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The heaviest beauty
is often buried


La belleza más pesada
a menudo es enterrada.

Mon, Nov 19, 2018 | Model info | Footnotes
Uriel and I went to a well-known market in Mexico City, La Merced, where you get off the subway and are immediately surrounded by stalls and stalls in every direction selling selling selling. Socks, quesadillas, glasses, mirrors, hammocks, wigs, playing cards, coffee pots, shoes, and on and on and on. It’s a labyrinthine market alongside busy streets, chaotic traffic, and hoards of people all around. Uriel told me he was doing a project that seeks to find beauty here, in an unlikely place. Why unlikely? It’s a rundown neighborhood, dirty, not considered to be the safest place around. When I told people I was going they, every single person said the same thing: BE CAREFUL. Yet there is so much beauty here. Underneath the grime, these are people’s lives, and it is beautiful, not like the manicured lawns and mansions in other neighborhoods, but its own kind of beauty. The people here, they are smiling, kids are playing, and the bustling market is a way of life. There is warmth and community and love. Beauty is everywhere, and perhaps when you have to look a little hard, that beauty becomes even more powerful. The chaos and dirt and poverty, those things can not be equated with ugliness only by their essence, though the global cultural standard is to equate them. In the middle of the market, once you’ve gotten lost and lost again, and you come out for air, you might find this mural that is in the works. It is a piece of stunning artwork the spans the side of an entire building, bright colors and figures towering over the market stalls. It is this idea Uriel asked me to write about, that beauty can appear anywhere, even where you least expect it. It is a blatant physical manifestation of something obviously beautiful surrounded by what most consider as not so beautiful. I beg to differ, and I think the mural begs us all to differ as well. It begs us to find a lens in every situation that warms our hearts with beauty. It provides a window into another perspective, a change of heart plastered onto our eyes. Poverty is not ugly. If you look at studies, poverty leads to some of the happiest people alive, which just goes to show that money is not a primary source of beauty. We can create it out of anything; we just have to have the will. Photo by the ever-talented depth of Uriel Velasco.