Exempli gratia

Posted on April 20, 2012 by

I usually avoid using specific people as examples of negative phenomena, but this one was just too perfect to pass up. The Daily Mail, the queen of journalism, recently published the following ridiculous article: ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful.

Yes, that’s the real title, and it’s not an April Fool’s joke. You will get a laugh, however, if you click through to see what this woman actually looks like. That woman isn’t physically beautiful, by any stretch of the imagination. She’s attractive, but I don’t think she a raving beauty. She does think that she’s beautiful and people tell her that she’s beautiful, and that’s what I’d like to address today.

Women of pleasant but mediocre appearance being treated like minor royalty by the men around them quickly develop an amazingly inflated ego. This leads to such a gross lack of humility that they become rather intolerable to be around (if you’re a woman) and difficult to keep as a mate (if you’re a man). I have to deal with numerous such women on a regular basis and their personalities absolutely grate.

They have no objectivity in their self-perception.

Notice that she didn’t marry until she was 37, and she still refers to herself as beautiful at the age of 41. I’m 31 and olive-skinned, and the age is already clearly showing on my face, but at least I am aware of that fact and don’t make a fool of myself by pretending that time has stood still on my appearance. I do not know what possessed her to write this article, but she received much criticism for it and decided to reiterate the same statement again in another one.

I truly believe her claims that men constantly approach her, compliment her, and shower her with gifts and adoration, but I disagree that this is because she is so beautiful. I hear the same claims from many attractive women, but rarely from the truly beautiful ones. Beautiful women get the overwhelming majority of their compliments from other women, who are genuinely astonished by their prettiness and openly admiring, not from men.

Why is this? Well, why would a man bother wasting his time on a woman who was out of his league? Even if a man thought she was pretty, he’d generally refrain from saying so, as inflating her ego further is counter-productive to his overriding goal of wanting to seduce her. If anything, beautiful women have their appearance constantly criticized by the men around them, and the rest of the men treat them as if they were invisible or neuter. They also regularly have their appearance negatively compared to professional models in magazines, rather than being judged in comparison to the women around them in real life.

This is why they are often internally conflicted in that they know that they are beautiful, but they don’t feel¬†beautiful. The former is rather objective, the latter has more to do with receiving approval. They don’t receive much approval.

True story.

The very concept this article is grounded upon seemed counter-factual to me. If anything, physical beauty is generally associated with positive qualities like health, intelligence, and altruism, which is why beautiful people are so generally well-liked, inexplicably trusted, and often take on leadership roles. There are some downsides to being beautiful, like the fact that you will attract a disproportionate number of arrogant and cruel men. But this woman’s problems — and those of the many women similarly, but less grossly afflicted — are all in her own head.

Posted in: Relationships