We love tango in part because tango is beautiful. There is nothing wrong with that. People pursue beauty for the same reason that plants bloom and birds sing. It is natural. It pleases the eye and attracts mates. It provides a better chance for living things to reproduce. Beauty is a valuable resource for those who own it. As a result, beauty is admired, worshiped, idolized and imitated in our culture. Fashion, cosmetics, silicon implant, face-lift surgery and many other methods are developed to make people look beautiful. Tens of billions are spent each year for it. Nowadays, beauty is no longer natural, genetic and real. It becomes artificial, perverted and delusive.
When people are obsessed with superficial things, substances are ignored and problems occur. A beautiful woman may have advantages. But at the same time she may also have disadvantages. She may be spoiled, arrogant and self-centric. She may be less prepared for the tough realities in real life. She may demand more and be hard to please. She is more likely to be a prey of men, an envy and jealousy of women, and a heart breaker to many. Thus she has many enemies. Consequently, she is more suspicious, aloof, unfriendly and cold. Her relationship with others is more problematic. She lives a less tranquil life. One has to bear in mind its cost when pursuing beauty. Beauty is only a skin deep. It is neither the only thing nor the most important thing in life as well as in tango.
Just like those focusing on the external tend to overlook the internal, people fond of fancy steps often ignore feelings. However, without the substance the look is an empty shell. True beauty comes from within. The beauty of tango is largely conceptional. (See The Conceptional Beauty of Tango.) It lies in the shared intimacy, understanding, agreement, connection, comfort, oneness and harmony. If you go to the milongas in Buenos Aires, you will see that is how tango is danced by the Argentinians. They don't care much about how they look. They don't do fancy steps. They concentrate on the relationship, and their dance is so beautiful that it is imitated everywhere by shallow minded foreigners without understanding its essence. (See Exhibition versus Fellowship.)
Tango is still too young in this country. It takes maturity to overcome shallowness and understand true beauty. The more I dance with women of all ages, the more I appreciate mature women. Even in Argentina, I find that mature women are better dancers in general. Their youthful freshness is fading away, and they start to focus more on the substance rather than the surface of beauty. It is my hope that tango in this country, too, will overcome its shallowness and pay more attention to the substance, as our tango community becomes maturer.