Dis Ekke

My vreugdes en frustrasies

A - Z (2018)

#AtoZchallenge (2018) U is for feeling Ugly

My theme for this challenge is “feelings” of a sexagenarian and the influence of social media.

My tema vir hierdie uitdaging is “gevoelens” van ‘n sestig-plusser en die invloed van sosiale media.

English (Afrikaans below):

Ugly: unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance. What does ugly look like? When is a person ugly? Who makes the decision that someone is ugly? Nobody wants to be ugly and therefore we all strive to be as pretty as we can, which begs the question: what does pretty look like?

I remember when I was young, how we dressed up and put on makeup for every occasion, even if the “occasion” only entailed going to the greengrocer around the corner. We wore mini skirts and patched denim in the 60s. We wore hot pants in the 70s and leg warmers in the 80s. We wore pigtails, long flowing shoulder-length hair, “big” hair and beehives as required for fashionable girls. We wanted to look pretty.

When I look at photos of myself during those years, I cannot help but laugh. What a spectacle I used to make of myself to look pretty! I must have come to my senses somewhere in the 90s when I developed my own style, which entailed tailored clothes for work, jeans and t-shirts for casual wear.

I have now decided that I am old enough to be ugly, according to the accepted norm, if and when I feel like it. No more special hairdos, no makeup required and I wear whatever-I-can-find-in-my-wardrobe. Who makes the decision that someone is ugly, anyway? I never really feel ugly and I will definitely not go out of my way to feel pretty. Clean, neat and tidy is important, the rest is just balderdash.

So, how do I define “ugly” these days? Ugly involves or is likely to involve violence or unpleasantness harmful to people. Ugly has nothing to do with appearance.

The role of social media: I am appalled at the way in which social media users judge people on the way they look and dress. Body shaming is a new international sport and obesity is at the top of the list. Disrespectful and scornfully abusive remarks are published daily on social media; offended obese persons are retaliating in kind, and the war rages on in the form of quotes, images, memes, blogs and articles. Do you know what is ugly? It is not the obese person or the way they dress; it is the uncivilised trading of insults and taunting behavior on both sides – that’s what’s ugly. It makes me think of watching two particularly violent streetfighters being egged on by a bloodthirsty audience. Today’s emoji: 🤬

Afrikaans:

Lelik: onaangenaam of afstootlik, veral in voorkoms. Hoe lyk lelik? Wanneer is ‘n mens lelik? Wie maak die besluit dat iemand lelik is? Niemand wil lelik wees nie en daarom streef ons almal daarna om so mooi te wees as wat ons kan, wat die vraag laat ontstaan: hoe lyk mooi?

Ek onthou toe ek jonk was, hoe ons aangetrek en grimering aangewend het vir elke geleentheid, selfs al was die “geleentheid” net om inkopies te doen by die groentewinkel om die draai. In die 60s het ons mini-rompe en gelapte denim gedra. In die70s het ons sjoebroekies gedra en in die 80s leg warmers. Ons het vlegsels, lang vloeiende skouerlengte hare, “groot” haardosse en byekorf-kapsels gedra soos voorgeskryf vir modebewuste dames. Ons wou mooi lyk.

As ek na foto’s van myself gedurende daardie jare kyk, kan ek nie anders as om te lag nie. Wat ‘n skouspel het ek van myself gemaak om mooi te lyk! Ek moes iewers in die 90s tot my sinne gekom het en my eie styl ontwikkel het wat snyersklere vir werk en jeans met t-hemde vir gemaklike drag ingesluit het.

Ek het nou besluit dat ek oud genoeg is om lelik te wees, volgens die aanvaarde norm, indien en wanneer ek so voel. Niks meer spesiale kapsels nie, geen grimering benodig nie en ek dra wat-ek-kan-vind-in-my-klerekas. Wie maak die besluit dat iemand lelik is, in elk geval? Ek voel nooit regtig lelik nie en ek sal beslis nie uit my pad gaan om mooi te voel nie. Skoon en netjies is belangrik; die res is net onsin.

So, hoe definieer ek deesdae “lelik”? Lelik behels geweld of kan geweld of onaangenaamheid behels wat mense kan benadeel. Lelik het niks met voorkoms te doen nie.

Die rol van sosiale media: Ek is onthuts oor die manier waarop sosiale media-gebruikers mense oordeel oor hoe hulle lyk en aantrek. Body shaming is ‘n nuwe internasionale sport en vetsug is die teiken bo-aan die lys. Disrespekvolle en aanstootlike, beledigende aanmerkings word daagliks op sosiale media gepubliseer; vetsugtige persone neem aanstoot en loods teenaanvalle; hierdie oorlog word in die vorm van aanhalings, fotos, memes, blogs en artikels gevoer. Weet jy wat lelik is? Dit is nie die oorgewig persoon of die manier waarop hulle aantrek nie; dit is die onbeskaafde manier waarop beledigings rondgeslinger word en die uitlokkende gedrag aan beide kante – dis wat lelik is. Dit laat my dink aan twee besondere gewelddadige straatvegters wat deur bloeddorstige toeskouers aangehits word. Emoji vir vandag: 🤬

Read all my entries for the #AtoZchallenge (April 2018) here.

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28 Comments

  1. Spot on! Gosh, I remember knitting leg warmers … and having to tease our hair to make those ‘big’ hair styles … what were we thinking?

  2. Ek sit nie elke dag opgedress en gemakeup nie, maar ek voel darem mooier die dae wat ek wel beter versorgd lyk 😗
    Dis maar seker hoekom daar ‘n gesegde is soos “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

    • HesterLeyNel

      Om versorg te wees en lekker te voel is die idee, maar dit beteken nie dat jy “ugly” is wanneer jy nie makeup dra nie of nie jou rooi stilettos aanhet nie 😄 Ek glo nie aan die idee dat daar lelike mense is nie – dis sommiges se gedrag wat lelik is.

      • Lekker lag ek nou vir die stilettos 😀😀😀 Ek het darem eenkeer rêgtig ‘n baie lelike dokter gehad. Net gehoor hoe lag die mense wat by hom ingaan. Toe dit my beurt is, is my eerste reaksie skok toe ek hom sien. Hy sê toe vir my sit nou daar op die stoel en lag eers klaar oor my “looks.” En sowaar daar begin ek lag, en die hele ondersoek deur lag ‘n mens want sy humorsin is fantasties. Mens het sommer met ligte tred daar uitgeloop.

        • HesterLeyNel

          Myne is ook nie ‘n oil painting nie. Ek moet jou eendag die verhaal vertel van die lelike sexy psigiater wat my pad gekruis het.

        • Blog laat ons hoor!!!

  3. Well said! The ugly hatred and filth on a few social media platforms has turned me against them. I don’t do facebook… couldn’t be bothered to sift through the dross to find something remotely worth looking at! :/

    • HesterLeyNel

      True dat. I’m not very active on FB either. I use whatsapp and skype to stay in touch with family and friends.

      • And we like a bit of twattering… 😉

        • HesterLeyNel

          I’m afraid I don’t have much time for twattering. The tweets roll by so fast that I quickly lose track of the discussion. The same goes for instagram – I gave up on that a long time ago.

        • Never done instagram… a phone is for phoning… it’s not a camera so I refuse to do that bollie!!

        • HesterLeyNel

          whisper instagram is available on desktop for download of your camera pics! It’s one of the programmes which we link to our clients’ websites (the hunters, fishers, birdwatchers, etc.).

        • Whisper… I want to chat to you about turning my blog into a url based platform… the pro’s and cons? (Ek moet geld maak!) 😉 Ja, ja… ek weet… mens sal nie ryk word nie!! 🙁

  4. Ugly, i guess had no definition. Our perception changes with time. 🙂

    Social media, true that. Shaming is ‘ugly’.

    • HesterLeyNel

      Yes, those behavior patterns are ugly. I never think of a person’s appearance as “ugly”.

  5. Nilanjana Bose

    ‘Ugly has nothing to do with appearance.’

    Distilled wisdom of lifetimes. Double thumbs up!

  6. As ek volgens myself op my lelikste lyk, dan sal my man afhaak en vir my sê hoe mooi/sexy ek vir hom lyk. 🙂 maw nes “beauty in the eyes in the beholder” is, hang smaak seker ook van die self af… dink ek 😉

    • HesterLeyNel

      Ja en die self is altyd sy eie grootste kritikus.

  7. Moet eerlik waar sê, was dit nie dat manlief van lang hare hou en sy vrou mooi gegrimeer moet wees nie, het ek vinnig ñ paar drastiese veranderinge gemaak. Soos die grimering wegpak, ñ kort-kort kapsel te kies, en net in shorts en plakkies rond te loop. Helaas, Bert hou daarvan dat sy vrou mooi moet aantrek, en baie goed moet lyk. Ek het glad nie ñ probleem daarmee om dit te doen nie, maar die kere wat hy ñ paar dae weg is…is die muis voorwaar baas. Ek is redelik onoplettend, so ek sien glad nie die lelik raak wat sommige mense vinnig opmerk nie. Wat is lelik in elk geval? Vir meeste van ons verskil selfs dit.

    • HesterLeyNel

      Mense oordeel te maklik. My man is een van hulle – hy het ‘n ewige hekel aan aan blond gekleurde hare (kêffieblonde noem hy dit) en skurwe hakskene. Wie het tyd om na ander mense se hakskene te kyk? Snaaks genoeg het hy vrede met enigiets wat ek dra en nie eens my pajamas laatoggend laat hom ‘n oog knip nie.

      • Skurwe hakskene…☺☺☺ Ek lag lekker daaroor, maar weet jy hoeveel mense kyk na so iets! Ek sê ook, het mense regtig genoeg tyd om so intens na ander te kyk.

  8. I agree social media TWITTER is appalling for judging how people look, then bullying for how they look, but (and this may make you laugh 😀 I’m going to disagree with you lol, I think ugly IS connected to appearance. Perhaps I’m at fault because I’ve always suspected women don’t find me attractive because I’m ugly, not handsome :/ and as always that’s an honest admission. Btw another great post Hester.

    • HesterLeyNel

      So who decided that you are not handsome? You yourself are not the best judge of that. In any case, another blogger told me today that her GP is, according to all norms, really ugly, but his great sense of humor makes one forget about his appearance. I would certainly never have chosen a partner based on his looks.

      • Me! :/ on reflection, I think anxiety has held me back in life………………. but on the positive side I have great friends 🙂

  9. We gave up any pretense of style or glamor about twenty years ago.

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