Is it ok to feel better because other people are having a crappier time than you?

I’ve just been reading the blog of someone who has a dread skin disease (no, not leprosy).  I have to say I very much admire this person for not cowering in their home writing miserable poetry and planning their next suicide attempt.  If there’s anything worse than having a disease which makes you feel awful, it’s having a disease that makes you look awful.

However, as a person who habitually feels like she should be on the Ugly Chicks site (and would be if anyone tipped off the organisers), I have to say that reading this blog made me feel better.  Not that the person on it is ugly – in fact she’s rather attractive.  Just that I DON’T have a horrible skin disease.

That fact cheers me up a lot.  It makes me think that perhaps there should be websites devoted to stories about (and pictures of) unfortunate people, so that people who are comparatively lucky can go there and feel a whole lot better.  Is that as horrible as it sounds? (yes, Rose, it is).

On the other hand, I’m prepared to START such a site (because everyone has stuff in their lives that other people can feel sorry for, and Rose is no exception).  More of that later.

Ugliness. Now there’s an interesting subject.  Especially for men, apparently.  I googled ‘ugly chicks’ and came up with a whole slew of sites devoted to how you could get ugly women to stop coming onto you, what to do if your girlfriend is only gorgeous on the inside, how to use ugly women for casual sex, whether doing so brings on depression, and, well, just offering pictures of various ‘ugly’ women.

On the subject of ugliness, I find that the people I dislike, are just about always ugly (and the more I hate them, the more revolting-looking they get).

On the other hand, people I like generally have redeeming physical features, even if they seem a bit plain at first. It’s not that I don’t like ugly people, it’s that I find people I don’t like, ugly!

For instance, Paris Hilton.

Who needs to be intelligent when you look like this?

I don’t have any real reason to dislike her except that she’s stupid (try reading her book) – but since I do anyway, I find that she has an unpleasantly flat face, like she’s been washed and ironed along with her clothes.  No really, DO try reading her book, you’ll learn lots of useful things, like:

my fail safe instructions on how to be an heiress and live a privileged life

Or Lady Di. Ok she’s dead but that doesn’t stop me saying that she had a hairstyle that looked like it wouldn’t move in a typhoon, and the kind of face traditionally likened to a horse (though I don’t really see what horses have got to do with it, since they have very nice faces).

Pablo 'who are you calling ugly!'

Whereas my ex-boyfriend (when I liked him) had a charmingly polished dome, an intelligent mouth, and eyes like a much-loved pet tortoise.  Strangely, now I don’t like him, he’s changed a lot physically and I find that tortoises and those kind of spotchy pimply things you see on elderly bald heads are not after all so appealing.

Talking about dread diseases, a friend of mine has psoriasis – I always thought it was just aggravated dandruff but no, apparently it causes your skin to fall off in drifts and can kill you if you’re unlucky. And here is a blog about it which doesn’t pull any punches. Yes, psoriasis SUCKS (and yet, people who have it are often rather cute).

Anyway my friend’s a cheerful, sweet natured (and hunky) bloke though – much nicer than I am, no doubt about it.  Praps this is proof that suffering actually DOES make you a better person (still, I’d rather not have much, and be the cow I am).

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10 comments

  1. Oh honey … you know some people say that when you’re feeling shitty about your looks or your lot in life … think about all the other people who are much worse off than you … and i think that’s all you’re doing. I don’t think you’re HAPPY that this poor woman has a skin disease … but you’re being grateful for what you’ve got. NOTE: as far as excuses go … i got a million of ’em, 😉 Still you strike me as a kind person.

    And the men stuff, and the “ugly chick” stuff. U N FUCKING FAIR! That is what gets my goat! Right? That’s part of the whole ED problem. Women are supposed to be “things”, not thoughts or smarts or feelings. UNREAL.

    Warrior on woman!

    Actually, i’m attracted to men who aren’t traditionally good looking. Hey give me a big nose and a big heart, and screw the losers who judge women on boob size. HA. xooxox melissa

    • You’re so right, Melissa, I’m not happy, I’d rather nobody had any problems, but I’m not a saint and I do feel a twinge of ‘thank god it’s not me’ and ‘compared to HER/HIM I’m as well off as a pig in shit’. I believe in admitting our sins and then laughing at them. AS for ‘ugly chicks’ yeah it’s pathetic, but you have to remember that a lot of men are driven by one thing, and it doesn’t have a brain. Personally, I like guys for their smile, general niceness and interesting conversation – odd looks are fine with me!
      You warrior on too!! xo xo rose

  2. Rose,

    I think if we were honest with ourselves everyone of us is glad we don’t suffer from some terrible disease, skin condition or whatever. I have two disabled sons and I am sick of being told platitudes or getting my head patted. People with disabilities and issues have no choice but to deal with their problem, the rest of us do have a choice and don’t have to. So if you don’t like someone’s skin issue be honest about it, you will be surprised what reaction you get. I am much happier when someone comes up to me and talks to me honestly, accepting that my child has downs syndrome, rather than to get the usual ‘oh you poor thing, how do you cope’.

    Capt. Savage
    (Trained killer)

  3. People can be (naturally) a bit sensitive about their issues, though. The nice thing about many Downs syndrome people is that they rarely are (or seem to be) – they’re very cheerful usually. There are some things in life that people pussyfoot around cause they’re afraid of causing offence – death,terminal illness,appearance issues, & my mum would add politics & religion (not me though). If people were really honest, ‘ewww,what’s that on your face?’ it’d be a pretty rough world. I think if you want them to be, you have to invite them and show them how.

  4. Ah, you’ve asked the perennial male question, would you have rather have a life-threatening illness that was completely internalized, unbeknownst to the outside world…. or be bald.

    No, seriously, or have a disease that was killing you and that everyone could see?

    Me, after much debate (and mental illness), give me the outwardly visibly, slowly decaying, but very observable disease. Because as you say, before my death, I think I could make people see me as beautiful and STILL get their sympathy. A win win.

    • Maybe that’s cause you’re a man, and beauty plays a relatively small part in your life. I always remember this book I read when I was a kid, in it someone said to a little girl who cut her hair off ‘It’s the duty of every woman to be as beautiful as she can’. If we just can’t – well, we have to crack jokes instead! Or something like that.

  5. Laughed out loud, (cannot bring myself to EVER WRITE lol) upon reading your comment… and then realized that people could still see that blog that I started and stopped 4 years ago… tremendous aptitude on both our parts.

    My 4 will challenge your 6 anyday.

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