Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Beauty and Brains Question

Odilia Rivera - Santos

It is still a mind-boggling idea that a woman can be both physically attractive, have big breasts and be intelligent. And if said woman never used her looks to make money -- as an actor, stripper or gold digger, it is no longer considered noble; it is considered foolish.
A woman told me once "With your looks, you could get a man to take care of you." I couldn't believe anyone would say such a thing out loud and wondered what happened to feminism -- the notion of pursuing one's goals in life apart from a man.
When I was a child, people called me a brainiac and nerd, which is an identity I completely embrace. And they also told me I was beautiful. I have never been one to feed on compliments. I never focused on superficial things and looks were superficial to me. Health and wellness have mattered to me since I was a child and at thirteen, I began studying nutrition on my own. My perspective on life is that it is a wonderful evolving experiment. I look good because I take care of my health and I am good looking because my parents were attractive people by conventional standards. It is a roll of the universal dice and nothing to which one should be attached. I suppose if I had made a living off my looks, I would be panic-stricken about getting older, but the work in my life has revolved mainly around research. When I was nine years old and read about Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weill's relationship and saw the pictures of them looking smart, cynical and stylish, I said out loud " I want an intellectual life."
I read books, films, paintings and people voraciously in search of a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of people and events in our world.

However, in the wilds of our dear planet, many approach me as if I were this cute friendly girl who never had a thought in her life and will respond to a compliment a la a Pavlovian dog and immediately fall into the arms of the complimenter.

It is lovely for people to consider me attractive, but it is very disconcerting for people to think 'beautiful' is a label to define a human being. I'd much rather get attention for my writing than my profile.

I will do my best to take a spiritual approach and be thankful for all the blessings I've received in this lifetime, even as men choose to see me as nothing but big breasts, big hair and an exotic name.

Tonight, 2.11.12 at 7:30 PM, I will be reading some pieces of writing and three actors will perform my monologues, I hope to see you there. The Organization for Puerto Rican Artists

No comments:

Post a Comment