Beauty isn’t all that. We’re so conditioned by the “Halo Effect” that we are fast to assume that beautiful people are happier or that they’ve got it easier because of their above-average looks. How did we wind up so hyper-focused on youth and exterior beauty, anyway? As if being or possessing beauty makes the secret sauce for all of life’s pleasures. Maybe it isn’t fair that some of us come into the world with an advantage like perfect symmetrical features or a multi-million-dollar inheritance. I mean, outer beauty and money are alike in that everyone wants a piece of the action despite that owning either of them alone is not nearly enough to bring us true happiness.
Least of all, physical beauty.
“Every girl is beautiful. Sometimes it just takes the right guy to see it.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
But if we are going to talk about beautiful women, then we need to be very clear about what it means to be physically beautiful. Feminine beauty is recognized by all mankind. Yet, globally, it has no absolutes in fixed standards in that some cultures where food is scarce, (like countries in Africa and the South Pacific Islands) often define obesity as a sign of beauty. Whereas, the opposite is vastly true in western cultures, where food is more abundant.
Beauty does really lie in the eye of the perceiver.
In reality, the culture makes no difference. The fact is that Male sexuality is far more visually-driven than female sexuality, and, from the get-go, women everywhere are socialized into the concept of beauty for the benefit of men — being a beautiful woman means being sexually appealing to men.
That’s it in a nutshell.
There’s no avoiding the truth about the beauty-biased nature of our society, or how many women want to be and remain desirable to men.
Once a woman reaches a certain age and spots the appearance of wrinkles and crow’s feet, and gravity begins to do its thing, the thought of beauty-expiry is all too real. Hence, the booming sales in every department store cosmetic counter and the lucrative cosmetic surgery business.
Lunch-time lip-filler, anyone? How about getting both sets of lips done while you’re there?
Men prefer pouty vagina lips over shrivelled gills. Let’s all blow up our lady gardens to be even more beautiful for them.
Personally, I can’t help but feel that so many of today’s women are putting way too much pressure on, and poison in themselves so that they can uphold society’s image of what constitutes beauty. We so easily buy into the image presented by the media and risk major health complications in the name of achieving the body-beautiful.
Just about everyone is a slave to the beauty gene in one way or another, and really, its one big crock of shit.
The Negative Side Effects of Beauty
It feels icky to say this now, but I was one of those young women born blessed with the beauty gene. Thanks to my heritage and for better or worse, I had to live with that fact.
It might sound strange to hear someone speak about beauty as if it has a downside. But natural beauty is like any other prerequisite human trait in that it comes with its own set of internal warfare, life-lessons and personal challenges, and not every beautiful woman can get comfortable with what it means to be outwardly beautiful.
To truly discover what it means to be a beautiful woman, we must first understand the impact her appearance has on others and how it influences her life experiences.
“Great beauty in another person inspires all kinds of emotions: admiration, desire, hope, despair and sometimes envy…”
The negative side effects of beautiful women can often:
Beauty blinds us to the point of unrealistic expectations. We all tend to naturally form an opinion of someone within minutes of meeting them. Though, beautiful people are more likely to generate first impressions not unlike superficial, skin-deep fantasies.
For instance, a beautiful woman is seen and treated in a certain way by society at large. In an article published by Psyblog, Jeremy Dean says that: “People generally assume that if you’re an attractive person it also means you possess better social skills, an interesting and outgoing personality, more elegance, intelligence, kindness and friendliness.”
It’s the beauty bubble fantasy.
Men are particularly good at creating the illusory fantasy around a beautiful woman, creating an image in his head where she’s a perfect, fragile creature who can hardly think for herself and needs protecting from the world.
The thing about it is that beautiful women are as human as the next person — she is no better or worse. Which means that her less-than-perfect characteristics will eventually shatter mans self-created “angelic” illusion of her.
Researcher Catherine Eckel confirms:
“People have very high expectations of the level of trust of beautiful people. When beautiful people fail to live up to those expectations, they’re punished more harshly than people who are not beautiful.”
The fall from grace can be that much harder.
Then there are those who feel instantly threatened when confronted by natural beauty. This usually reveals itself in the form of envy, jealousy or insecurities and can lead to social rejection by members of the same sex.
A study published by PubMed found that although attractive people are generally socially popular, there is also evidence that very attractive people can experience social rejection from members of their own sex (D Krebs, A A Adinolfi, 1978).
My younger days experienced social rejection when my closest girlfriends outed me because of the way I looked. They avoided me like the plague when they had a new man in their lives, telling me outright that they were reluctant to have me around him.
Somehow, my presence made them feel insecure when around the opposite sex and they didn’t want to deal with how their men might react to me.
So, I was regularly left out of social get-togethers because of my appearance, and regardless of the person they knew I was (and still am) on the inside.
A definite negative side effect right there.
Assumptions fly, yes.
The inescapable thing about being a beautiful young woman is that random men often believe that she’s an open ticket at a “hit-on-me” buffet. They assume that because she is out in the world doing her thing, it means she wants to be approached with flirty, unwanted pick-up lines.
No. Just no.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times a strange man stopped me in public or pulled over in a car after spotting me, attempting to lure me into conversation and get my number. It happened whether I was in the city working or just wandering around on the weekend.
Sometimes it got scary and it definitely became an invasion of privacy — to the point that there was a time when I came to dread the prospect of leaving the house because I didn’t want to have to deal with men in my normal, everyday life.
I’m not the only woman to have felt this way:
“The negative side effect: creepy old men follow me or try to talk to me in public. They enter my personal space and I am scared.” — From the UK Independent.
Another negative side effect of beauty is that there is no such thing as being “one of the guys” with a group of heterosexual men, at least not for an extended period of time and especially not after a few beers work into the mix.
The sex part always gets in the way and that gets awkward.
Beauty is a Unique Journey in Itself
“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.”
— Audrey Hepburn
Negative side effects aside, it’s obvious that “beauty magic” does have its perks. Beautiful people often experience an advantage in the form of opportunities, favors, extra attention and choice of romantic partners that might make the discussion above seem inadmissible to some.
Regardless of how life works out for her, a beautiful woman is always going to be in real danger of her beauty festering into vanity and conceit, or even eventual depression if she continues to buy into our culture’s definition of beauty and hinge her self-worth on her outer qualities and male attention — and that fact has the potential of becoming the ultimate negative side effect of a beautiful woman.
Me? Nowadays, I am nowhere near the youthful beauty that I used to be, but I have never felt more beautiful in my own (un-filled) skin or more comfortable with who I am on the inside. And I couldn’t have got here without experiencing both the negative and positive side effects of beauty, and how those elements impact my unique life journey.
Exterior beauty showed me the value in focusing inward rather than outward.
In a world obsessed with either owning, exploiting or elevating beautiful women to the unrealistic, she, the beautiful one, above all other creatures must find a way to see beauty for what it truly is:
Beauty is her truth, quality of heart and ability to connect with eternal love.
Maybe beauty is all that after all.
Thank you for reading, beautiful! Subscribe to hear more from me and grab a free read while you’re there :-)