to katie: about looks and attractiveness

Here’s the secret about the way you look: no matter what you look like, lots of people will be wildly attracted to you, and lots of people won’t be attracted to you at all.

Someone likes everything, someone dislikes everything
Attraction is exactly like food: Tons of people love kimchee and green tea and potato pancakes, but I can’t stand any of those things. And as much as I love guacamole and Hawaiian pizza and tiramisu, there are people out there who get ill at the thought of them. There’s a big huge world out there full of different people from different backgrounds who think different thoughts and like different things. All of those factors go into what someone finds attractive.

There are places in the world where the standard of a woman’s beauty is measured by how long her neck is (longer is better), or how small her feet are (smaller is better), or how crooked her teeth are (the snagglier the better), or how much fat she has (the more the better). And in those places, there are people who are insanely attracted to women with short necks, or large feet, or straight teeth, or low body fat. It just happens that some people go against what is considered normal – just like people who like exotic or super-spicy foods – there are always some people who do not like what everyone else around them likes.

So, in a culture like ours in America, where a “beautiful woman” is typically defined as someone with a big eyes, a small nose, high cheekbones, straight teeth, very little body fat, long legs, and an hourglass figure (large breasts, small waist, wide hips), there are tons of men who are immediately attracted to women who do not fit that description at all.

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to katie: about disney princesses and story messages

Dear Katie: We’ve had a conversation about the Disney princess movies, and the messages you get from stories. It was a couple of years ago, and you and Claire were on the swings in the back yard, and we talked about a bunch of movies. Gramma said we talked for over an hour, and that you both looked like you were very interested in the conversation. Hopefully you will still find this conversation interesting now.

This letter has the summary at the beginning instead of the end, and here it is: People make movies to be entertaining, not to teach you how to live your life, so characters in movies often make decisions which would be horrible horrible horrible decisions to make in your life.

The Little Mermaid

Let’s start with the movie that I consider the worst offender: The Little Mermaid. For starters, Ariel decides she is in love with Eric because he’s beautiful. Eric decides he is in love with Ariel because he likes her voice. That’s it. Neither of them know if the other is nice or mean, generous or selfish, smart or not smart, fun or boring, and yet, they think they’re in love.

I do not think that is love. I think that is a crush. Read the rest of this entry »