I see ugliness all over today, and it's not just something generational, that is, what happens every generation with older people not liking the latest with the younger ones. We live in a culture that glories in ugliness. In most cases, the uglier the better. This occurs when God stops being the standard.
Objective beauty is the holiness of God. This means that the perfections of God's attributes, those characteristics, as revealed in general through creation and the law written in man's heart and then in the Word of God, define beauty. What contradicts those is ugly. Anything that clashes with God and His nature is ugliness.
One might think that men wouldn't be attracted to ugliness, that it would die on its own for the comparison to beauty. The allurement is what entices the flesh. It isn't credible. It is attractive to fallen humanness. It doesn't have to make sense, because it goes along with depravity, the consequence of a reprobate mind. However, just because men like it and want it doesn't mean that it is beautiful. It is ugly. You are right to think that is ugly. Don't doubt that.
Because beauty proceeds from God, it is necessarily mimetic, that is, it is an imitation or a copy of what God creates or does. It reflects on God. Mimesis contrasts with poiesis, which finds authenticity through the expression of self on its own terms. The Corinthians justified it by saying it's only natural, it's "meat for the body and the body for meats." Babylonian mysticism connected these impressions, proceeding from self, to some spiritual inspiration, identifying foul sensual assertions as divine. The contemporary church is now rife with this, conceiving many of twice the children of Hell they once were.
Now someone who endorses and promotes poiesis and then fellowships with its makers, adherents, and advocates, the ugliness that contradicts the nature of God, might claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ. This person turns the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4).
In contrast, the Lord Jesus submitted in every way to the will of God the Father, pleasing Him. The Apostle Paul was then an imitator of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), calling on others also to be imitators. The plan of God is imitation. Man is is made in the image of God and in His likeness, so man himself is an imitation, a divine endorsement of imitation. God would have imitation the model or paradigm. Then Jesus gave the example of doing exactly what the Father and wanted and what the Father did. In John 5:17, Jesus said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." They were doing the same work.
With his upward gaze, man is to see, contemplate, and meditate upon the work of God, the glory of God, and imitate what He did and does. That work is beautiful. Man is not to look into himself to find beauty, producing something new and different.
In so many ways, the expressions of men's selves run in direct contradiction to what God said to do and in violation of what He said not to do. Men fashion themselves after women and women after men. Men resemble femininity and women masculinity. In their "authentic" ways, they turn exactly away to what God commanded against. God prohibited marking one's skin in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:28), because it was pagan and these kinds of associations with the world God teaches against (Romans 12:2, 1 Timothy 2:9, Zephaniah 1:8, Leviticus 19:28). The extreme piercings of varied body parts, butch hair and combat boots on women, long hair on men, and unnatural hair colors all fall in the same category. They express degradation.
There is so much trashiness in the culture, it is hard to describe it all. Today you hear, dumpster fire. The culture is a dumpster fire. So many things are wrong and embraced fully for their sheer ugliness. One could hope that someone could be permitted with freedom of speech to call this ugliness what it is, to give it a true characterization. The culture has gone further to disallow an accurate label. The beautiful can be assailed and aspersed, the most reprehensible things said against what is aligned with God. Criticism of the ugly is said to trigger, cause a lack of wellness, and violate personal boundaries in a criminal way.
The ugliness very commonly spawns from disobedience to parents. Offspring rebelliously separate themselves from their parents without explanation or cause. These are the teenagers with their earbuds, fettered to sensual rhythms pumping into their brains and bodies, hiding this, but the ugliness feeding into an external attitude that challenges authority. They just want their own way, as Solomon describes in the first few chapters of Proverbs. Women now wear in public something that was once only in the bedroom, and this is fashion. Women wear the stretchy leggings, which leave nothing to men's imaginations. Men wear earrings, not long ago a solely feminine adornment. Contemporary entertainers tap into rebellion manifested in extreme hairstyles and bizarre fashion.
There are reasons why scriptural Christianity through history stayed free of markings, tattoos, and piercings. They are characteristic pagan phenomena emerging from minds not submissive to the Word of God or the characteristics of general revelation of God. They are intended to defy theological norms. They do not imitate Divine design.
The decorations of ugliness do not mirror the attributes of God, but glory in the manifestations of the sin nature in man. It is distorted. It is deteriorated. You've seen the dilapidated, decaying structures. If it's not that, it is a demented modernism, portraying the excesses of covetousness, often related to alcohol, entertainment, and sensuality. This is embraced as authentic and art.
Various terms masque the determined uglification of music today, one being alternative. Alternative according to the dictionary definition is "one or two or more things available as another possibility." You were going to walk, but you had alternative transportation. That was the normal usage. Then a certain faction called homosexuality an alternative lifestyle, the terminology justifying the behavior. Now that term is used to justify other ugliness, obviously springing out of that same rationalization.
What is alternative? There is popular music, conforming to the world and the present age. Alternative is a further degradation, a digression to further perversion. For music, it first applied to punk rock and its grotesque nonconformity to what is good and right, and even more extreme form of abasement. These are forms not ordinarily accepted, pushing the envelope in a world already way off the narrow road.
The Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:10 prayed for the church at Philippi, that they would "approve things that are excellent." A true believer will test and then accept only that which is of absolute or objective beauty. The word "excellent" is part of a verb that means "to be worth more or superior to." Later in Philippians 4:8, Paul commands, think on these things, among which are "things that are lovely." Characteristic of a culture and life departing from God is the embrace of the ugly. Not only do these things that pertain to the world and the flesh lure to the broad road of destruction, but speed the pace of someone further down that road to a place where he can never return. He's eternally lost.