Monday, December 2, 2013

Eleanor Is Beautiful

I recently read a really good post on Rainbow Rowell's blog about Eleanor being fat. That combined with seeing readers online saying, "I think it's awesome that Park loved Eleanor despite her being fat." got me thinking about Eleanor.

Several people have asked Rainbow Rowell, "Eleanor isn't really fat, is she?" and Rainbow Rowell has responded that, yes, she is. Eleanor is fat. Eleanor thinks she's fat and Eleanor is fat. But why is everyone so obsessed about this?

Most people think about what they look like somewhat. Most people want to look nice. Why else would we buy makeup or wear clothes that match or glance at ourselves in the mirror? Because we want to look nice.

But why? I suppose it feels good to look nice, but I think us wanting to look nice is more for other people's benefits than it is for our own. Why? Because we judge. Consciously or unconsciously, we judge people based on their outward appearances.

I suppose that's natural. The outward appearance is the first thing we see, the first thing we think about. Do you know somebody's personality before you talk to them? No. But we see what people look like before we talk about them. And unfortunately, I think that we dismiss spending the time to get to know people based on their appearance.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a wonderful example of that. August is a sweet, kind, thoughtful boy who just so happens to have a disfigured face. And a lot of people dismiss him for that, make fun of him even. The few that take the time to know him, though, like him and look past what's on the outside.

I recently learned a new word. Kalon. It means beauty that is more than skin deep. And I think that's an excellent word to describe August, Eleanor, and many other people, including Park who loved Eleanor because Eleanor was truly beautiful. Beauty is not about how we look. It's about who we are. Beauty is who we are and the choices we make. And I think that's much more important than what color hair we have or how thin we are.

People say that they think Park's great because he loved Eleanor despite her looks. I think he loved her even more because of her looks. Her looks made up the person she was. Nobody else in the world looked like Eleanor, and that is beautiful.

I love this quote from Eleanor & Park:

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

And that pretty much sums it all up. Eleanor is fat. And Eleanor is beautiful.

7 comments:

Boquinha said...

Wow! You absolutely AMAZE me. The depth of your observations, together with the talent of your writing, FLOOR me. You're 13?!? This is a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.

I've said it before - when I see an attractive person act like a jerk, they no longer seem attractive to me. And someone who is kind, however they look, always seems more attractive to me.

Great post. Eleanor is, indeed, beautiful. I'm so glad that you love that book as much as I do - I love that we share that.

Kirsten said...

I really want to read "Eleanor and Park" and this post made me want to read it all the more!

I think that a kind heart is much, much better than looking "hot" as some guys would say.

I also love the quote!! :D

musingsfromnevillesnavel said...

I think this is one of your best posts yet! :) Very well-written, and you make a very good point. Sure, I find people attractive (*cough* Jennifer Lawrence xD *cough*) but what really matters to me is how they treat other people. If they're interesting. What they're like on the inside.

writerrobynlarue said...

I love your insight. Some cultures and eras revere women who are at least plump. Would be an interesting experiment to send people to those cultures for another viewpoint, yes? I really liked your gratitude posts also. :)

seventytwofishes said...

Lovely post! You are wise beyond your years.

Lindsay Gillon said...

Loved this. You are beautiful inside and out cute girl. So proud of you for seeing it in all of those around you.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha Ha ha, thanks. :) I agree with you about the jerk thing. When you're ugly on the inside, you're ugly on the outside.

@Kirsten BWA HA HA! Agreed! :) (And yes, you have to read it)!

@nevillegirl Thank you! :D I totally agree with you.

@writerrobynlarue Thank you! :) That's so interesting!

@seventytwofishes Thank you! :)

@Lindsay Gillon Aww, thanks so much! :) And thanks for commenting!