The hostage taking of the beautiful by the ugly
I’m a good-looking girl. I’m accustomed to being charmed and have people around me making efforts to make me smile. I’m even used to having people flirting with me, so much I think that’s what real life is, until someone who doesn’t live like that points it out. Yet receiving flirts doesn’t mean I want to receive more from those who try to seduce me, as if to thank them for noticing me. A lot of people notice me.
This kind of entitled behavior comes from both a lack of compassion and a huge ego. Lack of compassion in the same way as a joke about someone’s name. You didn’t even put one minute into thinking that you were not the first one to make that joke. That person has been defined by that daily recurrence, because of a name they haven’t chosen and that casts a shadow on the rest of their memories. But cracking the joke made you laugh, and more than just a selfish joke, it was one that put the other person down.
You’ve been arrogant enough to believe you were the only one to notice the symmetry of my face.
For the compliment on my appearance, you’ve done the same thing. You probably thought I would terribly appreciate it. You’ve been arrogant enough to believe you were the only one to notice the symmetry of my face, you’ve thought you were particularly brave to say it to me and, certain of the effect it would have on me, you expected an effusion of “thank you” to your particularly cavalier move. Because it’s how you would have reacted if you had been me, so you think.
You’ve failed to realize that nothing made you stand out from the crowd, that you had no particular sense of esthetics, had not just discovered something nobody had ever noticed.
But you’ve failed to put yourself in my shoes, you’ve failed to compare our faces and see we have a different appearance. You’ve failed to understand that my pleasant physique doesn’t respond to your subjective preference but is more about a scientific truth, the kind of face babies smile to, a Golden number that once made people say “Gaby, your profile belongs on the Sistine Chapel”. You’ve failed to realize that nothing made you stand out from the crowd, that you had no particular sense of esthetics, had not just discovered something nobody had ever noticed, had not just told me something I hadn’t heard before. You’ve failed at not putting me in the category “beautiful people” and not define me only by that. Because after all, you thought, beauty is a quality, and what a quality! It’s the quality that gives the illusion of competence, intelligence, compassion, generosity, … It’s the quality that can replace them all.
When you uttered “you’re beautiful”, you revealed altogether your thoughts about me, your perception of you, and your truth about ugly people.
So, whereas out of political correctness you would say of someone not so gracious “there’s more to life than looks, and it’s not like they chose that face”. I made you forget that your good intentions were supposed to be impartial, and when you uttered “you’re beautiful”, you revealed altogether your thoughts about me, your perception of you, and your truth about ugly people. And you made me understand that for beautiful people, only looks matter and you hold us responsible for our gracious appearance.
I see you, with your grin, waiting for a reply you’ve already crafted in your mind when you tell us we look good.
When you give those compliments, it feels like good-looking people owe something to the rest of the world. I see you, with your grin, waiting for a reply you’ve already crafted in your mind when you tell us we look good. It always feels like a kind of transaction and you’re waiting for more than a simple thank you to your noticing the visual grace we bring to the world. Because beauty has been dealt in such an unfair way, it seems to you that we are responsible for having too much and you too little, as if we had directly stolen it from you.
When you compliment us, you’re thinking in transactional terms, in reproductive terms, in what will serve your interests best.
Your compliments are never free. You hope that, in return, we will let you taste a bit of beauty. More than tasting it, you want it for you. Because you can’t really have it for yourself, but you will improve your genes for the next generation. You’re thinking in transactional terms, in reproductive terms, in what will serve your interests best.
I’m soon going to reach the expiration date for females or, at least, I won’t have the advantage of age anymore. I’m transitioning from a platonic beauty to a more subjective one, a beauty made by who I am and what I do, and not by what you tell me.
So, faced with so many options about who we could mate with and who we could be, we let you decide for us.
“Given your looks, you could be with anyone.” easily turns into “you could be anyone’s” as much as “you could be anyone”. Human beings are not made to have too many options, leading us to being stuck in the toothpaste alley, and beautiful people, unable to decide who they are, changing clothes and personality as we please. After all, everything suits us so well, from shoulder pads to stupidity. So, faced with so many options about who we could mate with and who we could be, we let you decide for us. We let you use us as mirrors that we hold back to you, to show your power and achievement when you win a war or an election.
We give you the power you’ve craved, the one to hold our life in your eyes, for if you don’t see us, we don’t exist.
You may think we, good looking people, should shut the fuck up and enjoy what so many crave, or you may feel entitled to ask for my picture. After all, who the fuck does she think she is? Let’s see if she’s beautiful enough to say this kind of thing. You keep us trapped in our body, not allowed to say what we think, having to be modest and giving us the responsibility of balancing the bad repartition of qualities among the population, by not, please, please, being a beauty and brains. So we slowly stop speaking, start hiding what we may think, to finally stop thinking altogether, after all there’s no point, you won’t see beyond our looks. We give you the power you’ve craved, the one to hold our life in your eyes, for if you don’t see us, we don’t exist.
So please, let us, beautiful people, be human beings too, let us have flaws, may they not be physical. Let me show you you’re right when you think we’re arrogant, let me tell you’re right when you think we’re stupid, selfish, self-obsessed, clever, competent and kind. Close your eyes and open our mouth.