Reading someone’s very poignant blog about not feeling ‘beautiful’ (and I can SO relate to that) made me think – why the hell are people are so keen to be beautiful anyhow. There are just so many OTHER things you can be – intelligent, witty, fun, insightful, sympathetic or just damn good at fixing car engines – why should we care if we’re not goodlooking? Who gives a stuff!
And yet, most of us (especially chicks) do. We all want at least someone (other than mum) to say ‘you’re beautiful’ with that genuine quiver of the lip that says they really mean it and are not just bullshitting to get you into a warm dark place.
Maybe the answer is that beauty is power, especially for a woman. If you don’t have it, and have ever had someone (male) walk away while you’re talking to them, or fawn over the more beauteous person you happen to be with, offering to service their car for free, buy them fancy dinners and give them a job with a view – well, you know what that power consists of.
And even if you are the most fascinating, funny, brilliant and angelic person in your street (which I am – well, at No 7 anyway) , none of that will give you the power to make people adore you and want to do extravagant things for you. A nice nose and some eyelash-curlers, might. No wonder the great rush to get the plastic fantastic.
On the other hand – and as a less well-favoured though not totally un-gorgeous person I feel the need to smugly point this out to myself – power never really did bring happiness, and beauty like any other kind of power is as much a trap as it is a gift. I mean, is Britney Spears famous for being happy? Marilyn Monroe? Grace Kelly? Nah – they just make slightly prettier corpses (or, train wrecks, as the case may be).
Is there anyone out there who’s ugly and likes it?