Archive for the ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ Category

Belle The Bookworm?

Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast was touted as a modern feminist retelling of the ancient story, in that Beauty read (gasp) books. What a very emancipated and independent heroine she must be! But wait just a moment: was she reading works of great literature or mighty erudition? Or was she perhaps perusing practical […]

Posted on April 15, 2009 at 12:02 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment

Let’s Hear It For The Ugly Sisters

There have been subversive retellings of the Cinderella story, and so there should be. Everyone has to believe that the Ugly Sisters were vain, cruel and nasty, because of the universal conviction that the face is the mirror of the soul. In fact, it was only rational for the unfortunate sisters to fear financial exclusion […]

Posted on April 18, 2009 at 08:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment

Content Declaration

It cannot be emphasised too strongly that “beautiful on the inside” and all similar locutions are a mere metaphor. The non-metaphorical inside of a person is blood and guts; what we are actually talking about here is behaviour, which is in all cases external. And the metaphor is downright useless, as we do not respond […]

Unburned Offerings At Beijing

The Beijing Olympics were sung in by a pretty little girl called Lin Miaoke, wearing a red dress and pigtails. Only afterwards was it revealed that she was lip-syncing to the real singer, one Yang Peiyi. The latter was not allowed to appear because she was less “flawless”. Now, this is a word one normally […]

Anatomy Of A Word

The very word “good-looking” repays some thought. We are so used to the whole hyphenated word and its unambiguous meaning of physically attractive that we do not notice that it could in theory mean something else, especially with the stress on the first component instead of the second. That is, someone with a shaky grasp […]

Beauty, Truth And Goodness

In one way the identification of Beauty and Goodness goes back to Plato, inasmuch as the latter taught us about the eidola of these qualities and identified them with the deity itself. Rather than being in the eye of the beholder, Beauty thus became a heavenly reality. In later ages this manoeuvre would serve to […]

Coo! Coo! Who’s A Homo Superior, Then?

If beauty is not important, why then do we always compliment mothers on their beautiful babies? One obvious answer is that there is nothing else on which we could possibly compliment them; it is far too early to say that they are intelligent, wise, kind or otherwise virtuous. Non-parents may even have trouble understanding how […]

The Real Point of the Kalokagathos

Friedrich Nietzsche made part of his name on a “naturalistic” explanation of ethics. In a revolutionary move, he turned his back on the substance of ideals of The Good or Virtue or Duty, and looked instead at who was formulating these and for what purpose. The young philologist reckoned that he could derive words for […]

Why We Talk About Inner Beauty

The way people often talk about “inner beauty” when they wish to praise an unattractive person gives the whole game away. For they could perfectly well have said “inner goodness“, “goodness” without a topological qualifier, “ethical character”, “kindness and sincerity”, or a great number of other things. And these things they do say as well. […]

The Halo Effect

Experimental psychologists speak of the “halo effect”: a high perceived cross-correlation between all positive and all negative traits. That is, human beings seem unable or unwilling to consider that others may be good and bad in different areas; we want to assign everybody entirely to good or bad categories, so as to praise or condemn […]