As a Hedonist and a Dandy, Beauty is important to my philosophy. I feel not only happy, but at my most spiritually aware when I’m surrounded by beautiful things. Of course, it helps that I’ve long cultivated a sense for seeing beauty in some of the most unconventional things: There is as much beauty in a stack of old books as there is in the most delicate statues adorning a shrine. There’s beauty in what appears to be the mere disarray of a well-loved collection of records just as much as there is beauty in an antique trunk. Even inexpensive and tacky “crystalline” plastic baubles can be arranged artfully and add to the beauty of a room.
Indeed, it’s the philosophy of Hedone that offers us beauty not just in expensive finery, but in the tangled hair and sweat-soaked sheets of a quick fuck.
On the other hand, just because I’ve cultivated the ability to see beauty in unconventional things doesn’t mean everything, or every-one, in this world is beautiful. The ordinary and the ugly are needed to measure beauty by, because if everything is beautiful, then nothing is. It’s like that “Project Pagan Enough” nonsense, where all that’s necessary to “be pagan” is to simply call oneself such; not only does that not necessarily make it so, it doesn’t define what the concept is. If there’s nothing that sets apart the beautiful from everything else, then one has rendered the concept meaningless.
The dictionary defines “beauty” as “impressively pleasing qualities in something or someone”. Ergo, for the Hedonist, beauty is very necessary, as it gives feelings of pleasure. That said, beauty is also incredibly subjective to cultural and personal tastes, but beauty isn’t merely the absense of ugliness —ugliness is the polar opposite of beauty, ugliness is impressively repulsive. The rest is merely ordinary. Beauty makes an impression, it etches itself into your memory and illuminates itself in your presence. Beauty is, at the very least, semi-divine in nature.
Unfortunately, when the subject of beauty turns to the professions of acting and modelling, the concept of “beauty” has become so homogenised as to be a celebration of the ordinary. Different is distasteful, and even those who are hailed as being “unconventional” are only so in a manner that is like putting a spot of glitter on a leaf of printer paper —take away the superficial adornment, and you’ve still got the same thing as every-one else.
Similarly, the Pagan community dabs some patchouli oil on their ordinary lives, and proclaims it unconventional and different, whilst doing precious little to actually create something beautiful in themselves, their surroundings, their very lives that will invite the Divine, in all Its forms into their lives. Without beauty, the Gods of the Pleasures are unwelcomed.