Beauty is so much more than skin deep

A recent hacking incident that lead to private nude photos of women being published on line caused a cascade of responses, one of those being presenters on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program here in Sydney indulging in victim blaming.  This lead Sydney Morning Herald columnist Clementine Ford to respond with a semi nude photo, posted to Facebook with a message “Hey #Sunrise – get fucked”.

It was, I thought a powerful response and entirely appropriate.  The post has been very popular and attracted vast numbers of comments.

Clementine Ford has since published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald talking about the torrent of abuse that her post drew down on her.  Mostly men basically trying to shame her for how she looks.  To her credit she had held the line and not taken the post down despite the very, very personal criticism.

We live in a media saturated world that puts physical beauty on a pedestal (then alternately savages it).  We all know this, but we like to think that the people around us aren’t so shallow – after all, we live in the “real world” not in the celebrity world.  But the truth is that, as Clementine Ford experienced, there are plenty of regular men (and boys one suspects) who are equally vacuous and malicious and prepared to publicly judge and criticize women for their appearance.

Which is why I am writing this post.  It is a common thing for women who come to me to feel insecure about their appearance, or even hate how their bodies look.  Year of subtle, or not so subtle denigration by people around them, and of course the relentless pressure of the media sap their confidence and take away their love and enjoyment of themselves.

I am often asked what I do if I don’t find a client attractive.  The answer is not what most people expect though.  When it comes down to it, I see all of my clients as people, as women, as human beings.  Different shapes and sizes, different interests, fear, worries, and desires.  But all people.  And in every person there is something to admire, something that can arouse passion and make a person attractive to themselves and someone else.

On top of that, no matter what, we are all able to enjoy sex.  And sex transforms people, pleasure makes people vulnerable and beautiful.  Not beautiful in the superficial way that the media would recognise, but in a way that speaks to the partner with whom they are sharing something so intimate.

We all have beauty.  And it deserves to be celebrated.  A big part of what I do is give women an opportunity and the safety to experience feeling and being beautiful.


6 thoughts on “Beauty is so much more than skin deep

  1. Thank you John for this wonderful, beautifully written article- again.
    On the topic of malicious comments and not-so subtle denigration I feel compelled to add my personal experience. I was 25 and after a hard week`s draining and tiring work I was doing my weekly groceries top up at the local supermarket –without any make up, oh the “nerve of me” but I am generally very happy in my skin and don`t worry too much what strangers think. In this occasion there were group of teenage boys (in the age group 17-20) following me around the store, which “happens” on a Saturday evening, so I did not take much notice until, to my surprise, I was slapped with a “comment” shouted at me by one of them at the checkout “ can a woman have such a horrible pizza face like you!”. I don’t remember his name or face (I bet he looked worse than I did) and whilst his comment did not alter my perception of myself, his comment was burnt into my memory and remember as clearly today as if it was yesterday. I reckon my experience is not a unique one – it seems that we humans are really good at hurting others, even strangers, with our actions, regardless of where, when and how.
    If only we had some more compassionate and respectful human beings like John, that indeed would be a really beautiful world.

    • Thank you for your comment SG. I am truly sorry to hear that you had that experience. While we may handle these things and get past them it’s still sad that we have to experience them at all. I am glad that I am able to add a some value and help to redress the balance at least a little.

    • You are welcome Little Me. It’s such a serious, yet too often dismissed problem. People who don’t experience this sort of casual abuse (mostly men) just don’t understand what it means to receive it – and more of the point will dismiss it out of hand, or even attack the victims. Too often I hear men saying that sexism doesn’t exist any more. To anyone who thinks that: you are wrong. To anyone who is a victim of it, I strongly recommend that you look at Clementine Ford’s Facebook page and join her in the fight to make our society a healthier more respectful place.

  2. I really appreciate that you treat all women as human beings no matter what indifferences they may have or experiencing.

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