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Curse of the Pretty Person

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September 8, 2010 by wcobserver

by Alison Grisham

During my teens and twenties I struggled with my looks.  I hated my freckles, my thick, wavy locks and my hourglass shape.  I longed for a clear, milky complexion and sleek, straight hair.  I dreamed of being waifish, willowy and naturally alluring… the kind of girl who could make khakis and a tank top look trendy.  Looking back, it’s possible that J. Crew figured too prominently in my youth.

But, years of informal field research has led me to a new conclusion.  Ultimately, it’s better to be effortlessly average than exceedingly attractive.  Sure there are benefits to being beautiful.  There’s an easy confidence to people who are the envy of others.  A pretty girl doesn’t cry in dressing rooms and she doesn’t worry about being alone at the prom. But when you get older being the prettiest girl in the group is sort of like being the nicest house on the block.  It may be beautiful to look at, but typically it’s hard to live up to the hype and, at the end of the day, it’s always considered a risky investment.

Pretty girls who grow up to be pretty women have what I like to call C.P.P. or in layman’s terms, the Curse of the Pretty Person.  A pretty girl has nowhere to go but down.  Sure, she may grow up to be a perfect looking mother of three.  But trust me, she can’t just roll out of bed and run to the store in sweats the way most of us can, because someone will definitely spot her.  Then later, in say… the pick up line of the school parking lot, you’ll hear the gleeful whispers… “well you should see her without make-up.”  To make matters worse, women don’t trust her.  She’s accused of everything from batting her eyes at other women’s husbands… to baking better cupcakes for their kids.  She doesn’t make friends easily because people assume she’s shallow.  A drop dead gorgeous woman could spearhead a prayer group for all the three-fingered leper kids of the world, but unless she has a disfiguring accident herself, everyone will question her motives.

There was a time when I wanted nothing more than to be the prettiest girl in the room.  But Holy Bikini Wax… the pressure! If I go out in a bathing suit no one expects anything.  It’s free and easy.  If a beautiful mom goes out in a bathing suit, she better look like she stepped off the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition or some busy body will find a thimble’s worth of cellulite and point it out to a gaggle of onlookers.

Men are afraid to hire a beautiful woman because their wives may be jealous.  Women won’t hire a beautiful woman because they’re threatened.  Church groups assume she’s disingenuous, soccer moms don’t want the competition and all her achievements are questioned because people assume she got ahead with her looks.

So next time you’re about to waste your birthday wish on hoping for a more beautiful you, embrace your love handles, add to your crow’s feet with a great big smile and reflect on how lucky you are to be plain old you.  You may not have model looks, but you get the chance to be beautiful every day by letting the best of you shine through.  At the end of the day, it may be better to be average with endless possibilities than pretty with unreasonable expectations.

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1 comment »

  1. joiecel says:

    I love you, you put my feelings down too well.

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