The Dynamics of Keira Knightly's face: The Handsome Paradox.

Every man is entitled to his opinions. This is why I entertained a conversation with one Aran Koch about the handsomeness of a woman. I shall now relay the conversation.

Aran: Women can't be handsome fam :-s. (Smileys are the greatest gift given to us by the 2000s. Can you imagine life without them?)

Afam:They can

Aran: The women I'm with would disagree

Afam:Pah! They know nothing. A woman can be handsome. Take for example, Keira Knightly. (Keira Knightly is probably the most handsomest woman in all the land see below for proof.)

Aran: Afam, I feel as though you are digging yourself a hole from which you will have grave difficulty climbing out . To suggest that Keira is handsome would be a gross misunderstanding. She is a lady and therefore beautiful. Please correct this as I feel you're very much in the wrong. Kind regards.

Afam: There is nothing wrong with calling a woman handsome. Keira Knightly's jaw could have been surgically transplanted from a construction worker hence her face can no longer be described as being classically beautiful. Please refer to this quote you overgrown turnip “By a handsome woman, we understand one that is tall, graceful, and well-shaped, with a regular disposition of features; by a pretty, we mean one that is delicately made, and whole features are so formed as to please; by a beautiful, a union of both,” writes John Trusler in 1783's The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language.

Aran: Regardless, I challenge you to find a women who would like to be called handsome ;) (That my friends is a wink). 

Afam: Crikey! Challenge accepted! 

enter Sir Tolu

Sir Tolu: How about this woman?(See creature below)

 Afam: Well done Tolu. The next time I see you I shall replace your head with a limousine.

I decided to do some social research.

enter Coks
 In primary school I believed Coks the height of beauty and good breeding. Her skin was the colour of the flesh of a mango. Her limbs were long and supple. As if all of that weren't enough she towered over me by more than a head. What can I say? I had good taste.

Afam: If someone called you handsome what would you think?

Coks: Me? As in a girl, handsome? 

Afam: Yah.

Coks: Personally I'd be fine... lol.

Coks: I'd assume the person had used the wrong word.

Coks: Don't call a girl handsome.
Afam: Would it be a compliment or...?

Coks: It really depends on how chilled she is as a person.

That wasn't very encouraging. I embarked on even more social research. This time I turned to my good friend's younger sister, Keji.
enter Keji
Afam: If someone called you handsome what would you think?

Keji: Lol, handsome??? (three question marks?)

Afam: Yes, handsome.

Keji: That I look like a man. :(.

My cause was losing steam. So I called on Starmix. She's usually a stronghold of support.
enter Starmix
Afam: If someone, I'll rephrase that, if I called you handsome what would you think?

Starmix: That I looked like a pretty boy.

Afam: Would you take it?

Starmix: I might, but why not spring for beautiful, or pretty. Surely you can find it within yourself to do better. 

Afam: But handsome is 2 parts better than pretty and less than a part worse than beautiful.

Starmix: We'll agree to disagree. I'm quite sure that there's a word for what you mean and it isn't handsome. Please refrain.

I know handsome may seem like an old-fashioned adjective when applied to women, but even the Urban dictionary defines a handsome woman as "A woman with the kind of refined beauty and attractiveness that requires poise, dignity, and strength of mind and character."

In conclusion, failed to complete my challenge for I could not find one lady who would be content with being referred to as handsome but the New York Mirror had the right of it when they declared “A handsome woman is handsome only in one way; a pretty one is pretty as a thousand.”  in 1832.

Many thanks to Coks, Starmix, Keji, Sir Tolu and Aran. Extra special thanks to  Autumn Whitefield Mandrano for providing me with several of the interesting quotes used in this post.

Happy Days,

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