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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Grotesque and Beautiful

Leonardo Di Vinci, one of the smartest and talented people who ever lived did a study of what he considered Grotesque and Ugly.  This has always fascinated and bothered me.
It has facinated me in the fact that such a great mind studied what was considered undesirabe from an asthetic stand point.  It makes sense because as an artist you want to understand what is pleasing to the eye and what is not.   By drawing and studying what is considered grotesque or ugly it may help destinguish what qualities we consider beautiful, gorgeous, and sexy.

With all the people on the planet certain people through time have been identified by many flattering comments which range from hot, sexy, beautiful, handsome, and gorgeous.  But what is it about these people that make them describable in these terms while other fall to lower levels to normal to the lowest levels of unattractive, ugly, and grotesque.  Also on how people view other peoples sizes and also label them plus sized, fat or obese, and consider them less attractive for what ever reasons.
 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is up to the person viewing a particular person or picture that makes their own judgments about them.  Not everybody agrees on the attributes of what is attractive and what is not.  So what makes some people so universally considered attractive and others not so much.

As an artist and author I find myself considering aspects of this question and trying to break it down to the elements of desirable and undesirable.
Is it the roles you have seen them play and associate with them in our minds?
If these people were not famous Actors and Actresses would we have the same feelings about them?
 Are their traits and aspects of their looks that actually make them more attractive than other people?

Did they get to be so famous primarily because of the good looks we associate with them? 

I have always found the mark of a great actor or actress is if they can play parts 
that make you love them and other parts which make you hate them.

If these people developed aspects of what Leonardo Da Vinci determined was unattractive would we still find them appealing?

I think about this because I have to describe characters that I have made up for my stories.  They need to be believable and have flaws just like real people do but you want your readers to form that connection with the character.  To love or hate them because of the things they do or don't do.
Can people hate attractive people?
Can your characters be bad guys and still drop dead gorgeous? 
I’ve also noticed this flows over to voices which are pleasing to the ears and people respond to listening to as others voices grate on our nerves as much as bad attitudes and personalities.  We know the great voices because they are hired for the voices of commercials because of their appeal to people listening to them.  The primary example of our current age would be Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Sean Connery, Tom Skerrett, Martin Shean, Casey Kasem, and Regis Philbin.  It begs the question as to why all of these great voices belong to men.

What are your thoughts on what is attractive and what is not.  Does looks play a part in whether you like somebody or not?  Does it matter in a book?  Do very attractive bad guys get liked anyway because they have good looks?  Do the ugly people automatically get pushed down as underdogs because of their looks?


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