Being a Pretty Girl
September 1, 2005 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Whats it like to be a Pretty Girl I found this link while surfing this morning and thought it might make an interesting thread. Not that the writer has any great insights to share, but what is it like to be a Pretty Girl? Pros? Cons? Comments to the contrary? Has anyone been hoodwinked by a Pretty Girl? Any good stories out there to pass a Thursday morning?
posted by elendil71 (205 comments total)
 
Clearly the primary benefit of being pretty – in this twit's case anyhoo – is that it makes it extra-easy to earn a living as a glorified hooker!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 8:10 AM on September 1, 2005


It's a double-bladed sword.
Many pretty girls are insecure; I suppose it's difficult to know who really likes you.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:10 AM on September 1, 2005


Why do I feel dumber for reading the first half of that post? How do I get rid of this felling of self-loathing for being suckered into that? Did anyone actually finish reading that drivel? Can we form a support group?

All important questions which never would have been raised if we hadn't been alerted to this blog post.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:11 AM on September 1, 2005


First off, I bet this blogger is actually a potato-chip crumb covered fat guy.

Second, if it isn't, "Golly, it's so hard to be so beautiful..." is not something that really gets my sympathy gland a-pumpin'. Cry me a river, glamourpuss.
posted by jonmc at 8:13 AM on September 1, 2005


But I look at other women sometimes – women who, to be blunt about it, aren't pretty at all – and I feel slightly guilty. It's same kind of guilt I occasionally feel about being white, or coming from an upper-middle-class family, who could afford to send me to private schools and buy me a pony. I got something you didn't get.

*sigh*
posted by NationalKato at 8:13 AM on September 1, 2005


All this useless beauty!
posted by johngoren at 8:14 AM on September 1, 2005


Um.. huh?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:15 AM on September 1, 2005


The other day I parked in a pay lot downtown and went into a store that validates for that lot. I did my shopping, but when I left the store and was about to present my ticket to the lot attendant, I realized I had forgotten to get it stamped. Damn, I thought, I don't want to go all the way back in there now. So I fluffed out my hair a little and smiled winningly at the attendant and explained how silly I'd been, could he please let me slide this one time?
I felt his eyes flick over me, and he smiled back, almost ruefully. "Yeah, all right, go ahead", he said. We both knew - it was a Pretty Girl Moment.


If you ask me, she's making quite an assumption there. Maybe the attendant was thinking," Yeah, whatever, you dumb airhead, just let me get back to my copy of Field and Wine magazine."
posted by scratch at 8:16 AM on September 1, 2005


That was one of the stupidest things I've ever read.

Not that the writer has any great insights to share

Well. In that case, thank you for posting it to metafilter.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:16 AM on September 1, 2005


NationalKato, I think the correct response you were looking for is Shut the Fuck Up, Twat. What an obnoxious woman. I can't imagine any woman feeling demeaned by the "beauty" of a hooker.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:17 AM on September 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


There is a stage show about this topic - Pieces of Ass
(I got to help research some of the evolutionary biology with one of the performers : )

Also a good short book on the topic, survival of the prettiest.
posted by milovoo at 8:17 AM on September 1, 2005


Yeah, right. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:18 AM on September 1, 2005


They could afford to send her to private schools and she ends up as a prostitute. Well I guess my envy for the born rich is now cured. Thank you mistress matisse!
posted by funambulist at 8:19 AM on September 1, 2005


I felt his eyes flick over me, and he smiled back, almost ruefully. "Yeah, all right, go ahead", he said. We both knew - it was a Pretty Girl Moment.

Moments like that, I absolutely relish saying "No," and disappointing them. It's also fun being unattractive around people like her, you can hang around them and watch them squirm as if it's catching or something.
posted by jonmc at 8:19 AM on September 1, 2005


Well, the photo on the blog's hot though it treads the eating disorder line (stomachs don't go in when you bend over like that).

And I get the intent of the post, Pretty Girls and pretty people have life lubricated for them most of the time. People are likely to let pretty people slide by, cut in line, whatever. Our society's kind of whack that way.
posted by fenriq at 8:22 AM on September 1, 2005


No matter how physically attractive a person may be, being that self-centered and that egotistical is never pretty.

Nice F-Me boots though.
posted by ruthsarian at 8:23 AM on September 1, 2005


There is a stage show about this topic - Pieces of Ass

In case anyone is interested, the show is as shallow and stupid as the blog post. I do *not* recommend it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:23 AM on September 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


jonmc, yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Many get to the point where they get agitated that you don't just lie down for them to walk all over you.

Sometimes being pretty is a curse though. Like when drunk teenagers try to hire you cheap and stuff. Or they ask for a two-fer when you really need that second trick to keep your pimp happy.
posted by fenriq at 8:24 AM on September 1, 2005


an upper-middle-class family, who could afford to send me to private schools and buy me a pony....They could afford to send her to private schools and she ends up as a prostitute.

I blame the pony.
posted by jonmc at 8:24 AM on September 1, 2005


From her glossary:

Safe Words: A word or set of words agreed upon by the participants that will end the scene.

MeFi needs a safe word that will end this scene.
posted by tpl1212 at 8:25 AM on September 1, 2005


Pepsi-Blue
posted by stbalbach at 8:28 AM on September 1, 2005


Perhaps we're being a bit rash. I think I understand what Ms. Matisse is going through: Just this morning, I had an echocardiogram. The technician was a silent, distant man who, after telling me to 'take [my] top off' and pointing to the examination table, proceeded to do his business in silence. Shortly after, I was left standing half naked and alone in the middle of the room with a handful of paper towels, wiping a cold goo off of my chest.

Am I one of the pretty people now?
posted by NationalKato at 8:31 AM on September 1, 2005


What a whore.
posted by delmoi at 8:35 AM on September 1, 2005


I missed the part where she said she was a hooker.
posted by zach4000 at 8:37 AM on September 1, 2005


Sorry to be judgemental but I'd rate the esteemed author as average looking. I don't doubt that many guys do give her preferential treatment because guys afterall are easily distracted by short skirts, long hair, and flirting.
posted by StarForce5 at 8:38 AM on September 1, 2005


From an Ugly Guy perspective: You suck!
posted by Harry at 8:39 AM on September 1, 2005


So does anybody think that pretty girls ever get preferential treatment?
posted by JanetLand at 8:40 AM on September 1, 2005


Ah, pretty-girl-specific misogyny raises its head once more.
The article is kind of bleh, but certainly not worth the abuse you people are heaping on this woman.
She's attractive and gets preferential treatment and you don't? Deal. Some pretty girl didn't give you the attention you wanted? Deal.
Seriously, take a step back and observe your personal insecurities.
posted by signal at 8:41 AM on September 1, 2005






There is a stage show about this topic - Pieces of Ass

In case anyone is interested, the show is as shallow and stupid as the blog post. I do *not* recommend it.


Well thats what you get for thinking it was a convenience store.

I kid, I kid
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:42 AM on September 1, 2005


Ah, pretty-girl-specific misogyny raises its head once more.

Meh. Good looking men are equally tedious. But pin a rose on you, Mr. PC Hall Monitor.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 AM on September 1, 2005


What, are pretty people not allowed to ponder the effects of their prettiness?

Geez, people, she doesn't have to be egotistical to be writing this. As she said, "I'm fascinated by power dynamics in general." So am I, and so I found her post interesting.

I took it all as her just being honest. I think a lot of you are getting worked up over nothing.

on preview: ditto signal
posted by evening at 8:44 AM on September 1, 2005


Nice body, mediocre face. I mean, as long as she's opening herself up to criticism.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:46 AM on September 1, 2005


In case anyone is interested, the show is as shallow and stupid as the blog post. I do *not* recommend it.

Is it worth pointing out that you are probably not the target audience. Personally, I thought "shark tale" was shallow and stupid, and I suspect for a very similar reason.
posted by milovoo at 8:47 AM on September 1, 2005


Why oh why do people think it's interesting to ask questions like "Are blogs journalism?" and "What are the power dynamics of being a hooker?" and "What does it mean to be hot?"

There are actually many reasons to feel sorry for hot people. For one thing, there is a risk of not developing any real character.
posted by johngoren at 8:47 AM on September 1, 2005


As a devestatingly good guy I'm really facinated by how people want to suck my cock all the time... No seriously, I really intellectualise about it. I'm writing my PHD on "Why do people want to suck my cock all the time simply because I'm devestatingly handsome.
posted by Meccabilly at 8:47 AM on September 1, 2005


*good looking
posted by Meccabilly at 8:48 AM on September 1, 2005


Wow, there's alot of angry voices in here.

You tend not to hear such anger when a speaker is wrong.
posted by effugas at 8:48 AM on September 1, 2005


What's it like to be an Ugly Guy.
posted by spilon at 8:48 AM on September 1, 2005


You tend not to hear such anger when a speaker is wrong.

What about Bush on Iraq...
posted by Meccabilly at 8:49 AM on September 1, 2005


Meccabilly, just make sure to spellcheck your PhD dissertation first, they tend to knock points off for mispellings in the title.

effugas, I'd say the anger is because people do know that pretty people get things for free and get away with stuff they shouldn't because they're pretty. People tend to get irritated when things are unfair.
posted by fenriq at 8:50 AM on September 1, 2005


Meccabilly, just make sure to spellcheck your PhD dissertation first, they tend to knock points off for mispellings in the title.

Dammit
posted by Meccabilly at 8:51 AM on September 1, 2005


"They have to work out their will to live" -- great link on ugly people.
posted by johngoren at 8:51 AM on September 1, 2005


I’d settle for switching places with a good looking person for a day. Not for me - I’m sure the novelty of having an easy life would wear off pretty quick - I’d just love for them to see what it’s like. They’d kill themselves in 20 minutes - from spilon's link.

A-fucking-men.
posted by jonmc at 8:52 AM on September 1, 2005


effugas, I'd say the anger is because people do know that pretty people get things for free and get away with stuff they shouldn't because they're pretty. People tend to get irritated when things are unfair.

I imagine people get annoyed at the Good Looking people who whine about it... They could always use to much acid peel.. that will fix them right up
posted by Meccabilly at 8:52 AM on September 1, 2005


I missed the part where she said she was a hooker.

Read her site, she's a professional dominatrix, I think.
posted by delmoi at 8:54 AM on September 1, 2005


I often dress as a pretty girl, but strangely I do not get any preferential treatment. It must be my goatee.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:55 AM on September 1, 2005


I am totally confused. I went to the site and, um, is it me or is she not pretty? If I were going to be so bold as to write something about what it's like to be a self-proclaimed pretty girl, I think I'd make damn sure I was incredibly beautiful first. On the other hand -- crap, all these years I've been considering myself to be not pretty, and yet now that I've seen her, I realize I could have been having the kind of "pretty girl moments" this woman's been having all along, just by acting like I'm hot.
posted by youarejustalittleant at 8:58 AM on September 1, 2005


Is it worth pointing out that you are probably not the target audience. Personally, I thought "shark tale" was shallow and stupid, and I suspect for a very similar reason.

Actually, I think they (Pieces of Ass) were looking for a broad, young hip audience of both males and females, but never got a following because the show was boring (and the women were more subjectively than objectively beautiful, IMO). I saw it one night for free because they were papering the house a lot, and I took a male date, and we both agreed it was not so great- it was cliche monologue after cliche monologue on a blank stage. It got meh reviews and closed pretty quickly.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:59 AM on September 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


and yet now that I've seen her, I realize I could have been having the kind of "pretty girl moments" this woman's been having all along, just by acting like I'm hot.

Any way we can have a look? no? I'm creepy? oh... ok..
posted by Meccabilly at 9:00 AM on September 1, 2005


Oh hell, I'll bet 95% of the complainers would love to shag her silly, whore or not. It's biology people, don't make it out more than it is.

And that's what it comes down to. These "Pretty Girl Moments" she writes of are just us Y-Chromosome bearers responding to biology. A hawt chick comes up to us and our higher brain functions go into shutdown mode while our lower brain thinks "If I'm nice to her, she might let me mate with her." It's an ancient dance, and it's perfectly "fair," from a biological perspective.
posted by caporal at 9:00 AM on September 1, 2005


While I think this woman needs to get a first-class ticket on the humility train, the finger-waggling about her profession is kind of goofy: who gives a shit what she does with other consenting adults?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:01 AM on September 1, 2005


Ah, pretty-girl-specific misogyny raises its head once more.

Puh-leeze. Newsflash: it's possible to call one person a fucking idiot without it reflecting a deep-seated bias against an entire group. Political correctness has become a parody of itself.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 9:02 AM on September 1, 2005


signal: how is it less misogynist to expect people refrain from making fun of someone's publicly available vain and dull outpourings, just because the writer is female? Come on, if she can handle dealing with bondage clients and abdication of privacy for the sake of publicity, good on her, she sure can handle a bit of silly mockery.

Perhaps some of the jokes are not subtle or intellectual enough but I don't see anyone suggesting violence against this person so the term abuse may be a tad misplaced here.
posted by funambulist at 9:04 AM on September 1, 2005


I don't see anyone suggesting violence against this person

Yeah, that's her job...
posted by Meccabilly at 9:07 AM on September 1, 2005


signal, it's not that she's pretty and i'm jealous - it's that she chose to analyze it, and feels guilty because she had a pony and private school while all the 'ugly' people didn't. boo-fucking-hoo, and consequently, who cares?
posted by NationalKato at 9:07 AM on September 1, 2005


Any way we can have a look? no? I'm creepy? oh... ok..

Sorry -- you'll just have to wait until I pen my soul-searching analysis of life as a beautiful girl at iamhotterthanyouareandifeelsosososadaboutthatforyou.blogspot.com!
posted by youarejustalittleant at 9:13 AM on September 1, 2005


It's not pretty being me
Just try it and you'll see
It's harder than you think
To be a gorgeous mink
La da da da, da da dee
It's not pretty being me.

posted by Wolfdog at 9:15 AM on September 1, 2005


effugas, signal — Did either of you read the posted page?

I think what most people are reacting to is not her beauty (actual or claimed) but her inane narcissism. Certainly, that's what I found annoying.

I did like the bit where she contemplates becoming invisible when she's old and no longer a Pretty Girl. There's a glimmer of a moment where her thinking threatens to become a little complicated. But no -- she banishes that specter by resolving to never, ever become old or un-hot. Just like Raquel!

Power dynamics, the worth of beauty v. the worth of money, being unseen, interior v. exterior -- all of it fascinating in many twisty ways. Too bad that she couldn't come up with anything beyond, "Hey! I'm pretty!"

Tangentially: There's a well-known and much-admired college drill team in my home state (short skirts, tasseled boots, Rockettian choreography -- old skool, not sex-bomb pro-league style) and they practice and train with amazing endurance and discipline, through illness and cramps and sprains. Their motto: "Beauty knows no pain."
posted by vetiver at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2005



This reminds me, I need to get my well-endowed supermodel website up. I've been too busy at the mirror...

*vomits*
posted by fluffycreature at 9:18 AM on September 1, 2005


I'm way more pretty than she is... and cheaper.
posted by tkchrist at 9:19 AM on September 1, 2005


While sexboots mcsassypants does strike me as possessing approximately the depth of a diaphragm, she does raise a salient point or two. I'm not a pretty girl by any means. However, I am a 6'4" dark haired white boy of Norwegian extraction (i.e. built a bit like the monolith from 2001)

I do a lot of work in local and regional politics, and I've experienced again and again the effects our latent societal sexism and alpha-male-ism have on discourse, even with the most "enlightened" folks.

I've found that women, particularly if they are nice/short/blonde, are easily dismissed, as are their ideas, and I can present those same ideas, and have them near-immediately accepted. Not because the quality of the ideas have changed in any way, but simply because I'm a big white guy with a commanding presence.

Having been raised by a very astute and loving single mom, I'm keenly aware of gender bias, and recognize the definite latent advantage I have, simply by virtue of being a "big dude." I think it sucks, and there's not a lot I can do about it, other than to try to use my powers for good, and make sure good ideas get heard, and that the people who came up with them get the recognition they deserve.

These biases DO exist, and we should be aware of them. Even if we don't wallow in them as much as our friend Ms. Whippyass does.

Now. Trying to find clothes that fit well... there's my kryptonite...
posted by stenseng at 9:21 AM on September 1, 2005


Dismissing somebody's arguments by labeling them "P.C." is the utmost of intellectual laziness and lack of originality.
Kudos!
posted by signal at 9:22 AM on September 1, 2005


It's amazing how little your disapproval bothers me, signal.
posted by jonmc at 9:23 AM on September 1, 2005


I'm a Tall Guy, and we have that same problem. People are always getting out of our way, or giving us stuff, or letting us cut in line. It's a common problem if you're tall.

Or maybe it's the gun....
posted by Floydd at 9:29 AM on September 1, 2005


youarejustalittleant writes "I realize I could have been having the kind of 'pretty girl moments' this woman's been having all along, just by acting like I'm hot."

Actually, in my experience, yes. When I'm feeling hot and sexy, it shows, even if by raw looks, I'm certainly not. It's not any kind of FatManNinjaMagic, it's all internal. I went from a sad and dumpy fat guy, to a charming and charismatic and sexy fat guy overnight. And people respond to it (not everyone, of course). If you feel it, you are it, and that's what counts. And when I am "on", I get what feels like "special treatment". (I've spent way too much time sitting in public playing with this just to gauge the reactions of people around me).

Personally, I don't find this woman to be beautiful or pretty. She's certainly sexy, but that tends to carry less weight with me.

Then again, there's a big difference between pretty and sexy and beautiful (to me). pretty can be sexy can be beautiful, but one isn't necessarily the other.

Then AGAIN, who gives a shit what other people think?
posted by zerokey at 9:31 AM on September 1, 2005


If you don't have anything else to offer -- brains, talent, courage, effort -- being a Pretty Girl makes life much easier, in all those ways Matisse listed. And yeah, there are all those ugly people out there who are jealous, but they're just haters, and it's not your fault you were born so damn cute. /sarcasm

If, on the other hand, you're a smart, talented woman born with a nice pair of tits or a captivating smile, Pretty Girl-ness is a double-edged sword. It makes you question yourself and your achievements -- and it can make other people question them as well. We've all seen women advanced or promoted with a chorus of snide whispers behind their backs. "She only made partner because the senior partners like to stare at her legs in meetings."

I doubt that smart, good-looking men self-analyze in the same way, or experience the same backlash. Men are raised to expect success, and when they get it, they assume they've earned the right to it. Haven't they done surveys that show the average height for a CEO is several inches taller than the average height for men in general? And yet, I doubt any CEO goes home and wonders, "Did I only get promoted because I'm tall?"

It's easy to snipe at shallow Pretty Girls like Matisse, who flaunt their advantage at the expense of women everywhere, and perpetuate the myth that pretty women don't have anything else to offer except their looks. But the problems associated with Pretty Girl-ness are merely by-products of misogyny in general, which makes female beauty a heavily weighted currency in our society, and devalues the other contributions of women, pretty or otherwise.
posted by junkbox at 9:31 AM on September 1, 2005 [2 favorites]


stenseng: Not because the quality of the ideas have changed in any way, but simply because I'm a big white guy with a commanding presence.

Yep, it's just biology again. Large males with any modicum of intelligence are seen as leaders because Large Males = Security for the Tribe.

I'm still don't see why people are so up in arms over her post. Yeah, it was shallow and narcisstic, but ferchrissakes we see that every day. Maybe it's because she is pretty and therefore fortunate. That probably irritates people.
posted by caporal at 9:32 AM on September 1, 2005


well said, junkbox.
posted by youarejustalittleant at 9:33 AM on September 1, 2005


..Pretty Girls and pretty people have life lubricated for them most of the time. People are likely to let pretty people slide by, cut in line, whatever. Our society's kind of whack that way.

It depends on where you are fenriq. Pretty girls - and I mean seriously pretty girls - are a dime a dozen here in Stockholm. It's insane. Tell the drop dead gorgeous girl working behind the counter at the local McDonalds she's getting by on her looks. If she moved somewhere else maybe, but not here.
posted by three blind mice at 9:36 AM on September 1, 2005


I think my head hurts.
posted by rand at 9:38 AM on September 1, 2005


jonmc, like you (what a surprise), I also take perverse glee ini shutting down any "pretty girl" who tries to put on over on me because she's pretty. Which happens a lot here in LA.

I'm not always successful, of course. Some of them are really good at it - and I can appreciate it when it's done with some subtlety and good grace. However, a lot of them simply demand the entitlement that is theirs because they are pretty (and maybe came from some wealth), and watching the fireworks when I politely but firmly deny them their whim is usually gratifying.

Yeah, well, I'm only human. I can be petty sometimes.

"Haven't they done surveys that show the average height for a CEO is several inches taller than the average height for men in general?"

Yes, and it's true. You'll also find that we've almost NEVER had a short US President. Almost all of them are 6'+.
posted by zoogleplex at 9:43 AM on September 1, 2005


Then AGAIN, who gives a shit what other people think?

Deep down? Just about everybody. We only pretend we don't. Evolution has programed us to care. Unless your sociopathic.

So. What have we learned? Pretty is better than ugly. Tall is better than short. Smart is better than stupid.

And Mistress Matisse is only pretty and maybe tall.
posted by tkchrist at 9:44 AM on September 1, 2005


I'm moving to Stockholm. I'm in the mood for a Big Mac.
posted by NationalKato at 9:45 AM on September 1, 2005


If, on the other hand, you're a smart, talented woman born with a nice pair of tits or a captivating smile, Pretty Girl-ness is a double-edged sword. It makes you question yourself and your achievements -- and it can make other people question them as well.

Amen, junkbox.

I have a confession to make: I am a Pretty Girl.
It wasn't always that way. I used to be the ugliest ugly duckling. Think Weinerdog from Welcome to the Dollhouse. The kids were so cruel. My mother even admitted to me once that she was afraid I'd never grow out of my awkward phase. When I got braces, contacts, a decent haircut and giant breasts, the world turned around for me practically overnight.

It still surprises me when a well-timed smile and a flash of cleavage can get me out of a speeding ticket or get my car fixed within 15 minutes instead of 5 days.

This article was interesting to me, narcissism aside, because it does bring up points about the power dynamics of the pretty girl. The power doesn't just work on men either. Women respond just as well as the men.

Knowing what it's like to be horrifically unattractive as well as decent-looking, I'd rather be pretty.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 9:45 AM on September 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


"We both knew - it was a Pretty Girl Moment."

Suuure or he could have seen the bags in your hand and added one plus one ... Ahh vanity. What ever would we do without it?
posted by squeak at 9:46 AM on September 1, 2005


stenseng I’ve found the opposite. People seem to flip when your anywhere near the neighborhood of attractive and you have brains. Particularly if you don’t conform. The whole ‘power’ thang is about as complex as high school. Girls who thought I had a nice body talked to me, then left when they saw I hung out with the stoners, then came back when they found out I was on the football team....it’s kinda like watching a flock of birds trying to figure out who the alpha is. Many people tend to think solely with their R-complex. Perhaps you have to be a little stupid to be in that game. I’m with Jesse Ventura on this - power binds both ways. She’s as much of a slave as...well, her slaves.

Heh heh:
He’s a 6'4" dark haired Norwegian white boy, she’s a vain dominatrix, they’re good looking and they! fight! crime!
posted by Smedleyman at 9:51 AM on September 1, 2005


Sorry to be judgemental but I'd rate the esteemed author as average looking.

The author did make a point of addressing the fact that it's all in the eye of the beholder. What one person deems stunning, another considers plain. And two photos of the same person can vary quite significantly as well.

It depends on where you are fenriq. Pretty girls - and I mean seriously pretty girls - are a dime a dozen here in Stockholm. It's insane

I have a friend who moved to sweden who was amazed at how, to his eye, the girls were all so gorgeous. I went to visit him, and just didn't see it. What I did see was that they were all blonde. But their faces seemed to cover the normal range of attractiveness. When I pointed this out to him, he actually agreed on reflection, though his visceral reaction didn't change. I think some people really do respond to blonde hair, for some reason.
posted by mdn at 9:52 AM on September 1, 2005


I'm going to slap the next good looking girl I see.
posted by cleverusername at 9:54 AM on September 1, 2005


One of my peers in the journalism world is amazingly talented at what she does. Easily one of the best reporters I have ever met. She's also sexy as hell. Beneath her charming exterior and smile that always lures city officials to talk to her first (dammit) she's very insecure. As junkbox said, this girl will constantly be doubting her own talents and wondering if she's only getting access on stories because of her looks. Being incredibly attractive instead of a 7.0 on hotornot would be interesting for a day or two, but I wouldn't ever want a permanent trade.
posted by Happydaz at 9:57 AM on September 1, 2005


signal-You're mostly noise. Why give the benefit of the doubt to the narcissistic author of a puff piece about her own greatness, but not to the people on this site you frequent? Why respond to those who dismissed your PC concerns as PC without considering vetiver's salient comments?

caporal-Biology |= ideology. Sociobiology is a load of bollocks.
posted by OmieWise at 9:57 AM on September 1, 2005


In the name of all that is grand and holy about the history of feminism with a capital f, and all the perilous inroads it still has to make across this wide planet, I refuse to even consider the possibility of a discussion on gender bias developing from Mistress Matisse's little narcissistic outburst.
posted by funambulist at 9:58 AM on September 1, 2005


Mmm, yes, my heart bleeds for people angsting about the pains of being beautiful about as much as it does for those insufferable shitheads who whine about the stress of being wealthy.
posted by Decani at 10:01 AM on September 1, 2005


Perhaps I missed something, but I didn't catch any signs of narcissism from her reflective entry.

As far as I know, she's an attractive woman who is able to reflect upon her looks and their consequences.

Is there anything in particular that some of you find objectionable in her entry?
posted by spacediver at 10:03 AM on September 1, 2005


Man, there is some ugly hatin' going on here. I don't know what any of you look like, but now I wish someone would write a self-indulgent article about how hard it is for ugly people because they are forced to feel superior to everyone else because they're not beautiful and their life is hard and they had to walk twelve miles to school on their ugly bare feet in the snow, uphill, etc. Again, not that I know what any of you look like, but backlash that concentrated comes from something...

Frankly, I'm kind of interested in what she (halfheartedly) tried to address. It's a topic that is almost unaddressable (sic-wtf?) If someone attractive brings it up, they're preening, empty-headed narcissists. If someone unattractive raises it, they're jealous, spiteful graspers.

I just sent this link off to my son, because we had a discussion the other day about the pros and cons of being a really, really attractive woman (we were walking in Manhattan where the question can easily arise.) Being someone who has actually made money off of being funny looking, it's not something I could discuss from personal experience. And for all the greatness and coolness and ease of being someone beautiful, we decided not being able to go anywhere without being low-to-midlevel sexually hassled must be a real drag. Plus this new negative I didn't realize: you aren't allowed to question or discuss the way you look, because that proves you are...er...dumb or something.

Would the same heap 'o' abuse apply to someone who wrote a post idly describing what it was like to be really smart? Does social decorum prohibit any self-reference to positive traits? I think it's jealousy, frankly. I have seen beautiful people refer to themselves as 'plain' and they still get crap. Only this time for being modesty poseurs or something. Try and not let your desperate self-loathing show so much. And quit yelling 'whore'. You're all probably whores, too, in some way. You're just too ugly to be that kind.
posted by umberto at 10:05 AM on September 1, 2005 [2 favorites]


i can't believe you spelled capital f with a lower case f.

i somehow feel slighted.

funnybunny's blog: 3
FPP: Hopeless
posted by petebest at 10:06 AM on September 1, 2005


"I mistrust all handsome men. The superficial pleasures of this life come too easily to them, and they seem to walk the world as though they themselves were personally responsible for their own good looks." – Roald Dahl
posted by twsf at 10:07 AM on September 1, 2005


caporal, it's not just girls, it's guys too. It is pretty interesting how these things affect you. There really is a powerful feedback mechanism in place for ensuring pretty people get treated well. When I was a kid, adults (particularly parents and teachers) fawned over me and I was a model. This made me very aware of my appearance and I was encouraged to spend time checking myself, always ensuring that I looked great. As a result, people wanted to be seen with me and I became popular in high school. When I got to college I discovered no shortage of study buddies. In the corporate world, it meant getting noticed above others for promotions which led to wealth which leads to... it's a vicious cycle, really.
posted by nixerman at 10:08 AM on September 1, 2005


Would the same heap 'o' abuse apply to someone who wrote a post idly describing what it was like to be really smart?

From me it would. It's not that I hate smart people, or pretty people, or rich people perse, I just hate conceited narcissists, who think that such qualities make them more worthwhile or valuable beings than us mediocre people. The smart/pretty/rich already control the world, don't make us be nice to them on top of it.
posted by jonmc at 10:12 AM on September 1, 2005


Well I'll side with the minority. That of course was no PhD dissertation nor was it meant to be. I suppose I can view it as narcissistic if I turn my head on one side but I don't find it to be particularly shallow. Overall I thought it was a balanced and thoughtful minor analysis of this girl's perceptions. On its own and here on the killing floor it gets short shrift and I agree with her that the practicalities of power dynamics are very interesting but something like that would probably better suit a book with a range of first person accounts.

I'm interested to see (to the extent that I know) that there has only been a couple of women commenting in this thread. And I'm equally interested to see that people are measuring the author's beauty as being directly related to the believablity or quality of the piece that she has written. If she didn't possess general attractiveness (which she herself equivocates over anyway) then you'd call it out as a parody. But it's just a simple piece about some social psychology that has a pretty significant effect in life.
posted by peacay at 10:15 AM on September 1, 2005


Ah, pretty-girl-specific misogyny raises its head once more.

Well, just one more thing to add to the growing list of Things the Pretty Get That the Rest of Us Don't. Aren't they lucky!
posted by scody at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2005


I had a run in with one of these pretty girls recently. I was in a long bathroom line and prettygirl does the fake walk by and starts talking to dude she knows in line. She goes into this laughing, hair-flicking frenzy for the guy, chats with him for a minute or two, and then says goodbye, heading to the bathroom door. My girlfriend and a few other people gave a loud shout at her, and she walked back. Then she comes right up to us and starts doing the same prettygirl routine all over again. She would stand close to me and "accidentally" bump her tits against me.

I had a mini-epiphany that she and her kind are among the worst people in the world and right there I vowed to stay away from them, even for brief periods of time. I ended up telling her to fuck off, something I've never done to a stranger. It was amazing watching her short-circuit, as if no one had ever said "no" to her. [Insert what 23skidoo said here].

And yeah, like jonmc said, it felt good.
FWIW, I don't understand people who just let others cut in line. Everyone's ugly when I have to pee.

*gets own blog*
posted by hellbient at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2005


Metafilter: Everyone's ugly when I have to pee.
posted by jonmc at 10:20 AM on September 1, 2005


Wait, you mean attractive people get favorable treatement in social situations? Say it ain't so!

Of course, there are situations where being attractive actually hurts your chances: those in which the people involved think you are trying to use your attractiveness for personal gain come to mind. I seem to remember certain studies about this effect back when I was studying social psychology.

The reactions here to this woman's writings seem to bear this out ...
posted by moonbiter at 10:21 AM on September 1, 2005


Yeah, I generally don't treat hot women any differently then ugly women, unless I have reason to think that they'll actually sleep with me.

Girl I'm Out On Date With - gets special treatment
Random Girl On Subway Who Wants My Seat - gets to stand all the way to Brooklyn
posted by afroblanca at 10:22 AM on September 1, 2005


I think I'm going to start calling myself Sexboots McSassypants. Thanks, stenseng, for the fab new name!

(Note: must first find some sexboots...the sassypantedness is already all taken care of...)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2005


I also wonder exactly how my life would be different if I were exactly the same person on the inside, but I wasn't pretty on the outside. But I wouldn't be the same person, really, because who I am has been influenced by how people treat me, and how people treat me is influenced by how I look.

Wrong, you're treated in public by your outward attitude. A mean pretty girl is still a mean person. Heck, people out in public tend to blend into one of a crowd. Unless they cry out for attention, then “the label” is applied to the person. Saw Christi Brinkley do this and many other actors. Sheesh! We are all human.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2005


"The smart/pretty/rich already control the world, don't make us be nice to them on top of it."

They're not real nice to us most of the time, are they.

I guess I should put in that I'm pretty average looking and average height. I only get noticed at all if I'm in a really good mood and my personality is in "party mode."
posted by zoogleplex at 10:28 AM on September 1, 2005


I guess I should put in that I'm pretty average looking and average height.

Same here, although I'm slightly above average height (6' 1") but I'm also famine victim level skinny and riddled with acne scars, permanent eyebags and bad teeth.
posted by jonmc at 10:31 AM on September 1, 2005


Oh, I'd love to hear Dog Poop Girl's take on all this...
posted by hellbient at 10:32 AM on September 1, 2005


I'm slightly above average height (6' 1") but I'm also famine victim level skinny and riddled with acne scars, permanent eyebags and bad teeth.

*whistles at jon*
posted by scody at 10:34 AM on September 1, 2005


"There really is a powerful feedback mechanism in place for ensuring pretty people get treated well."

You can always break that cycle by getting fat, growing funky facial hair, not caring much about haircuts.

....worked for me. That and beer.

I’d give Brad Pitt as a good example of someone good looking who wants to be taken seriously so he eases off the grooming and cuts from that game.
Tom Cruise is the corollary of course.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:40 AM on September 1, 2005


Letting "Pretty People Slide By" does happen a lot in the world, even if it doesn't happen in Stockholm. Once you can detach yourself from your lower-brain thinking (that is, keep your higher brain functioning while around a Very Sexy Chick|Guy), you can deny the Pretty People their expectations, and that can be Fun.

As an aside, I watched some lame reality TV months ago about some moderately attractive chicks in Las Vegas who made a living off of the casino chips belonging to men at the tables. They slide next to them in slutty dresses, say "give me some of your chips" and would play and make some dollars. Guys just surrendering their chips to chicks without question goes to prove how easily men think with their lower brains when confronted with an attractive mate.

The reality show became a lot more interesting for a half minute when the women tried pulling the same stunt on a guy who wasn't having any of it: "Let me have some of your chips." "No." "You're not letting me have any chips? Not even a couple?" "No, and if you touch my chips again I'm going to belt you one."

Bravo. :-)
posted by caporal at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2005


*whistles at jon*

Not so fast. I also dress (as a freind put it) like an out-of-work lumberjack on a bender and I listen to Anthrax. (side note to zoogleplex-'Thrax just came out with a two-disc best of, I worked on it today, it rawks.)
posted by jonmc at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2005


the women tried pulling the same stunt on a guy who wasn't having any of it: "Let me have some of your chips." "No." "You're not letting me have any chips? Not even a couple?" "No, and if you touch my chips again I'm going to belt you one."

That guy realizes that if he wins enough chips, he can get all the pretty girls he wants.
posted by jonmc at 10:46 AM on September 1, 2005


I'm wondering if the level of aggression in this thread stems from something jonmc mentioned but which i think is a widespread (American?) cultural misperception:
"The smart/pretty/rich already control the world..."

See i figure it's mostly just the rich controlling the world. The pretty get media coverage and occasionally get out of speeding tickets. The smart may get grant money if lucky.

The smart and pretty get perks, sure, but really it's wealth that's running shit.
posted by verysleeping at 10:47 AM on September 1, 2005


OmieWise: Because you said so? Well hell, guess that learns me somethin'!
posted by caporal at 10:48 AM on September 1, 2005


verysleeping: they may not control the world, but they definitely control their worlds, while the rest of us are pretty much at the mercy of fate.
posted by jonmc at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2005


Would the same heap 'o' abuse apply to someone who wrote a post idly describing what it was like to be really smart?

From me it would. It's not that I hate smart people, or pretty people, or rich people perse, I just hate conceited narcissists, who think that such qualities make them more worthwhile or valuable beings than us mediocre people.

The thing is, other than acknowledging that she was what most people would call pretty, she didn't claim to be more worthwhile or valuable than us 'mediocre people.' She was commenting on how her appearance affects the way people react to her. That is not narcissistic. Do you hate people acknowledging obvious traits about themselves? I shouldn't be so interested in such a petty topic, but I confess I am. It's fine to wonder what it's like to be a downtrodden minority, or have a horrible disease, or live with a deformity... But any kind of introspection at the other end of the spectrum means you are some kind of self-involved shithead. I don't get it. Should only the poor, ugly, stupid, and unfortunate be able to muse about their situation? Shit, I've got two of those traits, and I'm not even sure which two!
posted by umberto at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


verysleeping: See i figure it's mostly just the rich controlling the world.

Damn skippy. Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz are both rich, but neither of them is even remotely pretty, even in the dark.
posted by caporal at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2005


caporal writes "Because you said so? Well hell, guess that learns me somethin'!"

No, because I'm more of an alpha! When you provide supporting links in a thread that's really about sociobiology, I'll do the same. I assumed that since you were offering your opinion you'd recognize that what I offered was mine.
posted by OmieWise at 10:52 AM on September 1, 2005


i can't believe you spelled capital f with a lower case f.

petebest, it's not my fault, it's just that as I was typing that, a non-pretty person passed by and my pretty mind was suddenly enraptured in deep thoughts of how I had something they didn't have and I felt so guilty I forgot to use the shift key. I never forget to capitalise the I though. Because that's me, pretty me. *miaow*

Please see my non-existing website for appointments.
posted by funambulist at 10:59 AM on September 1, 2005


OmieWise: This isn't opinion, this is simple contradiction! //montypython

I have no links, merely what was told to me by two clinical psychologists. Hearsay. But it does make plenty of sense to me, as we're merely animals under all of this intellectual pretense.
posted by caporal at 11:00 AM on September 1, 2005


The anger in this thread is somewhat amusing. It doesn't make much sense though. I'm not sure why people are complaining about fairness or power though. Why blame the pretty people for how others treat them? You can't blame someone for taking advantage of their assets. Hmmm. Maybe we should blame the moderate feminists? Didn't they promote the idea of beauty as power? Really it's God fault though. In a just world we'd all look like jonmc.
posted by nixerman at 11:00 AM on September 1, 2005


The anger in this thread is somewhat amusing.

Note: this statement is from a self-described attractive person.

In a just world we'd all look like jonmc.

*imagines self as woman*

*shudders*
posted by jonmc at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2005


I dig hot chicks. Hate me for it, whatever.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2005


I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.
posted by ?! at 11:03 AM on September 1, 2005


jonmc, i guess i can't help but feeling like you're still gunning at hyperbole. I mean, sure, attractiveness can grease some wheels, but controlling their fate? I mean, the pretty get stuck in elevators, the pretty just bounced a checked, the pretty get dumped and have to cook dinner alone.

Worst of all, the pretty get old.

Sure, it makes some things easier to be beautiful, but the scope of that power seems so small, and their control of their fate seems rather fleeting.
posted by verysleeping at 11:04 AM on September 1, 2005


I dig hot chicks.

So do I, but I'm smart enough to know that if one pays me any attention, it's because she wants something, like to cut in line or a bigger tip. Otherwise, we're shoe-scrapings to these people, except for that rare creature, the pretty girl who dosen't know she's pretty, god bless her.
posted by jonmc at 11:04 AM on September 1, 2005


So do I, but I'm smart enough to know that if one pays me any attention, it's because she wants something, like to cut in line or a bigger tip.

So am I. It's just that I don't care. Cut in line, just let me appreciate your beauty a little. A fair trade, I think. I don't have any problem with "socially-constructed" notions of beauty; it's something we'd never be able to move past anyway, so why get pissed about it? A new paradigm of beauty would just replace the current one should we destroy it; it happens all the time.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:07 AM on September 1, 2005


The reality show became a lot more interesting for a half minute when the women tried pulling the same stunt on a guy who wasn't having any of it: "Let me have some of your chips." "No." "You're not letting me have any chips? Not even a couple?" "No, and if you touch my chips again I'm going to belt you one."

The "correct" answer: "These chips are worth a lot of money. Why would I give you some of them for nothing?"

Good looking women get accustomed to having guys kiss their asses and it gets pretty boring. The figurative smack upside the head from guys who just aren't (or don't appear to be) impressed about how they look makes those guys seem pretty interesting. Especially in comparison to the usual pushover men who give them everything they want because they're so pretty.
posted by theorique at 11:07 AM on September 1, 2005


jonmc writes "Otherwise, we're shoe-scrapings to these people, except for that rare creature, the pretty girl who dosen't know she's pretty, god bless her." Oh come off it jonmc, you're not serious with that schtick are you? Why can't a girl be self aware of her prettiness AND be a good/nice person? Or are you using shorthand for the voluptron flaunters?
posted by peacay at 11:08 AM on September 1, 2005


Oh come off it jonmc, you're not serious with that schtick are you?

100% serious.

Why can't a girl be self aware of her prettiness AND be a good/nice person?

It's a rare one that I've seen who dosen't use her looks to manipulate people. And it's not just girls, guys do it, too.
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on September 1, 2005


jonmc does have a point. Even nice people use what they have to get what they want, albeit sometimes subconsciously.

One of the nicest women I've ever known at one point wore a short skirt and high heels to work on the day she had her review. Prior to that she only wore pant suits and flats. Her direct supervisor was male.
posted by caporal at 11:14 AM on September 1, 2005


I've had to recommend a few pretty girls for getting their ass turfed out of their job for what I called "Pretty Girl Syndrome", where they believe they can advance in this world by showing an extra bit of cleavage or laughing at every stupid thing said, all the while doing an utterly crappy job at completing their work. If I hadn't seen it far too many times I would have not come up with the name.

I like to be around good-looking people, because I'm human. But I have a brain so I don't put up with the crap they some of them use in order to get ahead, that an 'ugly' person couldn't do.

Count me in on the ugly side, for what it's worth.

By the way, wasn't there an article recently about thin, tall men getting better jobs and more pay? I've dealt with too many tall thin idiots too...I need to come up with a new name for a syndrome.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:15 AM on September 1, 2005


So when a pretty girl smiles at you in a shop or at work or in a bar, it's because they want something in the majority of cases? It's not just because...oh I don't know...because she happens to think that being friendly is a socially nicer way to go through life? And however did you tell the difference?
posted by peacay at 11:16 AM on September 1, 2005


caporal - do you know that was specifically for the interview? You don't mention if they were related.
Just curious.

I know plenty of gorgeous women who haven't used their looks in this nauseating way. The type of woman who would rather bat her eyelashes and flirt to get her way rather than follow the rules is absolutely abhorant to me - the same way any other blatant entitlement-whore is.
posted by agregoli at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2005


Ah, pretty-girl-specific misogyny raises its head once more

Bunk. I'd feel exactly the same if this was some handsome guy banging on about his looks. Don't make unwarranted assumptions.
posted by Decani at 11:19 AM on September 1, 2005


What peacay said, and that's the beauty of my approach. Whether a pretty girl (in my case) wants something (they don't - I have nothing to give them) or is just being friendly, it's win-win. I dig it in either case.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:19 AM on September 1, 2005


And don't get me wrong jonmc, I'm actually with you in so far as I will pointedly not allow the hair flicking hypersmiling cleavage flashing shallow girls of the world get ahead of me in a queue and I've worked mostly in female-dominant (numbers sense) workplaces. I just haven't developed such a cynical notion about the majority of girls whom I have come to regard as attractive.
posted by peacay at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2005


agregoli - yes, it was indeed for the performance review. She was a co-worker of mine and I got to know her fairly well. Very bright, very kind person. She's above-average pretty but never did the "giggle giggle" crap that annoys so many. She rarely wore makeup.

But the rules of the game were what dictated her dress that day. She gambled that her direct supervisor would respond favorably to a moderately revealing outfit, particularly because she hadn't dress that way before. If I remember right, she not only got the raise, but she got a bonus as well, which is normally unheard of at that company except around Xmas.

I'd like to believe that she was rewarded for exemplary work, but knowing her supervisor like I did, he probably didn't even notice her until the day she showed up in the skirt and heels.
posted by caporal at 11:25 AM on September 1, 2005


Don't make unwarranted assumptions.

Gosh, why should anyone stop now? This whole thread is about unwarranted assumptions.
posted by Skot at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2005


Is that more her fault or the corporate world? While I wouldn't prostitute myself like that for a performance review, and don't condone such behavior (moot anyway since I have a straight woman as a boss), the very fact that such a strategy WORKED is cause for concern.
posted by agregoli at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2005


So when a pretty girl smiles at you in a shop or at work or in a bar, it's because they want something in the majority of cases?

Yup.

And however did you tell the difference?

From when the tables were turned and I was the one approaching them. I was usually rewarded by being looked right through, which is how the pretty people treat you when you don't have something they want.
posted by jonmc at 11:29 AM on September 1, 2005


Did you know that it's possible to find a reason to dislike anyone, you don't even have to have a specific reason. (there seems to be an awful lot of rationalizing dislike going on here)

They can be too attractive, not attractive enough, rich, poor, smelly, another ethnic group, another sexual orientation, too old, too young, etc, etc, etc. You don't even have to give your reason a name.

The real challenge in life is to appreciate other people despite their flaws or perceived advantages. You can try to find the good first, then wait to see if it outweighs the bad. It's up to you.
posted by milovoo at 11:30 AM on September 1, 2005


I'd hit it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM on September 1, 2005


Fuckin' a milovoo. Fuckin' a.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:32 AM on September 1, 2005


Oh how the generalizations abound!

Frankly, given that I would describe my looks as "pleasant" at most, I find I get a lot more mileage out of being friendly, and smiling a lot. And yes, I do do it insincerely to try and get what I want. Big whoop.

So I read a few of the blogger's entries. The blog isn't terrible. I would venture that the linked page is a bad example of her writing ability. It's an incredibly shallow analysis, and I think she could have written a much more interesting essay with a bit of time and more self reflection than "yay me, I'm pretty, but hey - I acknowledge it so I'm deep too".
posted by gaspode at 11:32 AM on September 1, 2005


agregoli - I'd say blame lies on both sides of the fence, although truthfully most of it could lie at the feet of patriarchy. Since men dominate so much of the business world, men dictate the rules, written and unwritten. Since we men are hard wired to appreciate visual sexual signals, and attractive women by definition possess those signals in spades, there's an unwritten rule that naturally forms.

That such a strategy worked doesn't surprise me. It's been going on for centuries. I don't approve of it, but I do understand why many women play to those rules.
posted by caporal at 11:33 AM on September 1, 2005


Totally agree with jonmc.

And I can't believe this thread's gone on for so long without any links to her pictures. More pics. (NSFW/Lunch).

I dunno, she looks kinda old to me. I think she's got some serious insecurity going on there, probably at all the younger, prettier girls who have to flirt even less to get stuff than she does.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:37 AM on September 1, 2005


It's a rare one that I've seen who dosen't use her looks to manipulate people.

well, I don't know how true this is, but one thing worth keeping in mind is that it is truly socially encouraged. I'm a reasonably attractive woman, and my father & stepmother are always giving me shit for not wearing make-up and skirts and generally "girling it up". They say I'm "self-hating" because I am uninterested in the derivative power that might be available by playing off other people's interests and desires. (I mean, they don't provide the latter as a reason - they just think there's something wrong with me because I tend to dress down).

In my opinion, if your confidence comes from convincing others or impressing others, rather than a comfort in being who you are, then it's pretty much worthless. As noted above, looks will fade anyway, and your having counted on them will only make it more obvious how superficial your power was - it depended entirely on the compliance of those around you. E.g., Ann Coulter may be beloved by young right wing men now, but when she's a senior citizen, she'll have nothing left to entice them with, and hence no power, as she projects no sense of self from within, but relies on the attention of others to give her power.
posted by mdn at 11:47 AM on September 1, 2005


(geh, excuse lame sentence construction there... tired.)
posted by mdn at 11:49 AM on September 1, 2005


That such a strategy worked doesn't surprise me.

Doesn't surprise me either, and isn't that sad? I fear for people in that working environment - doesn't sound the least bit healthy or fair.
posted by agregoli at 11:55 AM on September 1, 2005


23skidoo: so it kind of seems like she's begging the question

Thank you THANK YOU for using that phrase correctly. You are the wind beneath my wings.
posted by caporal at 11:58 AM on September 1, 2005


Being beautiful is no different than being smart or athletically gifted.

Okay, you're not average -- now what?

Using the fact that you're a pretty girl to get free parking is as interesting and important as mopping up the competition on quiz night at the local pub or coasting through life on the glory of your years as the star quarterback at your small town high school.
posted by Eamon at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2005


An interesting thing about being a girl - I've noticed that guys are way more interested in *markers* of femininity than in your actual attractiveness (facial structure, etc.). It's amazing what any combination of long hair/makeup/skirt/heels will get you. Anything that overtly says "I am female." It seems like Miss Matisse is relying on these very markers (long hair, boots) than her actual attractiveness (I'd characterize her face as average-to-pretty).

Having said all that, I tend to go for jeans/t-shirts, short hair, no makeup. I just don't want to bother with it.
posted by spacewaitress at 12:27 PM on September 1, 2005


In my opinion, if your confidence comes from convincing others or impressing others, rather than a comfort in being who you are, then it's pretty much worthless. As noted above, looks will fade anyway...

i liked mdn's post best. i have read Matisse's blog before, and she's not the deepest pond in the subdivision, and i agree that she's not getting at the root of things, or even close.

but i do sometimes find it interesting to watch how "pretty girls" go about dealing with said prettiness (for better or worse). i'm a formerly pretty girl (who thought she was ugly when very young), who isn't blessed with good aging genetics--and i have found it somewhat interesting how i myself have dealt with the loss of some of the power that goes with "looks" as you get older. luckily, i have intelligence and a personality (not always pleasant, but dynamic). there was a point, when i thought i'd "tipped over the edge," and i found myself very resentful of the young (and vacuous) college girls who would trot themselves out and try to horn in on my male friends. luckily, i got over it. i no longer find myself judging someone as stupid based on their looks--stupidity and manipulative behavior seem rife no matter what.

i have a beautiful female friend who has always been beautiful. she's aging well, but i am somewhat fascinated by how dependent she can be on that beauty, and wonder how she's going to handle it when she can no longer use it to her advantage. (my current expectation is that she finds an older man and becomes his rather unhappy mistress.) she can still usually have anyone in a bar, but i can see it slipping away.

i also recently attended my high school reunion, and in the midst of deciding i was never going to put myself through that again, i caught a strong whiff of anxiety on the part of those women who are still looking great, but on the cusp of the fall... i felt sorry for them, because all the housewife hours of Pilates and plastic surgery aren't going to keep them from the inevitable. working out for health is one thing (one i partake in myself), but all this time and money spent in fending off reality seems to lead to an empty mind. that's very sad, IMO.
posted by RedEmma at 1:07 PM on September 1, 2005


So does anybody think that pretty girls ever get preferential treatment?

You're joking right? Open your eyes. The article was interesting because this is a subject that is rarely discussed. It's sort of sex abuse in reverse. And if you don't think that this girl is pretty/sexy then you need to get your eyes checked.
posted by bobbyelliott at 1:25 PM on September 1, 2005


I have had occasion to work with some aging beauties, people who must have been "teh shit" when they were younger. Most of them have pretty bad attitudes about the world and especially about younger and hotter "girls". Some have the grace to realize their moment in the sun has come and gone though, those are the cool ones and, amazingly enough, they're still beautiful on the outside because they're beautiful on the inside.
posted by fenriq at 1:27 PM on September 1, 2005


i no longer find myself judging someone as stupid based on their looks--stupidity and manipulative behavior seem rife no matter what.

Excellent point, RedEmma. Enjoyed your thoughts.
posted by junkbox at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2005


And if you don't think that this girl is pretty/sexy then you need to get your eyes checked.

I'd hit it if she was offering, but she wouldn't be the first one I noticed in a room full of attractive women.

As far as beauty fading, hell, wouldn't that be a relief? Just to be able to sit around unwashed on the couch with potato chip crumbs in your lap. Giving up on beauty (as in most things) is liberating.
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2005


I've noticed that guys are way more interested in *markers* of femininity than in your actual attractiveness (facial structure, etc.). It's amazing what any combination of long hair/makeup/skirt/heels will get you.

I'm not a fan of Britney Spears, but she did a photo spread in Vogue or Vanity Fair (a year or so ago?) where she was dressed up in classic movie costumes and poses. I thought she was really attractive, and I realized I was responding much more to the markers than I was to her. And on the bus just the other day I was ensorcelled by a woman wearing fishnet stockings, which I suppose I find mesmerizing because somehow I'm supposed to.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:48 PM on September 1, 2005


kirkaracha writes "ensorcelled by a woman wearing fishnet stockings" Thanks for the new euphemism. I did have to look it up too.
posted by peacay at 1:57 PM on September 1, 2005


thank you, spacewaitress for the only actual insight that I've seen in this entire thread (my own contributions included). I've also noticed the same thing.
posted by afroblanca at 2:15 PM on September 1, 2005


Giving up on beauty (as in most things) is liberating.

You're sounding like Brigitte Bardot now.
posted by funambulist at 2:28 PM on September 1, 2005


If i was beautiful like you
I'd be quick to assume
They'd do anything to please me
At night I see their reaction
when you walk into the room

But that can never be
that will never, never be
Cuz i'm not beautiful like you
I'm beautiful like me

posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:29 PM on September 1, 2005


Wow, fenriq, your comment reminded me of a woman I worked for while I was in my early 20s. She'd been a hot Studio 54-type model in the 70s, but years of hard living had left her with these rage lines between her brows that looked worn right into her skull. She kept trying to 'mentor' me, which for her translated as eviscerating every aspect of my appearance. It wasn't like this was a modeling job; she thought, in every line of work, Image Trumped All. But what really bothered me was that, while I was knocking myself out doing good work for her, she couldn't relate to me beyond my looks (and I've never been a hottie; it was my age that rankled her.) She expected to be treated based on the superficial and wouldn't, or couldn't, get past the surface with anyone around her. Which led to some pretty bad descision making. Sad ol' shegeezer.
There's certainly a point where trying to stay 'pretty' becomes a full-time job, and it's not a career that generally makes a person engaging to be around. I'll take 'beauty' over 'pretty' anyday, no matter what it looks like.
posted by maryh at 3:16 PM on September 1, 2005


"Pretty" is relative.
I've met ugly people - they are ugly due to asshole personalities - regardless of how they look on the outside. It may sound pollyanna, but it's very true.
posted by Radio7 at 3:23 PM on September 1, 2005


I find being pretty to be rather disheartening. And look, I can write about it too [self link].
posted by hopeless romantique at 3:41 PM on September 1, 2005


I wanna see an article about what it's like to be a "butterface". Best of both worlds? Or worst, yathink?
posted by penciltopper at 3:50 PM on September 1, 2005


nice one, johngoren.
posted by shoepal at 4:03 PM on September 1, 2005


It would be interesting to see someone do a study where attractive people asked for favors while being nice/average/rude, and compare that against average or ugly people asking for favors when they were acting nice/average/rude.

One of those nauseating tv journalism shows actually did a "special investigation" several years ago on this topic. They had 2 attractive (in the pretty-enough-to-sell-aftershave way) people, a senior citizen and a lawyer who was not attractive but very aggressive. They were asked to perform various tasks like cutting in line at the post office, getting quarters from strangers, getting tickets for a sold out show, and haggling over prices.

The lawyer won the challenges but mostly because the pretty people were dumber than a bag of hammers. For the bargaining challenge he just printed out a lower price for the camera online and got the owner to match the price. For the challenge in the post office where they had to cut in line, he asked the first person if he could cut because he was in a hurry to send off an important document, whereas the pretty boy tried to pay off every single person in line and predictably, a lot of people were very annoyed. I can't help but think that if they had attractive people with an ounce of street smarts, the results would have been very different. Perhaps part of the point was that pretty people never worked on their street smarts because things were always handed to them, but the show wasn't deep enough to delve into that.
posted by hindmost at 4:07 PM on September 1, 2005


One of my earliest posts was on this subject, a link to a NYT mag piece on the 'Alternate Reality Of The Pretty Girl." Good discussion there...
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:23 PM on September 1, 2005


I can't imagine any other group of people being blanketed with such ridiculous assumptions or the target of such prejudice here on mefi, except for maybe fat people. Categorizing "pretty people" in the way most of you have is ridiculous, it's irrational & arrived at out of limited personal experiences, and is not a universal truth.
posted by zarah at 4:25 PM on September 1, 2005


Don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down whether or not you ever show up? Obligatory Ani DiFranco song post
posted by onlyconnect at 4:28 PM on September 1, 2005


One of my earliest posts was on this subject, a link to a NYT mag piece on the 'Alternate Reality Of The Pretty Girl." Good discussion there...

Interesting to see that the exact same thing happened, only worse, with actual Pat Robertson-style wishing-the-pretty-girl-were-dead posts. It reminds of Fark. Some attractive woman's picture is posted, and fat, greasy losers fall all over themselves to proclaim they wouldn't 'hit' it.

No, they won't. Or very little else, I'm bettin'. It's a good self-esteem booster, though. I use it myself. I hereby announce my attention to refuse the Noble prize this year. All of them. I just wouldn't 'hit' the laureate, even if you paid me. Those Noble guys are stuck-up attention whores anyway. Everybody knows that.
posted by umberto at 4:49 PM on September 1, 2005


Categorizing "pretty people" in the way most of you have is ridiculous, it's irrational & arrived at out of limited personal experiences, and is not a universal truth.

zarah, dear, I work right next to SoHo in New York, the glamazon capital of the world, (NTM when you drink like I do everyone starts to look pretty after awhile, so I know of which I speak. And nothing is a universal truth, but behavioral patterns exist: that when people are inundated with praise and goodies for superficial traits, they become arrogant and develop a sense of entitlement, which I feel morally obligated to shred. Also, I find it fun.
posted by jonmc at 4:56 PM on September 1, 2005


I mean, the pretty get stuck in elevators, the pretty just bounced a checked, the pretty get dumped and have to cook dinner alone.

Sure they do, but the circumstances are stll different. My best freind is an exceptionally handsome guy. He's also welathy, was in a band, is a cop, and a former fireman and EMT (there's a picture of him in the NY post rescuing a baby from a burning building. When he's around he pretty much sucks all the female attention out of a room. If he wasn't such a great guy (to me especially) I'd have to kill him. He's been dumped, but I remember him telling me how rough it was having to have anonymous sex with women he didn't care for, between relationships (and every woman he's ever been in a relationship with has been covergirl level gorgeous). I miss him now that he's in Hawaii, but I got tired of playing Ralph Malph to his Fonzie. So, I can only muster up so much sympathy for the Beautiful People.
posted by jonmc at 5:51 PM on September 1, 2005


Yah but jon it's still just your own limited experience, period. Soho is not the world, and you will never meet enough so called "pretty people" to be in a position to blanket them all with your bad experiences. Sure when some folks are fawned over they can become assholes, but that's not all of them & that's not just the "pretty". That's the rich, and the smart, and the athletic, etc.. Just admit you like being mean for fun. Oh, wait, you did. Bratty! :D

On preview: No one was asking for sympathy for pretty people were they? Some chick with a blog was just pondering the dynamics between her and those who find her attractive.
posted by zarah at 6:15 PM on September 1, 2005


Just admit you like being mean for fun.

Yes, but not to the weak or otherwise beknighted, only to those who are otherwise lavished with praise. An important distinction.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM on September 1, 2005


Have you ever written someone off as pretentious or self-centered or condescending or self-aggrandizing or narcissistic jonmc and been wrong?

If you have been wrong in the past, then why do you extrapolate your cynical history by tarring all 'pretty girls' with the same dismissive brush, despite knowing that you are not omniscient?

Or if you haven't been wrong in your previous estimations of people, how does one come by such infallible wisdom or is it at least available in some other form than a 32oz amber filled bucket?
posted by peacay at 6:59 PM on September 1, 2005


Have you ever written someone off as pretentious or self-centered or condescending or self-aggrandizing or narcissistic jonmc and been wrong?

Sure, I've been wrong occasionally. But the general rule still holds true, generally.

If you have been wrong in the past, then why do you extrapolate your cynical history by tarring all 'pretty girls' with the same dismissive brush, despite knowing that you are not omniscient?

That's the beauty of general rules, my freind. Adhering to them saves you aggravation. And since I've been out of the dating pool for a decade now, it's all academic.

Or if you haven't been wrong in your previous estimations of people, how does one come by such infallible wisdom or is it at least available in some other form than a 32oz amber filled bucket?


At that joint, it's usually filled with Bud. Best bargain in the house. And dude, you've always seemed like a nice guy so don't take this personally, but I recall a MeCha thread where the ladies were fawning over a picture of you. You sure you're not feeling a mite...defensive?
posted by jonmc at 7:10 PM on September 1, 2005


since I've been out of the dating pool for a decade now, it's all academic

So I take it you're out of the friend making pool too, or do you just make a point of being friends with people who's looks don't upset you? You're just as bad as those who shun the people they think are ugly, geez.

You sure you're not feeling a mite...defensive?

As if your position isn't one of defense as well.
posted by zarah at 7:29 PM on September 1, 2005


Oh, jon. You are friends with pretty people who you don't hate and who know they're pretty. Admit it: you just like this game of standing up for the common, and you use it to feel superior, just like everyone picks something to feel superior about.
posted by dame at 7:32 PM on September 1, 2005


So I take it you're out of the friend making pool too, or do you just make a point of being friends with people who's looks don't upset you?

Actually, one of my few gifts is that I can find a reason to like just about anyone, until they give me a reason not to. And as my link to my buddy shows, I have no problem being buds with good looking folk. But if pointing up that a) society has a bais toward good looking people and b) that those on the recieving end of that bias develop warped personalities based on that bias is wrong...well, mea culpa.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 PM on September 1, 2005


Oh, jon. You are friends with pretty people who you don't hate and who know they're pretty.

Yes, but I'd be lying if I said that wasn't my least favorite trait of theirs.

you just like this game of standing up for the common


Because I am common: average looks, average intelligence, average just about everything. If I don't stand up for me and mine, what the hell am I?
posted by jonmc at 7:34 PM on September 1, 2005


Heh...absolutely no defensiveness at all mate I assure you. Would it were that words typed on a screen manifest themselves IRL. That was the most flattery I've experienced in a looong time. And you have your own horde of admirers around the traps I note.
Nice deflection though; should it ever come to pass that I get to NYC I'll happily shout you a bud on the strength of that retort.

Rather, I come at this in terms of wanting to be openminded. If there's a pretty girl smiling in the immediate environment I just think it's a bit sad to naturally assume that I'm being played. Generalizations are ok in some things but here, that's like prejudging what?... 20% of the population or something. And besides, girls are allowed their vanity - we or at least I love it - dismissing them wholesale because they scrub up well or have some natural beauty going when dressed down seems to me to be possibly as shallow a personality marker from an observer's point of view as does the occasional facile put-up show that a minority of them may attempt to get their own way.
posted by peacay at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2005


I've met ugly people - they are ugly due to asshole personalities

This may be true, but the zits, glass eye, facial warts and flobbly jowls don't exactly help. I speak as one who knows, naturally.
posted by Decani at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2005


And you have your own horde of admirers around the traps I note.

That's just them being nice because they feel sorry for me or because they appreciate my curmudgeon/contrarian/nihilistic posting style. Different thing entirely.

Someday, I'll take you up on that beer though.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 PM on September 1, 2005


Because I am common: average looks, average intelligence, average just about everything. If I don't stand up for me and mine, what the hell am I?

How is that different from what you condemn?
posted by dame at 7:53 PM on September 1, 2005


dame, you misunderstand. I don't condemn beauty, I condemn those who think that their beauty makes them better than everyone else, which, in my experience,is a delusion physically beautiful people tend to succumb to.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 PM on September 1, 2005


jonmc writes "being nice because they feel sorry" Well you've got somewhere to go if the current relationship doesn't work out anyway.
posted by peacay at 7:59 PM on September 1, 2005


But you feel superior for being common.
posted by dame at 8:00 PM on September 1, 2005


dame wins
posted by peacay at 8:15 PM on September 1, 2005


Earlier, jonmc, you said:

Moments like that, I absolutely relish saying "No," and disappointing them.

I understand this, and I think it relates to what you've just said -- it's not about the beauty, but the assumption. Bit of a rejection junky myself, in that I like to actively punish the kind of ego that thinks I need to trip over myself to make way for beauty. Now unknowing beauty -- who cannot love that?
posted by dreamsign at 8:35 PM on September 1, 2005


But you feel superior for being common.

And so much of the ideology a lot of you subscribe to depends upon embracing, nay, exalting the common, in theory.
posted by jonmc at 8:38 PM on September 1, 2005


If you're in the average Mefi demographic, as I am, and you ever manage to become friends with a Pretty Girl – not just pretty, but with the kind of feminimity markers spacewaitress mentioned way up there – it's interesting.

Ask 'em about stalkers. Or cops.
posted by furiousthought at 10:27 PM on September 1, 2005


furiousthought- agreed. I'm not a Pretty Girl but I have had friends who were and one in particular who literally stops traffic, (which isn't usually a good thing).

And what is it about the guys who decide a woman is stuck up for admitting she is pretty? Is Bill Gates stuck up if he admits he's rich? He's not expected to blush and say "no, no- really I'm poor." Even if her beauty is an established fact, some reason a women is supposed to pretend she's not.

On top of that, if a Pretty Girl is friendly it's because she's manipulative, and if she's not friendly she's a stuck up bitch.

If she really is a stuck up bitch, that's another story, but not a one of my Pretty Girl friends have been, but were accused up it every time they turned down a drink at a bar.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:28 PM on September 1, 2005


And what is it about the guys who decide a woman is stuck up for admitting she is pretty? Is Bill Gates stuck up if he admits he's rich? He's not expected to blush and say "no, no- really I'm poor."

No, and that for me was exactly the point here, the one thing I found both hilarious and irritating in the Mistress's post is the bit where she goes on so condescendingly about feeling 'guilty' for being born rich and upper class and white as well as pretty. With that "poor me for feeling sorry for them!" that is just conceited arrogance in disguise. How can you [not you you, impersonal you] even pretend to feel guilty about something you didn't choose? It's hypocrite and gets on my tits more than someone who's an aristocratic snob and proud of it. And the "white guilt" thing, uuh... that implies you do yourself believe that being white makes you better but you have to disguise it under some patronising pity for people who aren't. Bleh. It's like you imagine it's the very same thing as being born rich and pretty so they'd want to be white too. I find that more than a little insulting.

I certainly don't have anyting against being good looking, oh not at all, praise be to the gods for good looking guys and girls, in all variations of individual tastes. It's not having good looks or caring about how you look that makes you a conceited narcissist, it's your attitude. And good looks are definitely not a prerequisite for that, there's all kinds of people who think they're god's gift to mankind and are obnoxious self-centred pricks - yes, men especially, since we're overdoing the generalisations here, some balance is in order - and conversely people who are good looking but don't flaunt it and don't spend hours thinking about it and have something else to their personality that makes them charming. What I think was ridiculous here in the Mistress's musings was the attitude. She didn't just neutrally "admit she is pretty" or rich or whatever. Read that bit again about her going about having something "they" don't have and "what else can they do but live with it" (and she even talks of Extreme Makeover-style plastic surgery as "self-improvement", like it was a matter of redecorating the kitchen...).

It's all rather funny but what amazes me most is the attempt at casting this as some deep reflection on Gender Issues and Power Relations, that is just taking the piss.
posted by funambulist at 2:50 AM on September 2, 2005


If she really is a stuck up bitch, that's another story, but not a one of my Pretty Girl friends have been, but were accused up it every time they turned down a drink at a bar.

Heh, well, that is just plain sour grapes...
posted by funambulist at 2:56 AM on September 2, 2005


A friend of mine had a sex change not too long ago, and went from being a very pretty girl to being a guy (not, in my opinion, a particularly unhandsome guy, either.)

He noticed all kinds of changes in the way people treated him; he noticed that strangers were less polite to him, would no longer do random favors he was used to expecting that people just did for other people, etc. He found it a bit of a jolt, although he was of the opinion that it wasn't too surprising, really.

It's an interesting perspective. Was he responsible for other people's reactions to him when he was a girl? Of course not. Did he use those reactions to get things? I'd say so, yeah. Was he aware that people were doing things for him because he was a pretty girl? On some level, sure.

Is there anything wrong with that? ... well, no, I don't think so. Sure, some people are stupidly stuck up about the fact that they're pretty, the same way some people are stupidly stuck up about the fact that they're rich or went to Harvard or only drink domestic beer or whatever the hell it is they think makes them so wonderful. But not all of them, by any means. The person I'm talking about is one of the sweetest people I know.

So, I guess I'd say that:

1) Some pretty people are stuck up because some people are stuck up, but people who use their looks to manipulate other people are often just doing it because life has taught them that it works, the same way you use your degree to get a job or your height to get the can off the high shelf.

2) If you have a problem merely with the fact that pretty people use their looks to manipulate others, blame the others who are so easily manipulated that way, frankly. No one is forcing them to do a favor for somebody.
posted by kyrademon at 3:09 AM on September 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


peacay: I'm interested to see (to the extent that I know) that there has only been a couple of women commenting in this thread.

Eh, yeah, the internet is male unless otherwise clearly specified, but even then, how can you know for sure. Even photos are not that reliable. For all we know, Mistress Matisse herself could be a 50 year old male professor of anthropology cleverly disguising himself...
posted by funambulist at 3:18 AM on September 2, 2005


Not only do 'pretty' people experience different treatment, they often play a specific role in a group. They are perceived as being successful because of their looks and therefore important. People often look to them for tacit approval. It's biology.
This presents the 'pretty' person with the oportunity for responsibility and respect, both double edged. Especially if they don't particularly enjoy the role that nature has prepared for them.
posted by asok at 4:51 AM on September 2, 2005


Well funambulist, you may loiter in the male sections of the internet, but don't be generalizing too much about my hangouts. Nor will I brook any attempt to thwart my fantasies reading and identifying of the MeFemmes, quite a few of whom did enter the discussion after that pullquote of mine, and I'm happy enough in my worldview discerning their inner beauty from the intelligent contributions and gentle keystroking they bring to the table.

All joking aside, I'm sincere when I say that, as usual, the better contributions to this thread were made by females (I won't put alleged - I've hung around here long enough and am satisfied to an acceptable extent that I can identify perhaps 40 or more females at MeFi). But I don't extend that mantle of quality to the Mistress though - I thought her (and yes, it could have been a 50 year old guy) weblog entry was worthy enough fodder for thought provocation but certainly not a treatise of any sort. This whole beauty-sociotrading is ubiquitous and thoroughly interesting to try to take a step back from so as to observe it for what it is.
posted by peacay at 4:54 AM on September 2, 2005


jon: And so much of the ideology a lot of you subscribe to depends upon embracing, nay, exalting the common, in theory.

And that has nothing to do with the argument. You are claiming that you hate pretty people because they use something superficial as evidence that they are better than others and that such thinking makes them warped. At the same time, you are using commonness--a direct analogue for beauty--to make yourself feel superior. It's silly.

As for my "ideology"--I am of the opinion that people deserve to be taken care of regardless of their beauty, commonness, or mediocrity in any other field. I don't see what that has to do with your hypocrisy.
posted by dame at 7:01 AM on September 2, 2005


You are claiming that you hate pretty people

No I'm not. I'm describing something. Pretty people recieve attention, praise and perks that the rest of us don't. That has to have an effect.

At the same time, you are using commonness--a direct analogue for beauty--to make yourself feel superior.

So by acknowledging my own mediocrity, I am proving that I think I'm superior? That makes my head hurt.
posted by jonmc at 7:24 AM on September 2, 2005


But... Girls Are Pretty.
posted by skryche at 7:33 AM on September 2, 2005


No I'm not. I'm describing something. Pretty people recieve attention, praise and perks that the rest of us don't. That has to have an effect.

Dude, reread your posts. You are not abstractly discussing effects, both good and bad; you are calling people warped because of some chip on *your* shoulder.

So by acknowledging my own mediocrity, I am proving that I think I'm superior? That makes my head hurt.

You aren't "acknowledging" it; you are setting yourself up as superior for it: my life is harder because people look right through me, so I really know the score as opposed to those pretty people, blah blah blah.

But if you can't see that, then I can't help you. I think I've been pretty clear.
posted by dame at 7:52 AM on September 2, 2005


Now everyone has a warped personality, QED.

That I'll buy, 23skidoo.
posted by jonmc at 9:46 AM on September 2, 2005


Is this thread seriously discussing whether it's a help or a hinderance to be attractive in this looks-obsessed world? And we're meant to feel sorry for good looking people because their looks eventually fade and they have to live like the rest of us?

Let's start another thread about the problems of being rich.
posted by bobbyelliott at 11:20 AM on September 2, 2005


And once we're done with that, let's tackle the white man's burden.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:51 PM on September 2, 2005


actually, funambulist, i think you've made an interesting analogy--but i think you're off a bit: her "pretty-girl guilt" and "white guilt," IMO, are akin because they're both about feeling self-reflective enough to know that you're getting perks you didn't earn by rights. Matisse might not be deeply self-reflective, but she knows enough to know that she's getting something she didn't deserve.

one would hope that the "white guilt" that comes to some with reflection then leads to some kind of positive action rather than more useless moaning. not sure what one conscious of "pretty-girl guilt" can do about it. not discriminate against the notpretty? not spend your whole waking life trying like hell to stay pretty? hm. might be a start.
posted by RedEmma at 9:50 PM on September 2, 2005


her "pretty-girl guilt" and "white guilt," IMO, are akin because they're both about feeling self-reflective enough to know that you're getting perks you didn't earn by rights.

RedEmma, what I was trying to say is that it's fair to assume that if given a choice everyone would like to be richer and prettier, I mean, even if you don't obsess over it or are happy with your circumstances anyway, who wouldn't like to have more money and less zits/rotten teeth/bald patches/whatever?
Whereas assuming that everyone who is not white would like to be white is a whole other kind of assumption and one that I do find insulting in a sneaky way.
posted by funambulist at 1:28 AM on September 3, 2005


and re: knowing she got something she didn't deserve - yeah, ok, but like I said it's not the straightforward acknoledgement of it, it's being condescending about it that gets on my nerves. I don't think there's anything sincere to that kind of "guilt" expressed in that way, it is just another form of condescension.
posted by funambulist at 1:39 AM on September 3, 2005


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