It’s easy to become vain in today’s world. Advertising everywhere plasters scantily clad models. The males all have six-pack abs and muscles everywhere. The females are usually quite skinny with large breasts. The stars of most TV shows and movies follow similar patterns. It’s rare to see the lead actors in a show or even those models on commercials be overweight or have average builds. So many people seem to be getting face lifts and Botox injections now to keep themselves looking youthful. But is this really what beauty is about? Mainstream society would probably say yes, my answer is quite the opposite.
Some people say I’m too honest in my speaking and writing about my personal life. I’m at a place in my life now where I’m really beginning to not care what other people think about me living in absolute truthfulness. And one of those absolute truths is that I have always been physically attracted to larger, heavier-set people. Before I really understood that I was a gay male, I dated many women, each of which could be labeled full-figured. While I choose to use that term which is more politically correct, many would say early on that I was a chubby chaser. Some even used choice words that don’t need to be written and should never have been said in the first place.
By the age of 23, I had come to terms with my sexuality and had begun to date men, who in the gay culture are labeled as “bears”. For the longest time, whether I had been dating a heavyset female or male, I saw just how vain people were in society. It’s amazing the looks that I got when I was out on a date with whoever I was with. Some were even as bold to say openly they couldn’t believe that someone like me would be with someone like them, as they pointed rudely at the person I was with. For them it was sacrilegious to see a 6’5″, 175 pound swimmer’s build guy to be with a larger person. Sadly, my mother even felt that way when she was alive. She always felt I could have been with anyone I wanted and didn’t understand why I chose the men or women I did. What’s sad is that most people place what someone looks like physically as the most important thing. I was like that for a very long time. But today, I see things quite differently.
While my attraction on the physical level is towards a heavier-set type of person, I’ve realize now as my relationship has grown deeper with God that the most important thing is not what I see on the outside, it’s what I feel with them on the inside. The world is filled with billions of souls. Some of them live in the light. Others, in the dark. Some live to serve a higher purpose. Others, serve only their own needs. My life began in the light. Over the years I went completely into the dark while I fed my addictions and obsessions. Through my recovery from those, I gradually have moved back into the light again and have seen my own beauty emerge from within.
To be considered one of the most handsome or beautiful people in the world by something like People magazine means nothing to me today like it once might have. Especially when I see the actions of these people or anyone for that matter being consistently self-centered, living in life’s indulgences and trying to do nothing but keep their good looks and worry about advancing their careers. In general, I admire those instead that take time away from their jobs to help others, that give of themselves unconditionally, that don’t care to be in the spotlight and would rather be behind the scenes making the world a more loving and peace filled place. I see people all the time when I make it to the gym who are staring at themselves in the mirror and flexing their muscles and obsessing about their flat stomachs. I know this pattern because I have lived it when my only concern was to keep looking a certain way. But as I’ve grow older and the sculpted curves have become more rounded flab, and as I continue to show greater signs every day of my own body’s wear and tear, my focus has shifted away from my looks and onto instead how I live my life and how bright my soul can become.
I don’t know how long I have to live in this life. I’m grateful though that I’ve lived this long to see the illusions I once lived in beginning to break apart. I’m even more grateful that God has given me the attraction to full-figured people in this lifetime. Through it, I’ve learned being handsome or beautiful is so much deeper than what the media and society portrays. But even more importantly, I’ve learned that real beauty was never about what I saw on the outside, it’s what is felt on the inside.
Peace, love, light and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson