I Was Born Ugly
Not the kind of Ugliness that makes my mother turn away in revulsion. But the Ugliness that makes her stare intently, taking in every rough edge and every smooth curve. Only so that she can sit awake at night and ask God what he was up to. The type of ugliness that you wear like a jacket even when it smells of dried sweat and stunted growth. Ugliness is what made effulgent barbarians out of grown men. Because civilization and sanity are only opium for civilized and sane people and civilized and sane people are beautiful people.
Ugliness is what makes the painter paint, the sculptor sculpt and the writer write.
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Their very existence is an act of rebellion, of contumaciousness. Art is Ugliness that helps us realize nature’s deficiencies and it cannot appeal to beautiful people, it offends their being, it is objectionable and unpleasant to their senses. Ugliness is what prompted negroes to march and sing for a liberty that was supposed to be intrinsic and not take up arms. Ugliness was the fire in his bones when he stood on that podium, forsaking office and gentry and tell the truth for what it was. Yes, Ugliness was the culprit.
Ugliness was the strength in her eyes when she gave that child a hug, when she held that man’s hands and told that woman it was going to be alright. Ugliness was what made her die for a cause she knew was never going to lift her out of a squalor that her family had struggled with for generations. Ugliness was what made him look at faces that opposed him and still decide that he was not going to pick that stone or utter that curse. Ugliness was what made him think that his justice and freedom were for naught if the man in the next room did not have his justice and freedom granted to him and in equal measure.
Ugliness breathed in his breaths when he said an eye for an eye, and the world will go blind. Ugliness was the reason she said that if you love until it hurts there can be no more hurt only love. Ugliness was what made that promising scholar turn his back on years of academic excellence to join an army he was so clearly unfit for. For Queen and Country was what he said. Ugliness was what swam in their veins when they suspended the death sentence because they believed that Human Rights were fundamental, that they were rights for not some, not a majority but every human being.
If you seek someone to blame, blame ugliness. Ugliness was what made that mother contend the sentence against her son with every thing she had and did not have. Courage? No, that was Ugliness. Ugliness is what makes that mandarin stay true to his oaths and that wife true to her vows. Ugliness is what makes the little girl kneel beside her bed every night and pray for the hands that beat her. For the tongues that curse her and for a government that does not acknowledge her. Ugliness is not a beautiful thing, a beautiful thing is that which has tried to imitate Ugliness and failed.. Ugliness is ugly.