Let’s start this off with a meaningful quote.
“All eyes on me when I walk in
No question that this girl’s a 10
Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful
Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful” – Keri Hilson
Recently I had a conversation with a guy, and we ended up for some strange reason talking about the Great British Bake Off. I think I’ve watched it once or twice, but it’s not something i follow at all, even though it’s probably the type of show I could potentially get interested in. The focus of the conversation veered from cupcakes and icing into talking about the various contestants. I was aware that one of the contestants, Ruby, was the focus of a lot of negative attention; described as whiny, unnecessarily self deprecating, and riding on the wave of her ‘prettiness’ and the fact that one of the male judges wanted to ‘bang’ her. I’m not sure about any of the accusations, and frankly, I don’t care to investigate the judging discrepancies of a muffin show (or any other TV cooking show before someone accuses me of being internally sexist), but I was interested in some of the commentary that said Ruby’s looks were one of the reasons she was subjected to so much vitriol. Now personally, I agree with judge Paul Hollywood that Kimberley (another contestant) is actually prettier, but regardless, ex-model Ruby was singled out as the hot chick of the show (and I could go off topic about why that might be, but we’ll save that for another post).
It’s indisputable there are massive benefits to being pretty. And I’m not talking girl pretty – we all think our female friends are pretty and we meet each other in gaggles in the toilet practically in seizures about how amaaazziiiing each others hair is, but let’s face it, there’s friend pretty and there’s ‘pretty girl’ pretty.
Pretty girls definitely cannot complain that they’ve drawn the short straw in life. Pretty girls can get speeding tickets erased with the batting of a well mascara’d eye. Pretty girls can get to the second stage of job interviews over the not so pretty chick with the same qualifications. Pretty girls make better gold diggers. Pretty girls get to read Sky news. Pretty girls get chased after in the playground age 6 while their not so pretty friend is left standing under a tree, or running only to find that no one is actually chasing her. Research shows that being being more conventionally attractive makes you more likely to be successful.We know all this is somewhat true, and I suppose in a way, it sucks. In my opinion, no more than it sucks that people who are naturally intelligent don’t have to work as hard – it is what it is.
On the flip side though, pretty girls don’t always have it great all the time. It’s easy to look at them and sarcastically say..”Sure, life must be really hard when everyone thinks you’re drop dead gorgeous…*rolls eyes*”, but I think *puts on Oprah voice* there’s something deeper.
A while ago I was chatting to my brother, and he said that some of his female friends who are the most attractive are the most deeply insecure. I was whining my usual whine that men are superficial plebs with as much depth as Peter Andre album, and that I know so many great women who appear to get passed over because they don’t fit into a particular standard of beauty, when he noted that the grass isn’t always greener. Pretty girls have issues too. They know that a lot of the men who appear to be interested in them, see them as trophies. They worry that their personality is overlooked by men who care more about their outer than inner beauty. They’re concerned that other women make negative assumptions about them based on the fact that they get so much male attention. Let’s be honest, women are socialised to put so much stock in appearance that some of us can be pretty insecure and hateful when we feel that another woman has a bit more luck in that area. Although some would disagree with this (“Everyone likes pretty people -– especially if the good-looking person in question happens to also be a good person. Think about it, who did everyone want to be friends with in grade school: the pretty girl…if you’re having a hard time connecting with women, it’s probably not your looks. It’s probably because you suck” from xojane.com). Sometimes people are surprised when pretty girls are intelligent, and question that they’ve actually earned their success as opposed to having boob-flashed and hair-flicked their way up the corporate ladder.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, these appear to be minor problems, and I’m not denying that the societal privileges that come with being pretty probably far outweigh any of the insecurities someone might have as a result of said prettiness. But in an age where there appears to be an increasing acceptance on taking more drastic measures to modify ourselves to become ‘flawless’ (yes Beyonce, I see you), it’s interesting to note that prettier does not necessarily= happier….
What do you guys think? Pretty girls, anyone willing to admit some of the downsides to being pretty?Or are the girls who complain about this just category A Whiners? And don’t be scared of calling yourself pretty by the way – I won’t judge you for it. Not that routine arrogance is ever recommended, but everyone has their strengths (if you want to call it a strength).