My Daughter has an Honors major at college. Really, her classes are no harder or easier than any other majors, but she did have to apply and get accepted to the major and she has to write a thesis.

Last week she was a tad stressed about what her question would be. She knew the topic, she was pretty sure of the direction, but she needed to work on a theory that hadn’t been done before and be something that she would actually be able to do. I’m grateful that she has narrowed her focus to what she thinks is a good starting point.

She also has to get an advisor. The first Professor she approached couldn’t do it because she was already advising two grad students. The second Prof wasn’t sure if she would be a good advisor, but is willing to be used as a sounding board for the thesis. Finally, she found someone who will make an excellent advisor because this Prof is stronger in areas where my daughter is weak, so it will actually make for a great balance. I am grateful that my daughter found an advisor.

Alas, the stress of the thesis has only just begun…but for now…two wins.

A few weeks ago my journal prompt was BEAUTY. Deb thought is was interesting to see how we thought of beauty, but wondered what we thought about UGLY. So, my word for this week is UGLY. Here’s how it was used in the books that I’m reading:

  1. I just wanted to get through my last night with Daniel in one piece and ugly cry when I got home. Abby Jimenez
  2. Undercover. The word, ugly and huge, thrums underneath Jen’s breastbone like a heartbeat. Gilliam McAllister
  3. It’s an ugly business, Watson, an ugly dangerous business, and the more I see of it the less I like it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. That bland looking eatery in some ugly strip mall that has no Yelp reviews? Give it a try. Rob Walker
  5. No, to be sure not: I should only pity him- hate him, perhaps, if he were ugly, and a clown. Emily Bronte
  6. Believe me, in this case, ugly would have been a compliment. Laurie Zaleski
  7. The ugly stuff starts to rear its face, and we don’t know what’s come over us. Pedram Shojai

Here’s how I’m thinking about UGLY:

  1. In the poetry anthology that I’m reading, not one of the poems contains the word UGLY
  2. I can’t get “U G L Y you ain’t got no alibi you ugly” our of the stream in my head
  3. Four letters but powerful word
  4. Does the word ugly scare us?
  5. have I though about ugly situations more than I’ve thought about other ugly things?
  6. The word was used less than I thought it would. Are we trying not to use the word, or have things gotten past ugly

49 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 9/17/22

  1. it seems to me that people tend to avoid ‘ugly’ in thinking back on where I’ve seen it. maybe as humans, we keep trying to see the beauty in all we see and do. congrats to your daughter and sounds like she found the right advisor for her endeavor

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am glad that during busy times your daughter was able to find an advisor. I think the terms “ugly” and “beautiful” are subjective. Just the other day, I was reading a post about models wearing only tape during a fashion show. The black tape project and then some mention duct tape for ugly activities. I am guessing some at the fashion show were a ‘no buy’ Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always like reading these posts ❤️ I’ve been turning the pages of a book called as beauty sick & many teenage girls as well as grown up women are very considerate in thinking of how they are perceived by the male gaze…

    Ugly is really a strong word.

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  4. #2- Thanks for that earworm! Ugly immediately conjures up a hideous, monstrous human formed image- not a bad or evil person necessarily but a horror to look at visually. Beauty doesn’t automatically bring a human face but something grand and amazing seen in nature. Thinking about it I agree, it seems to be a word that you really don’t see used much or hear anymore. Is it too strong? Too big and offensive of a word to be said out loud socially? Is that an ethical decision or have we simply replaced it with other words…

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  5. When I think of ugly, I think of someone’s character. Of being cruel or unkind. I don’t think of the traditional use of a physical characteristic. But of having a mean spirit.

    I have used the word ugly regarding clothing or style. Some styles on the runway are hideously ugly. But I don’t think of people as being ugly unless they are ugly inside. Putin is an ugly human being for attacking Ukraine. I think the current Governor of Florida has an ugly soul for scooping up people and transporting them to Martha’s Vineyard. I thought #45 was ugly for caging children. But physical unattractiveness doesn’t offend me whereas cruelty, bigotry, and racism is as ugly as it gets.

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      1. There’s a reason they say beauty is only skin deep. Sociopaths tend to be physically attractive people but are ugly to the core. Thus the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But I suppose ugly is anything that repels us. However, in medical terms I hear ugly all the time used as a synonym for something severely unpleasant. I get rashes around my port after chemo. My nurse calls them, ugly rashes. I guess that sounds better than some scary medical term.
        But clothing? Yeah, sometimes it’s just ugly! Those crazy baggy sports pants guys wore in the 90’s were really ugly. I remember my husband and sons used to wear them to Dolphin football games. I thought they were ugly. But a stadium filled with a bunch of crazy fans in them was laughable. Remember those super high athletic socks every one wore to exercise in the 80’s? Pretty ugly! The teased style of hair in the 80’s? Super ugly! Giant shoulder pads? Extreme fashion can be super ugly!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. When my eyes accidentally drop down to comments on political blogs (I try to avoid reading the comments), that’s when the word ugly comes to mind in the sense of hateful. Do we really change anyone’s mind or make the world a better place by saying rude, ugly things?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! To be fair, her major, as it’s only allowed to be less than 35 students (they have 32) meets seminar fashion this semester, where the teacher does guide them in the beginning steps of thesis prep. Learning how to write essentially a 85-100 page book, or making a two hour film, requires some technical assistance, especially on the undergrad level

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny, as my brother would sing the song U. G. L. Y. you’re ugly to me daily. Years ago Britany Spears gave an interview where she said in regards to her health she has seen the very best in people (beauty) and the very worst in people (the ugly).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not a word that seems to feature in my world. I don’t think we use it as much in the UK. Last week I was told off for using the word “fat” – seems I should refer to myself as “overweight”. There were several other words that caused offence when I used them, even though I was using them about myself. I like short, blunt words. On the other hand, it’s none of my business what people look like. I am, as the expression goes, no oil painting myself. 🙂

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  9. Oh yikes, that word “ugly.” It’s become a weapon with my 4-year-old granddaughter. When she’s mad at her sisters about something, she tells them they’re ugly. The 3 year-old cries and the 7-year-old gets upset. My daughter has been trying to work with her on that, but she’s seen the power it has and can’t seem to stop wielding that hurtful weapon. Not sure if it’s the best way to handle it, but sometimes my daughter responds with, “Your attitude is ugly.” It’s just an icky word that I really try to avoid using.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Siblings do a wonderful job of preparing you for life, but if you don’t learn to stand up for yourself you’ll be stuck with similar patterns your whole life. Help the young ones come up with with comebacks. Instead of the mom saying your attitude is ugly the children should maybe say it or a simple “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” I have noticed that people who bully are not internally happy, causing pain seems to be medicine for their pain if you can get to the bottom of that their husband/wife will thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a question: Do you think some people are beautiful and others are ugly? Or do you think it’s wrong to describe someone as ugly (not in a name-calling way but just like some people are fat while others are thin)? Can someone’s personality be called ugly?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do I think it’s wrong to call someone ugly? If I was writing a book or story, I think it’s useful. To their face, no. And I think you can call someone’s personality ugly


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