For somebody who loves to think deeply about things, I’m incredibly superficial. On some level the attractiveness of others is all that really has meaning to me. Craving for beauty makes up a vast part of my subconscious.
It’s not that I don’t value personality, or intelligence, or kindness. But it’s always secondary to how I view others. Someone who is visually appealing but stupid or cruel is to be desired or envied in my mind, whereas someone who is strong, wise, compassionate, or entertaining is nevertheless pitiable if they’re plain looking.
Of course, we’re visual creatures, but I think this is a particular pathology of my psychology. It might be down to my lack of close relationships with others, that I’ve never fully learned to value people for who they are rather than what they look like. I’ve somehow never managed to internalise what most take to be obvious.
This part of my mind still seems to be trapped in the mould of a teenager, idealising a crush who’s out of his league. No matter how many people I meet in real life who show me the value of personality and character, and the beauty to be found in the everyday and flawed, this part drags me back to a longing for physical perfection. I’m sure there’s a name for this delusional way of thinking – possibly it’s a specific kind of narcissism. If feels too ingrained to let go of. But perhaps if I can change my lifestyle sufficiently my outlook will naturally adjust.