Für immer schön. Über Ich und Ich
When three goddesses came before poor Paris and pressed an apple into his hand, asking him to decide which of them was the most beautiful, they each promised him a gift in return for being chosen: Hera promised him sovereignty over the world, and Aphrodite offered him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chose the most beautiful woman, Helena, and the rest is war.
Beauty is a commodity that can be acquired and traded. Its price is putting work into one’s body, or, more generally, into the images we produce of ourselves. Beauty is “in the eye of the beholder” – somewhere between “me” and “me”. Because no one can only behold; everyone is also constantly being beheld. And no one sees alone. Whatever we see has already been seen before. We only desire what others before us have already desired. The superego is constantly looking over our shoulder as we reproduce – in the hubbub of images, opinions and poses – ideals of youth and beauty that will always remain out of reach for us mortals.