What is UGLY?

Question: what is ugly? Is it forbidden by “political correctness” to talk about what could be ugly? Houses, cities, faces, clothes, certain behavior or opinions, a four letter word, a hate speech? It is necessary to mention the ugly things because we have to defend ourselves vs. bad influences? Or should the ugly give us the motivation only, to focus, what might be better?
discussing-shop-window-design
team of designers, discussing a shop window design in Berlin; photo by frizztext, click on the picture to enter his galleries on flickr
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there was much discussion about the song lyrics of Randy Newman, performing his song “short people” – some said: irony, others managed, that it was forbidden to play this song in the radio

No political correctness

No political correctness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About frizztext

websites: 1 - my daily wordpress blog "flickrcomments" at FLICKRCOMMENTS, 2 - my own photos at frizztext, 3 - flickr group group: BLOG IT!

22 responses to “What is UGLY?

  1. I find that political correctness is sometimes another type of discrimination and quite hypocritical. As for R.N.’s song, a good reminder is Iggy’s “5 foot 1″!
    So, good question, Frizz: What IS ugly?! :-)

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  2. Interesting issue, now you gets me started it’s one of my favorite theme – objectivety versus subjectivity – I see no problem at all calling things ugly or beautiful – the problem is that most think they are objective when they do it – but they are so subjective as they can be – that’s all right have an opinion, but that isn’t the as being right… :-)

    When I speak, I spreak from my point of view – I hope every one do that – speak from their point of view – ones view often change during life, that’s really great – because things change when you move::: :-)

    Objectivity doesn’t excist in reality, everything are colored of the eyes which look… :-)

    The word “political correctness” (at both sides) that’s often an excuse for being subjective but looks objective… ;-)

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    • hi black drake N.,
      we had some discussions here about an art I saw in the Biennale, Venice:

      http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/political-art/

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      León Ferrari, Biennale 2007

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      • The old quote “As you shouting in the forest you will get answers” still count – many artists are a little prudish – they want to provoke, but don’t like when they get paid back in the same monetary standard… :-)

        And the audience is a story in itself – they are provoked because they take responsibility for something they have no responsibility for – it’s a sign of weakness (?) – even I’m a dane, I woundn’t be angry because someone teases us – and say we are more self-centered than the french and dutch merged… ‘hahaha’

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        • there was a Danish cartoonist who got some trouble (his house was attacked) by some Islamistic activists; he draw some Mohammed portraits, not found nice by most Arabian countries; Denmark, France (and Germany) had been courageous enough to print the cartoons …

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  3. I think that aesthetics is a subjective issue and there isn’t any reason why it can’t be discussed. However, because of the role it has played in the cosmetic industry, and fashion etc. and has become a tool of control of women’s images of themselves, women’s and girl’s low self-esteem, that the concept of ‘ugly’ and ‘pretty’ does need to be challenged. I personally have never found anything visually ugly, unless it touches on a certain feeling I have for that person or thing. Like for e.g. my sister and her friends used to find Tom Cruise very good looking! He never visually appealed to me me — because i just always thought he was something of a misogynistic ass-hole! :-)

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    • we don’t like Tom Cruise in Germany because his strange engagement for the scientology sect; nice and courageous: that his wife manage to escape that brain washing community!

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  4. Rob

    I agree with Rita about aesthetics but there’s a whole different set of meanings for ugly relating to sexuality. Sexual attraction relates to suitability and health for breeding, so ugly could mean unhealthy or unsuitable for breeding.

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  5. Totally with Rita on the subject :-) Beauty has become big business!

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  6. Whose human rights are being looked out for when political correctness so neatly packages the ugly behaviour of zealots and bigots?

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  7. I remember when the King’s Singers came out with this song. i loved it, but then, I’m not short. :) I think that ugly is “in the eye of the beholder,” just the same as beauty. Good post, ft.

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  8. interesting conversations that came from this blog.
    Ugly came to my mind when the U story challenge came up. That led me to the ugliness of the current instability in many parts of the world (specific in South Africa) and I decided not to go political

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  9. Wolfgang Hermann

    this is for me ugly:

    ...

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  10. I recently overheard this phrase:
    “I can call my dog ugly, but you can’t.”

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