When I was in high school (or was it junior high), there was a commercial where the tagline was “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” My girlfriend and I used to make fun of it. Because really, who walks around thinking that? So, we used to flip our hair around and say, dramatically, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!”
Back then, we didn’t feel beautiful. We were lanky, skinny, pimply, awkward (pre)teens with braces. It was a joke to US, because we didn’t feel gorgeous, and no one would think we were, so to us it was funny.
These days, I’d never say it out loud unless it was with people I knew really well, because I’d be mortified to think someone actually thought I was that arrogant.
I was watching an episode of “America’s Top Model,” or whatever the real title is, with my husband the other day. There was a contestant who was in tears, and so over the top hysterically crying that she was nearly hyperventilating. She was so upset that the judges keep calling her “unmemorable.” She vowed she was spectacular and she was going to show them!
I was laughing. I looked at my husband and asked him what on earth made this girl think she was so incredible, so memorable, so much better than anyone else that she deserved to be a model; that she deserved to be “America’s Top Model”? Was she told that her whole life? Was she always handed things and praised and made to feel special, nay entitled? Or was she truly as insecure as the rest of us, and being called “unmemorable” is just the very thing she’d been afraid of all along?
I wish beauty wasn’t such a big deal, but I know as well as the next person that it is a big deal in our culture. Being attractive, in shape, young looking – all of it. We’re all judged on looks before anyone gets to know our personality or how smart or witty we are. You can’t tell how caring or funny someone is just by looking at them. You can’t tell how athletic or thoughtful or mean-spirited or judgmental someone is just by looking at their exterior.
This is why we all buy new clothes, get haircuts, makeup, skincare, go to the gym, delete bad pictures from our digital camera, only post ones on facebook that make us look GOOD.
Me, torturing myself for beauty, looking anything but beautiful.
I have no answer for this. I don’t think there’s any way around it. I suppose, however, that on top of us all trying to be memorable on the outside, we should really be vying to be memorable on the inside, because honestly, that’s what everyone will remember about you in the end.
Be your beautiful self.