauty is eyecatching foremost. i've seen sooo many streetstyle photos of gorgeous people in boring outfits.

just like magazines, streetstyle photography blogs are all about aspiration. If I try this outfit - maybe i will get the same effortlessly chic, supermodel glow as the facehunter person.

having said that, beauty may draw you in (especially the pretty french ppl in garance dore) but the intersting style keeps you there.

Missa said...

Some of my "out of the box" style icons: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloe Sevigney, Lou Dillon, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. All beautiful in my opinion but in an interesting way.

StrikeMatch said...

I'm so impressed by everyone's suggestions! Thank you all so much.

I'll probably do another post on this borrowing some of great suggestions.

yiqin; said...

I never knew that people will say such things! But I guess, the real world really looks at our looks first. It just that pretty girls always get the attention no matte how plain their outfit might be!

Te said...

Really interesting post! I think my ideas of who is attractive have changed ALOT since I was younger. In highschool I always formed crushes on the guys everyone else agreed were goodlooking..the typical good lookers. As I've gotten older I've realised these guys are usually the male versions of the arrogant 'hot' bimbos I despise. I think unique people are the most beautiful now, especially those who are completely unaffected by their looks. I was reading an article once about imperfections becomming the new 'beauty trend'...which I found was both true, yet an annoying way to put it out there. Really though I think beauty is about the whole deal, looks,, intelligence..

Charlotte said...

I agree that traditionally beautiful people are rather boring in the style department. Especially where I live, there rarely is any experimentation. I believe though, that those who are not so "traditionally" beautiful have the upper hand. When you think about what was considered beautiful in the past, there is such a drastic difference that it makes me think that those with "traditional" beauty are a dying breed. A fad.
Those who have the flat out bravery to wear bright yellow pants with tent dress and a bow in their hair, regardless of the current trends, says to me, "I'm classic, I'm me." You can't get that with your runofthemill Heidi Klum types.

Style Icons:
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The internet