His Handsomeness…

  Handsome is as handsome does

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Photo credit: The Modern Man

Certain criteria subconsciously come in handy before an individual is adjudged handsome, beautiful or attractive.


It could be broad shoulders, a chiseled jaw line, well formed biceps in the case of a man or long tresses, a light coloured skin, and large eyes in the case of a woman (I’m looking at you Queen Elsa). Whatever the standard of beauty in any place or culture, it triggers admiration in its wake.


Etiquette however states that beauty lies not in clothes, cosmetics or body proportions but in demonstration of superb demeanor as the above quote so succinctly asserts. A key point that the beautiful (according to popular standards) so often miss is that the effective beauty enhancer is first class manners and not just cosmetology. Steve Jobs design rule is aptly applicable in this context- ‘’Make the inside as good as the outside”. Self-explanatory.


As for those who may not exactly fit into the tiny margin of the common criteria for beauty, they can consider what is indeed the shortest and easiest route to real beauty- proper manners.


The man that opens the door for the lady and puts her first is handsome to her as opposed to the one that snaps his fingers to get her attention( read more on the ideal gentleman here) while a lady that exhibits impeccable dining manners is beautiful to a gentleman. The thing with this is that beauty that is not identified cannot be appreciated. It is for this reason that wise people do not cast pearls before swine. The lady that does not appreciate a gesture as genteel as a gentleman-opened door clearly does not see the beauty that lies therein. Also, a man that frowns at a lady’s dining prowess could be something of a cad.


Because beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, it takes a person that appreciates beauty to admire a beautiful person, within the context of exhibiting good manners. I would describe any man or woman wearing decent clothes and just as decent perfumery, giving up a seat for an invalid (or a lady in the instance of a man), being punctual or joining the queue as handsome or beautiful. Wouldn’t you?


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