If beauty is skin deep, then what does it mean when someone calls you beautiful? What does it mean when that comment is made verbally? In print? In an email? Or more generically via Facebook? Does the term lose its potency and significance if it's thrown about like excess grains of salt from an errant shaker? Does it mean even less when it's paid to those we have only virtual relationships with? Or does it just cheapen our "real time" relations that much more?
I've often wondered what it really means when someone says "you are beautiful.". In our highly saccarine and superficial society, compliments are bantied about like confetti in the wind. Do we tell ugly people they're a rare beauty as a sign of support or a form of bitter sarcasm? Do we tell average plain Jane folks they're beautiful because it's expected? How do you measure the true depth and sincerity of a statement that is always relative in nature and suspect to begin with?
I for one chose to believe that the compliment is just an afterthought with no meaning or intent. Just like the term "I'm sorry" has been diluted to the point of insignificance, so has the term "you're beautiful.". Think of the parallels- u bump into a person on the bus, u say "I'm sorry.". U murder countless victims and what do u often hear in court? "I'm sorry.". Hence, how could "you're beautiful" ever mean anything more than a generic form of ego boosting wrapping in brown paper with no bow and no value?
Maybe I'm a cynic and maybe I've been blindsighted. But one thing's for certain- only I have the real power to decide if I really am beautiful or not.