To each, his own is beautiful.
To what extent I agree or disagree with this proverb, I am not sure.
On the one hand, we could take, as an example, a newborn baby. Every parent adores their newborn. To the parent, no matter how wrinkly and red-faced their baby is, their child is absolutely beautiful.
As an onlooker, I have seen some seriously unattractive babies.
Yes – I expect a collective intake of breath here, ‘Oh my god, how can you say that?’ Fair enough … I would never, not in a million years, express that opinion to the parents; I manage to find something gorgeous about the baby so I’m not lying.
I was on the receiving end of brutal honesty when my daughter was born, albeit in a slightly different way. A friend brought her mother in to the hospital for a visit. This woman grabbed my daughter, barely a day old, and started bouncing her around, then looked me in the eye and said, ‘She’s gorgeous … but of course we all know the most beautiful children are spawned from the ugliest parents.’ I was floored, she was dead serious.
My son, who I love dearly, is turning into quite a handsome young man (and is the spitting image of my father); but when he was born, I kid you not, he looked like Waldorf from The Muppet Show – receding hairline and double chin. (I have to admit though, I did not see this in my newborn at the time, only when looking back at baby photos several years down the track.)
So, let’s be honest – not every baby is beautiful or cute in every person’s eyes. But, to the parent, their own is beautiful. And far be it from anybody to take that away from them.
On the other hand though, think about the opinions we hold of our own bodies.
‘I hate my hair!’
‘My knees are knobbly.’
‘My legs (bum, arms, face) are too fat.’
Who can raise their hand, in all honesty, and say that they have always loved everything about their body? How many people can openly say, ‘I am beautiful (handsome).’
To take it one step further, and slightly away from beauty, but still along the lines of self-value … think about how hard it is to sell yourself. It is so much easier to put yourself down, regarding your looks, your skills and your achievements, than it is to sing your own praises.
I am sure I’m not the only one who has to force herself to say, ‘Thank you!’ rather than, ‘Oh … it’s not really that good. You should see …’ when someone compliments me. For most of us, even when we have slaved over something and it is perfect, we still manage to find flaws.
So, maybe the people who coined this Latin proverb were more well-adjusted than most of us today … but I doubt it.
I am going to end on a rather crass note, but it will be one that may well resonate with parents of boys in particular. In some cases, ‘our own’ is truly beautiful, and we alone appreciate it, as follows:
My son, some months ago, produced an excruciatingly noxious fart. (Most of his emissions are noxious, but this one … I have no words.) He smiled, sniffed the air around himself, and declared, ‘I love the smell of my farts. Beautiful!’