Friday, March 8, 2013

Look upon my beauty, ye mighty, and despair!

From the New York Times magazine, a photo shoot of models with their mothers.

Japanese artwork often associates the female form with the motif of the cherry blossom. It captures not only the sense of idyllic natural beauty, but the fragile and fleeting nature of the springtime of one's life.

The modern ideal is that people should not be judged on anything as shallow as outward appearance. If you're beautiful on the inside, that's all that matters!

Of course, nobody acts like this in their own choices, neither men nor women. The modern world has not stopped fetishising beauty, of course - quite the contrary. It has simply stopped being honest about how much beauty is prized, and how brief it really is. Last season's supermodels are simply shuffled out of the limelight to make way for the new ones, and the old photos are all that anyone ever depicts.

What ends up being lost thereby is an understanding of the vanishingly small amount of time that one will be young and handsome, and the not much larger amount of time that one will be around at all.

As one much wiser put it:
“I inform you, great king, I announce to you, great king: aging and death are rolling in on you. When aging and death are rolling in on you, great king, what should be done?”
“As aging and death are rolling in on me, venerable sir, what else should be done but to live by the truth (Dhamma), to live righteously, and to do wholesome and meritorious deeds?”

No comments:

Post a Comment