I wrote a similar post to Alexainie yesterday (not sure how to link to it?), so I am quite interested in this convo, so pardon my barging in a bit!
In my youth, I was never considered “hot” or “sexy.” Looking back at pictures of myself in my 20's, I was solidly in that kind of generic-looking, girl-next-door category. Not the best-looking girl in any room, by any means, but not “unfortunate-looking” either (as my mother would say).
Like you, I had a fair number of really stunningly pretty friends, though. I saw what kind of “power” they had (superficial as it was) to influence guys they met. It was almost frightening, actually, what kind of behaviour they could get away with if they wanted.
I am still in touch with one of those girls and let me tell you, she is having an incredibly hard time dealing with the aging process. For so much of her life, things were literally just handed to her without any real effort on her part. Now her looks are fading, it is safe to say she is panicking a bit.
I truly think that for those women (and I can relate to the envy of the “pretty people”) getting older means a huge change in how they are treated out in the world. Imagine being super rich, then losing your millions and having to go back to taking the bus or whatever. A change like that can have devastating psychological effects on a person.
Age is a leveller in many regards. I really think people who have never had the benefit of “beauty privilege” end up doing better (emotionally/psychologically) later in life.