“Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.”
– David Hume (Of The Standard Of Taste)
We tend to forget. Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series seemed fresh and original when it came out a couple years ago. But that’s because we’d forgotten about Charles Beaumont and The Beautiful People. Westerfeld wrote four novels exploring territory that Charles Beaumont pioneered. It’s short story that packs a helluva punch. Imagine a world when everyone around you says that you are ugly, that you’re fat. that you’re unhealthy, that you’re self image is completely wrong, and most importantly that you’ve got to change because social position will be completely untenable.
Now imagine that world – our world – just a few years in the future. A world in which everyone wears a mask on all the days before and after October 31st.
The Beautiful People has stuff to say about beauty and ugliness, the proper place of women, the value of book reading, as wells as the passing fads of sleeping and eating.
Here is a |PDF| version.
The Beautiful People
By Charles Beaumont; Read by Julie Davis
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Forgotten Classics
Podcast: October 2011
Mary was a misfit. She didn’t want to be beautiful. And she wasted time doing mad things—like eating and sleeping. First published in the September 1952 issue of If Worlds of Science Fiction.
The Twilight Zone adapted The Beautiful People into an episode entitled Number 12 Looks Just Like You.
Posted by Jesse Willis