“Beauty is embarrassing. Now what do I mean by that? Beauty is a many-pronged thing, you know, it has many sides to that. When we see something beautiful – truly beautiful – we’re in awe, and raw emotion comes to the surface. We’re also humbled by it. We’re not worthy. That emotional vulnerability, that insecurity – those are both embarrassing situations. ‘If only I could make something that beautiful, or if only I was that beautiful.’ So we’re sort of embarrassed for ourselves when we’re struck by true beauty. Artists and creative people are people who make beauty. Now that’s the bottom line, I mean that’s what we do, we make beauty. I’ve been trying to make beauty my whole life, and to even say that is embarrassing, but I have.”—Wayne White, Beauty is Embarrassing
"It's so beautiful it hurts my feelings."
Beauty Is Embarrassing is not only one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, but easily one of the best films of 2012.
I can’t even convey what this film did to me. How it made me feel. It was delightful similar to how Moonrise Kingdom was delightful. A whimsical yet meaningful distraction from all the daily bullshit in our individual lives and in the world. But more than just a distraction: a glimmer of hope. Optimism. Happiness. An acknowledgment of the melancholy that permeates everything but a conscious decision to overcome it. That there’s more than that.
I was lucky enough to see this in a small theatre where Wayne White was present to answer questions after the film. I felt like an idiot crying through the credits and crying again when I saw him in front of me, but that sense of embarrassment is exactly what the film addressed. That embarrassment we feel when confronted with something so beautiful that we are awestruck and rendered emotionally vulnerable and insecure about that vulnerability.
This is a film about an artist. But it’s more than that. I’m not an artist, and I was inspired and touched more than I have been in so long.
Go see this movie as soon as you can.