Embracing the ugly
I’ve been married a long time. Long enough to know marriage is about many things, including knowing what the other person looks like when something horrific is happening to their body. For me, it was being in labour. For him, it was the effects of the 3-day-old carbonara pizza he ate.
So I was saddened when I read that now, in America (natch), couples are including in their pre-nups a Social Media Clause. Yes, a written agreement that stipulates “couples can’t post nude photos, embarrassing photos or photos or posts that are likely to harm a spouse’s professional reputation”.
In the first place, I’d like to point out that if your partner is so dim-witted they need a pre-written instruction to respect your privacy, I’d be seriously concerned about trusting them with your private parts.
But aside from that, I feel like the world’s gone mad when we’re so controlling of our image that embarrassing photos are considered breach of contract and worth a $50,000 penalty.
I get the professional reputation part. I’ve caught my hubby about to publicly unload on a brand that my employer had an association with, because, despite the PhD after his name, joining dots isn’t his strong suit. It could have been disastrous for me, or at least made the company Christmas party incredibly awkward, so thankfully I got onto him before he pressed post.
And the nude photos thing makes sense, although, again, isn’t it obvious? Just don’t publish pics of your mate in the nicky noo nah. It’s neither funny, clever or original. It’ll make you look like a douchebag. Or alert every one else to the douchebag you’ve always been.
But PLEASE can we not sanitise our collective photo album of EMBARRASSING pics? PLEASE let us not get so precious that we can’t laugh at ourselves, and an unfortunately timed blink. PLEASE can we always embrace the ugly in each of us? Because the ugly is the BEST part of life.
Think about the times when you were having the most fun. Were you beautiful? No. You were laughing so hard a piece of snot came out of your nose. Or silently clutching your sides, mouth wide open like an arcade clown.
Think about the best hamburger you’ve eaten, the shoving of each perfect bite in your stuffed face. Beautiful? No.
Or what about when you’ve danced in a stinking hot nightclub for 6 hours. Or pashed a guy with really scratchy stubble. Or kicked the winning goal. Or orgasmed. Or given birth, and your sweaty, weeping face is looking down on that blotchy, blue-faced, precious baby in your arms. Beautiful? No.
Beautiful is boring. Ugly is amazing.
Even the moments that aren’t joyous are better than beautiful. Even that moment when you’ve said goodbye to the love of your life at the airport and you’re ugly sobbing through the terminal, fellow passengers averting their gaze because your sadness is just too hard to face, even that is better than beautiful.
Because it is real. It’s not posed, manufactured, an idealistic, unrealistic version of life. It’s the heart of us, felt from the gut of who we are right out onto our faces for the world to see.
I love the ugly moments. For they are the times of our lives that we are completely free and uninhibited. When we are at our most human, most passionate, most caught up in the honest and primal emotions of being us. They are the times we are most ALIVE.
And let’s face it, they are the most hilarious photos. To prove it, here’s an Ugly Gallery, or an Uglery if you will, of me. Enjoy! I’m just spreading the laughs!