In the eye of the beholder.
A week or two ago, Syahidah was talking to Fintan, eight. She was looking through a magazine, at the time. Suddenly, her attention was caught by a particular photo of a model.
Her finger tapped the page. "That looks very nice.", she remarked to him.
He looked aghast, at once. "No, she doesn't.!", he said, clearly appalled. "She looks like a MAN!"
"No. I meant the clothes.", corrected Syahidah.
It was a funny moment, not so much for the misunderstanding, but for what it revealed of Fintan's outlook on people and his personal aesthetics. He has come to an understanding of what female beauty should be like - and what connotes masculinity. He is also able to dismiss the machinations of the fashion world and see people for what they are - in this case a boyish girl. It is good to note that he has such a clear view of people, as they truly are, and is able to stand apart from the efforts to sell him an image of "beauty" that does not truly match his inner sense of what should be seen as beautiful. He is demonstrating that he has his own, inner standards for what is beautiful. I wonder, now, at what age he came to this inner view and this personal standard?
By the way, he was right. The girl did look rather like a man...as quite a few models do. It is interesting to note that, even though he is still pre-pubertal, he has opinions on female beauty, already - and is aware of who is and who is not, truly beautiful (in the feminine sense). From the way he spoke, it is clear that those opinions are quite strong ones, too. I sense that, in time to come, he is going to be rather passionate in his views of who is beautiful and who barely qualifies for the female sex.
I am going to look out for further comments from him, on his aesthetic perceptions, to get a better sense of how he sees the world in this way.
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