Do you have an alternative idea of beauty?

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ToughDiamond
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02 Jul 2021, 3:54 pm

It's something that came up on the RDOS Aspie-Quiz, and I've often wondered about it. Why is that question there? My best guess is that it's because Aspies often don't quite go along with the hive-mind, mainstream idea of what's beautiful, but have their own ideas. So does anybody have any examples of how that operates in them? How universal is it?



Joe90
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02 Jul 2021, 3:59 pm

Do you mean beauty in humans or in anything?

If the latter, I find the rain can be beautiful. Most people see rain as miserable, and although I do love the sunshine and hot weather and often feel fed up when it rains during the summer months, I still find beauty in rain. I like the heavy thundery rain or the rain in the springtime.
I also find flies and bluebottles beautiful. Most people shudder at the thought of flies, and while I am aware that they spread germs, I still think they are beautiful to look at. Their wings are beautiful up close, kind of like fairy wings, and I love the colour of bluebottles and greenbottles.


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ToughDiamond
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02 Jul 2021, 5:02 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Do you mean beauty in humans or in anything?

If the latter, I find the rain can be beautiful. Most people see rain as miserable, and although I do love the sunshine and hot weather and often feel fed up when it rains during the summer months, I still find beauty in rain. I like the heavy thundery rain or the rain in the springtime.
I also find flies and bluebottles beautiful. Most people shudder at the thought of flies, and while I am aware that they spread germs, I still think they are beautiful to look at. Their wings are beautiful up close, kind of like fairy wings, and I love the colour of bluebottles and greenbottles.


I thought RDOS's original question didn't stipulate whether it was humans or everything, but I managed to get another look at his test, and the exact question was:

"Do you have an alternative view of what is attractive in the opposite sex? "

Nonetheless, I see no reason to be disinterested in the subject of what we find beautiful in other areas of life, and your input is welcome. I have a few odd things myself like that, such as liking creepy interior design and maybe getting more pleasure than most adults from shiny things generally. I have a strong revulsion towards insects these days, probably because there are some pretty deadly ones where I'm living, and I was never over-fond of them, but I like pictures of them, such as the ones in the Butterfly Ball artwork. Again with weather I used to find a lot of beauty in English rain and thunderstorms (I used to make sound recordings of thunder), but where I live now those weather conditions get really extreme and usually mean an uncomfortable time in a storm shelter, so the aesthetic appreciation thing tends to get masked.

Apart from that, I think my appreciation of the beauty of naturally-occurring things is fairly conventional, though I'm sometimes bored by some of "the sights" that tourists go for.

When it comes to man-made things, a lot of things that are supposed to look great come over to me as monstrosities, especially modern things (I've had that since I was a teenager, so I don't think it's just harking back to the good old days that older people tend to do), though I usually find I'm not the only one who thinks so. Modern architecture for example, often leaves me cold, but a lot of people feel the same about it.

As for the opposite sex, I don't see anything great about the appearance of women who are supposed to be particularly beautiful. A lot of their characteristics seem to boil down to contrived illusions that are supposed to trigger male arousal, and they tend not to fool me, in the same way as "inspirational" speakers don't get me going. Don't know whether the fact that I know about most of the tricks stops it working and replaces it with disdain about the attempt to fool me, or whether my brain wiring doesn't respond to the tricks and so just sees it as weird and annoying.



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02 Jul 2021, 5:26 pm

Yeah, I found that to be an awkward question. Since I'm gay, am I supposed to answer in terms of the same sex? If so, I'm still not sure what to answer - what would be considered an alternative view? :scratch: Too vague - I don't like this question.


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02 Jul 2021, 5:50 pm

If I remember correctly, my response to that question (or one like it) was something similar to:

"True beauty is neither claimed nor imposed, contrived nor intentional, nor forced or coerced.

True beauty is a natural intrinsic aspect of the person, place, or object that is considered beautiful by the beholder.  While some performances can be considered beautiful -- a dance, a poem, a song, or a story -- they are ephemeral, and all that remains once they are done is a subjective impression of the past."


One member of the review board thought that this was a little too deep for a "typical" aspie; but the other members over-rode that opinion.


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02 Jul 2021, 6:34 pm

Well, I am quite unhappy with some modern vehicle styling. The Quads look like they were inspired by Science Fiction toys, and the cars often have extra holes in the front as if they were race cars with brake cooling problems. Far too often, they have styling cues from aircraft that actually reduce performance in a car. I am also often jarred by things like brick veneer being used without the support that real brick would need.



ToughDiamond
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02 Jul 2021, 7:35 pm

Lost_dragon wrote:
Yeah, I found that to be an awkward question. Since I'm gay, am I supposed to answer in terms of the same sex? If so, I'm still not sure what to answer - what would be considered an alternative view? :scratch: Too vague - I don't like this question.

Yes, it seems RDOS fell right into the gender-binary trap with that one. I guess a better question for you might have been "do you have an alternative view of what is attractive in your own sex?" But it's still hard to answer because if we're looking for deviation from the typical, I don't even know if there is a typical gay idea of attractiveness to compare it with. My topic has come a little unstuck anyway, because I'd remembered the wording of the question wrongly. But I don't much mind. Anything anybody wants to contribute that they think sheds any light on the ways in which Aspies have unusual ideas of beauty (not necessarily sexual attractiveness, though that's OK too), is fine by me.



HeroOfHyrule
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02 Jul 2021, 7:39 pm

I don't know if I have an "alternative" idea of what is attractive. I don't really pay attention to what others find attractive in men or women.


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02 Jul 2021, 7:51 pm

I usually think alternative girls are attractive, so I guess literally I have an alternative idea of beauty when it comes to women. Lol. As cliche as this sounds I am more attracted to action and potential than outward “beauty”.

When it comes to other, non human elements and beauty, I find beauty in actions more often than I do material items. I also find beauty in bugs, and nature. A lot of people dislike insects, but they seem like little alien creatures to me sometimes. Very interesting, and often beautiful.



Last edited by Brainiac42 on 02 Jul 2021, 8:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Dear_one
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02 Jul 2021, 7:52 pm

Is high fashion for women even supposed to be beautiful? They don't even look human to me.



ToughDiamond
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02 Jul 2021, 7:58 pm

Fnord wrote:
If I remember correctly, my response to that question (or one like it) was something similar to:

"True beauty is neither claimed nor imposed, contrived nor intentional, nor forced or coerced.

True beauty is a natural intrinsic aspect of the person, place, or object that is considered beautiful by the beholder.  While some performances can be considered beautiful -- a dance, a poem, a song, or a story -- they are ephemeral, and all that remains once they are done is a subjective impression of the past."


One member of the review board thought that this was a little too deep for a "typical" aspie; but the other members over-rode that opinion.


That reminds me of myself whenever I look at Baron-Cohen's AQ test these days. The only honest answer I can give to most of the questions is "Are you kidding? It's way more complicated than that. See attached essay." When I was being diagnosed I put all that to one side and just fudged it as best I could, as it was only the preliminary screening test. The "proper" test mercifully allowed me to give detailed answers. I didn't get told what they made of them, and the beauty / attractiveness thing didn't come up.

I don't know what the review board member could have meant by "too deep for a typical Aspie." I can't imagine a neurotypical being deeper than the deepest Aspie, and I don't think the typical Aspie exists. Perhaps the health professional was talking rubbish?



ToughDiamond
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02 Jul 2021, 8:35 pm

Dear_one wrote:
Well, I am quite unhappy with some modern vehicle styling. The Quads look like they were inspired by Science Fiction toys, and the cars often have extra holes in the front as if they were race cars with brake cooling problems. Far too often, they have styling cues from aircraft that actually reduce performance in a car. I am also often jarred by things like brick veneer being used without the support that real brick would need.

I don't see much to like about the appearance of modern vehicles at all, though I see beauty in most vehicles designed before the 1970s. Since then cars all look the same to me. But it's common enough for people's tastes to solidify as they grow older.