Thursday, January 10, 2013

My friend Kath just posted a sad blog about beauty. This is my response.

I'm sorry, but beauty is no measure of worth. The genetic lottery receives far more attention than it ever should, and I'm only talking about women here.
These are beautiful things.

Not the immeasurable, millimetric increments of perfection that gets blazed at women every second. Not these subjective lies that stack up like an endless library of reasons to hate yourself when someone you love tells you that they think you're beautiful.

Beauty is bullshit. Beauty for a woman is just gambling her spirit away in a casino that never pays out. No matter how much self-esteem you hang upon the right hair, the perfect make-up, the excellent nose job, that awesome photo, the great top, the rockin' skirt, the brilliant shoes, the wicked skin, it will always fade, blow up, rip, go away, leer at you in the mirror, squish the wrong way, hang limp, sag and leave you, strung out and empty. 

This isn't a "should" blog. I'm not even pretending for a second that 'real beauty comes from within' is ever going to catch on. 


  1. Franzy, thank you. How ironic that I mentioned the beauty of your son, magnificent Mele and the joy they give you in your previous blog post. Oh and maybe it's time for me to say that you've got a fair old truckload of beauty yourself. ~sniffle!

    Anytime you're over in the GMT+1 time zone, the spare room is yours for you three to do what you will. Dog pats, coffee and chocolate included.

    1. I'm not sure exactly how that's different, but I feel that it is.

      I suppose the kind of 'beauty' you were talking about is the kind that one always desires, but never sees in themselves. When your idea of beauty just springs from the pain you feel at its supposed absence, that's not beauty.

      I think the beauty in the photograph, and that you recognise, is just the simple pleasure of a little family at a beach, existing in their own world, their own place and feeling pleasure. That IS beautiful. It's beautiful, because on seeing the photograph, you don't seek imperfection, you just feel happy. Not like with the thousands of perfect images in the media, which do challenge you to seek the imperfect and reward you for not finding it in the Photoshopped, starved perfection we're all accustomed to.

  2. Outer looks are just packaging for the spirit within. Everyone knows that a plain box can hold treasure just as much as a fancy glittery box.
    Look inside, people.
    Look to the elderly, with their peaceful, lived in faces and bodies. There is beauty, just as much, or even more, than the most striking "super" model (who quite possibly has flawed skin under all that "paint"), or fresh faced youngster.
    Look to happy laughing children playing without a thought as to how they look, dancing, splashing, building mud houses. They are all beautiful in their happiness and concentration.
    Life itself is a beautiful thing, don't waste it looking for perfection.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32