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Lovely versus Beautiful

by sanmigueltimes
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Every so often a social media posting can go astray and farther afield even after that which is part of what makes the internet fun!  Case in point, I took three photos teaching dance in Escobedo last week.  One was with a collection of female students.  I thought it was odd none of men were in the photo so I liked it.  Another featured an eight month old newly walking baby trying to dance to music.  Third was the local marching band that swung by to pick up a teenager student that is a member of the band also.

I place the three images together with the line “Between the live music and beautiful women it hard to concentrate on teaching tonight.”  A fairly innocuous post and not horribly funny but funny enough, I thought, to cause a smile as dancing babies tend to do that.

One of the places I flung the sentiment out over is a FaceBook site for moving to Mexico as a single ex-pat.  This site attracts a mostly female audience as do my books and tours so I frequently post on it.

Almost instantly I got responses from a handful of ladies liking the post but there were also two that felt I was sexist and degrading for the term beautiful.  I was mystified thinking there was a dark approach in place if calling a woman, of any age, beautiful was inherently sexist and degrading.  At such times it is better to bow out and let other readers respond.


To my surprise a third woman responded saying I was lusting after a sexual relation with the baby.  I thought about responding how calling anything beautiful (baby, painting, chair) does not imply a desire for a sexual relation but thought better of it.  Instead I asked the moderator to simply remove my post as I didn’t want any whiff of child molestation attached to my frothy post.

Then I happened to run into Martha, the founder of the San Miguel shoe and local fashion icon.  Despite crippling arthritis, Martha is always dressed to impress with flawless makeup and hair a movie star would envy.  Whenever we meet I make a fuss over how she looks and take her photo in appreciation of her efforts.  So I took this image and wrote, on the same site, “My neighbor, the lovely and charismatic founder of the San Miguel Shoe.”

My reasoning was selfish.  Yes, Martha is all those things but I was curious if, with the same audience, would ‘lovely’ be as poorly received as ‘beautiful’?  What was I thinking as nobody noticed my choice of adjectives when the noun ‘shoe’ was in place.  Instead there were over 70 responses within a few hours about shoes.


Closed toe, open toe, toe cleavage, heels on cobblestones, wearing heels when you have MS, heel height in relationship to your age, any shoe topic you could image was aired.

So I basically torpedoed my own social experiment on ‘lovely’ versus ‘beautiful’, but I now know an awful lot about how ladies view shoes and just what toe cleavage even is.



Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series.  All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays.  Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA.  Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkingTours.com, and JosephTooneTours.com.

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