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MooseIBe
05-22-2005, 12:05 PM
The answer seems obvious doesn't it? I mean that yes, being physically attractive is an advantage in life. But I sometimes wonder...

So, I mentioned my sister on another thread. She's very physically attractive .. slim, blond, nice features, spend a lot of time on her hair and clothes etc. Being of the dumpy brunette persuasion, I've always felt a slight pang of envy at this :). She can, and does, take her pick of men in a way that has certainly never been available to me, for instance. And people of both genders react to her differently because she's beautiful .. I've noticed this many times when i go anywhere with her.

The thing is, I am not sure that being attractive makes her all that happy, you know? For one thing, she has ended up with a whole load of men who were sleazy and unpleasant, simply because they were also exceptionally good looking and usually had money. This has caused her a fair amount of heartache and disaster in life. More to the point, I think that being beautiful means that she expects more from life than, say, I do, and then is disappointed when life doesn't deliver. The things that make me happy, for instance - reading, message boards, going for walks in the country etc - she considers generally incredibly lame and pathetic.. she wants expensive cars and restaurants and exotic holidays to keep her entertained. And it's a trait I've seen in other exceptionally attractive people: they think that the world should have more to offer them than unattractive people seem to think.

I am generalising of course! And I would be lying if I said that I wouldn't like to be physically attractive - of COURSE I would. I think that there's a whole dimension of life out there that, if you're plain, you simply never experience. But I also think that being unattractive gives you, for one thing, a greater empathy with other people and for another, an ability to appreciate things that other people might not appreciate. What do people think?

Dingfod
05-22-2005, 12:50 PM
Being attractive is definitely an advantage in life. It will get doors opened for you that someone ugly, fat or ugly and fat won't get. Is it right? Hell no, but lookism is as real as racism, many, if not most people, whether they want to admit it or not, discriminate on the basis of appearance.

Of course, the flip side, the curse of my life (joking), being overly attractive brings it's own set of problems: people don't take you seriously, they don't think you have a brain, they just get giddy when around you, or just won't approach you at all. It is much better to be on the attractive side of average, but not too much so.

Beth
05-22-2005, 12:52 PM
I dunno. I've known a lot of ugly people who have high expectations as well.

Dingfod
05-22-2005, 12:53 PM
Expound, please.

MooseIBe
05-22-2005, 12:54 PM
Yeah sorry I wasn't trying to suggest that ugly people couldn't have high expectations. Just speaking from personal experience, I tend not to. This could be just my problem though.

Beth
05-22-2005, 02:04 PM
Expound, please.I was just replying to Moosie's comments about her sister. Her sister seems to be shallow and just might be the same whether or not she was a gorgeous babe.

I grew up being told things like, "Beth put some makeup on, I told everyone how beautiful you are." So, to me, I see beauty in two folds, one, the illusion that one creates, and two, the natural beauty that radiates from a person's good and kind nature. The second beauty is what means most to me. One of the most beautiful women I know is an obese woman, her facial feature plain, not a conventional beauty, but beautiful non the less; she feels herself to be hideous, I just wish she could see herself as I do.

Anyway, I had this long reply but then I had a temporary power outtage and lost it- which is probably for the best. I really don't know how to reply to this thread. If I begin to write about myself, I am declaring myself to be a beauty and that is just in poor taste for a southern lady. But then, my perspective can only be based on my own experience...

Dingfod
05-22-2005, 02:59 PM
Okay, I get it now. Some people, who by societal standards may not be deemed to be beautiful, are still attractive, even physically, because of some inner quality. I've observed it many times, not in myself, mind you, but in others.

Right off hand, I can think of a local television news reporter, KOTV's Lori Fullbright (http://www.kotv.com/images/bios/Lshell.jpg). I've met her up close and personal and find her much more attractive in person than she is on television. She isn't ugly by any stretch of the imagination, but she has a large nose and big hips and kind of mousey hair, but there is just something about her that I find extremely appealing. I'm not alone in feeling that way either.

MooseIBe
05-22-2005, 03:22 PM
I don't think my sister is shallow .. just that she has higher expectations of what's fun than I do.

Beth
05-22-2005, 03:26 PM
I don't think my sister is shallow .. just that she has higher expectations of what's fun than I do.
I'm sorry then, the way you described her gave me that impression.

MooseIBe
05-22-2005, 03:28 PM
Heh sorry yeah I was prolly wrong her. I mean, she's a smart, nice person .. it just seems that she is unable to be happy with 'mundane' things and gets bored really easily if she's not being entertained.

pescifish
05-22-2005, 04:44 PM
Actually, overall I think the fact that I look like crap** has been to my advantage.

First, I work in a highly technical field that was dominated by men and in industries known for Good Ol' Boys (oil and aerospace). I was sharp and focused and put into project and operations lead positions within 2 years of graduating college. However, I never had to put up with much "Sweetheart-darlin'" crap that the pretty girls did.

Since I never acted or looked like what the Good Ol' Boys considered "female", I think I was almost treated as genderless and was able to be judged and treated according to my work abilities, not any other distractions. And in aerospace, I never had to deal with the constant line of idiot nerd engineers who would stumble and stammer through conversational attempts with the really gorgeous women just 'cuz, I dunno, I think they just liked being near them. There was no way any of them even got close to asking those women out -- but they sure as heck wasted the poor women engineers' time all friggin' day long. I understood after that why truly gorgeous women almost have to Bitches just to have some space.


Second, my not-typically-pretty looks served me very well in the romance department. I have had solid and satisfying romantic relationships starting at age 15, including a good 13 year run with a good guy. I doubt I've gone on more than two "dates" in my whole life, though -- who the hell is gonna ask out a dump like me?! However, the men in my life got to know me first and at some point in time they realized they were in love with me. No dates, just instant long term relationships.

Dating and the hunt for a relationship seems just a waste of time for me. If I were pretty, how long would it take me to figure out which of the hordes of interested guys were worth my time? They would all act nice and devoted at first, I'm sure, but would they ever be able to get past my looks to know and care about me?

However, I have never gotten preferential treatment at restaurants or retail or auto mechanics and I've never even bothered to try to flirt my way out of a traffic ticket. Really gorgeous people don't have to put any effort in to get that sort of stuff, I think.




** No no, I don't really think I always looked like total crap. What I mean to say here is that for those folks (and there are plenty of them in the IIDB/HH/FF crowd) who care so much about such things, I have always been way outside the range of "ok looking". Nowadays, of course, I really do look like total crap. It's rather freeing because I honestly do not give a fuck. :girltong:

beyelzu
05-22-2005, 05:46 PM
on a related note I am a largish overweight dude with a neanderthal brow, shaved head and tattoos who has been told by more than one person that I look intimidating. am I pretty fuck no*, but being intimidating has its own advatages even if they arent many.


*well my tats are.

MooseIBe
05-22-2005, 05:49 PM
Pesi I've found too that I tend to have satisfying relationships with nice men who really care about ME rather than with people who just asked me out cos I looked good, cos frankly, I don't. In a sense, although I'd like to be beautiful, it's worked well for me relationship wise not being. And hey, at least I know they like me for myself, right? :)

Sweetie
05-22-2005, 06:17 PM
I........I honestly have to say that it is my wish that my children not be beautiful. It was my wish that I not be beautiful and it was my literal prayer that the man I found in life to marry would not be beautiful. I think that's just wisdom speaking, and these wishes began when I was thirteen and fourteen.

Average, the better side of average, I agree with warrenly. You tend to get the best of both worlds.

As a Catholic too, I always thought looks would be detrimental to my faith because of the amount of temptation it would bring to my door and the propensity towards vanity instead of living in reality.

Without looks as this big overwhelming part of a relationship I think there's more room to relax, more room for genuineness, more room for your brain, more room for alot of things. I really do think that there's more room to be you instead of the plastic must be perfect with perfect cars and hair type attitude. I really do think that those who stay with you are generally more there because of you and not because of your looks. You aren't being used as much, you probably aren't being harassed as much.

I always figured that since so many cleave to those that are better looking for bragging rights and for what it can get them, I figured that those who were staying around with those who are less than beautiful were there because they wanted to be, because they liked to be there which is why I always figured that my few friendships have more value than another with a million.

Too, I think being less beautiful might help you work harder, develop some skills better, appreciate the value of things more.

"When the friends are gone
when the party's over"

Shakira - "Underneath Your Clothes"

I agree with this:

"The thing is, I am not sure that being attractive makes her all that happy, you know? For one thing, she has ended up with a whole load of men who were sleazy and unpleasant, simply because they were also exceptionally good looking and usually had money. This has caused her a fair amount of heartache and disaster in life. More to the point, I think that being beautiful means that she expects more from life than, say, I do, and then is disappointed when life doesn't deliver. The things that make me happy, for instance - reading, message boards, going for walks in the country etc - she considers generally incredibly lame and pathetic.. she wants expensive cars and restaurants and exotic holidays to keep her entertained. And it's a trait I've seen in other exceptionally attractive people: they think that the world should have more to offer them than unattractive people seem to think."

I don't think though, that anything in itself causes happiness or unhappiness it's what you do with it that causes happiness or unhappiness. A beautiful person can be happy, a less than beautiful person can be happy, it's all about what we do with what we've got to work with and something you have to overcome beauty as much as you have to overcome being less attractive, I think. There is extremes to look at, liking yourself too much, or hating yourself, both are negative. Life is about balance, IMHO.



But, as far as things go, I think being in between would be the most advantageous position to be in.

Crumb
05-22-2005, 07:30 PM
I don't think though, that anything in itself causes happiness or unhappiness it's what you do with it that causes happiness or unhappiness. A beautiful person can be happy, a less than beautiful person can be happy, it's all about what we do with what we've got to work with and something you have to overcome beauty as much as you have to overcome being less attractive, I think. There is extremes to look at, liking yourself too much, or hating yourself, both are negative. Life is about balance, IMHO.
Very well said Sweetie! :1thumbup:

koan
05-22-2005, 08:11 PM
As a makeup artist in film and television I worked with a number of presumably beautiful people who told me a lot about their lives. I found the happiness factor to be in similar ratio to the average person. You would think that beautiful people would spend less time in front of the mirror making themselves look beautiful, though.

Guys are the funniest (with their hair) 45 minutes later and...I can't see the difference.

As far as advantages go, it depends what it is you want. If you seek to be a writer or physicist, for example, there is no advantage to being beautiful. If you seek to be a famous actor or public figure there is definately an advantage.

Dingfod
05-22-2005, 08:29 PM
It isn't always about public appearance or dealing with the public. While what koan said maybe true for a writer, a physicist, unless he was hired sight unseen based on academics, will, at some time in their life, have a job interview. When competing with others similarly qualified for a job, attractiveness may well play a role, unfortunately.

lisarea
05-22-2005, 08:50 PM
I think it's probably an advantage in some ways and a disadvantage in others. Overall, you're probably best off being somewhere on the bulbous part of the bell curve.

Especially for girls, being unusually attractive seems to overwhelm everything else about them. They're perpetually being told that they're pretty, and if everyone tells you that, you're eventually going to get the message.

This is a pretty pronounced phenomenon for girls in general, but it's worse for the really pretty ones. I had a friend/neighbor a few years back who was just stunningly beautiful, and she'd somehow managed to produce a child even more gorgeous than she was. This kid literally looked like a porcelain doll. And it was a huge problem for them. People would stop in their tracks to point out that the little girl was pretty. Wherever they went, whatever they did, someone saw fit to comment on it. Fortunately, her mom had dealt with much the same thing all her life, too, and was pretty conscious of the phenomenon and its effects, so she would try to politely divert them, and steer the conversation in the direction of her daughter's actual character traits. But if that kind of thing is left unchallenged, I can certainly see why exceptionally attractive people end up putting too much stake in their looks, just because the rest of the world seems to.

MooseIBe
05-23-2005, 11:05 AM
Yes. I've always wondered what people like Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss are really like as people .. whether there is anything more to them than just exquisite beauty and an ego that believes that, because of this beauty, they can behave anyway they like and treat people anyway they want.

Beth
05-23-2005, 12:16 PM
Yes. I've always wondered what people like Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss are really like as people .. whether there is anything more to them than just exquisite beauty and an ego that believes that, because of this beauty, they can behave anyway they like and treat people anyway they want.Well, they were supermodels. They were basically divas. Many very famous people have huge egos and treat people poorly, not because of great beauty but because they are stars. I never understood hurting people and treating them poorly just because of the way they looked. I remember getting voted the ugliest girl in school in my seventh grade class.- Back then, we had seventh grade centers where about a fourth of the county's seventh graders attended, so we had a large student body.- Those beautiful people who feel they have the right to hurt less beautiful people just because they are pretty, well, I wonder if they ever had been on the other end of the humiliation. Same goes for those who have fame.

Penni
05-23-2005, 08:01 PM
Yes. I've always wondered what people like Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss are really like as people .. whether there is anything more to them than just exquisite beauty and an ego that believes that, because of this beauty, they can behave anyway they like and treat people anyway they want.Well, they were supermodels. They were basically divas. Many very famous people have huge egos and treat people poorly, not because of great beauty but because they are stars. I never understood hurting people and treating them poorly just because of the way they looked. I remember getting voted the ugliest girl in school in my seventh grade class.- Back then, we had seventh grade centers where about a fourth of the county's seventh graders attended, so we had a large student body.- Those beautiful people who feel they have the right to hurt less beautiful people just because they are pretty, well, I wonder if they ever had been on the other end of the humiliation. Same goes for those who have fame.

:airbox: WTF?? Your 7th grade voted on ugliest kid? What a sad statement. As if kids need any more examples of how to grow up mean and hateful!

I definitely agree with what Sweetie said. It's what you make of it. That being said, being beautiful gives you opportunities you might not otherwise have to make something exciting or special or otherwise advantageous. I think the downsides of beauty are more easily mitigated (one may have a range of ability to control bad stuff such as sexual harrassment) whereas ugly people may not be able to control (at all) the seizing of opportunities that open more easily for pretty people.

I have this hypothesis, though, that your looks matter less and less the more you see people. When you meet someone, it may influence a lot, but as they become a friend, it matters less and less, in proportion to how well they are getting to know the rest of you. So, when beautiful people get advantages, I think it's typically in first impression type situations (and maybe second and third and even fourth impressions, depending on the situation). But, I can't imagine one of my friends having any sort of advantage with me over another friend, based on his/her looks. In fact, if I were asked to pick my most beautiful friend, it would take me a while. It's really hard to evaluate someone you know well on just their looks. How can you not let their personality influence you, at that point?

Anyway, I do think it's a shame that pretty people may gain what I see as an unfair advantage in circumstances totally unrelated to beauty. But, it does make good evolutionary sense.

godfry n. glad
05-23-2005, 08:34 PM
My impression is that the really attractive people tend to be shallow because they are very rarely challenged. Many things in life tend to get handed to them on a tray, rather than their having to work for it.

Adversity builds character. If you face very little adversity, then either one has to consciously engage in activities which build character, or surrender to being shallow.

As you might guess, I'm not one of the "attractive" crowd. I think I'm a bit unusual, interesting, controversial, engaging, short, snaggle-toothed, bearded, bespectacled, balding and overweight. I'd say I was a bit on the "goofy-looking" side. My current girlfriend is on the "matronly" side, a bit frumpy, overweight and kinda goofy-looking, too. However, she's a certified mechanical engineer who is in the higher levels of city government and hellishly interesting and controversial. Plus, she's affable, understanding, compassionate and caring. She also likes intelligent bearded guys whose politics cannot be readily pidgeonholed.....and, she keeps making snide comments about the number of unqualified men who've risen to positions of power and responsibility on their looks and ability to bullshit, and all the unqualified women who have risen to places of responsibility in the community (both private and public) who have fucked their way into their positions of responsibility.

So... It seems that "being attractive" can advance one's career, clear to the point that one is placed in a position where one clearly does not have the prerequisite skills and knowledge. Attractiveness seems to just speed up Parkinson's Law.

Penni
05-23-2005, 09:21 PM
No one can argue with your own experience, godfry, but in reality, I just don't think this can be true. Pretty people don't get a free pass on having relatives die young or die painfully, or just plain die, which is always hard. They don't usually get a pass on being poor, if they started out that way. Pretty doesn't prevent you from getting diseases, or from being abused, and nor does it take away any ambition that you may have been born or raised with to work hard and study hard.

I can tell you that, having grown up kinda poor, in a split family, with several alcoholics and diabetics and having had all 3 of my grandparents (the 4th is still living) die of horribly drawn out cancer, that my looks didn't help me out at all. Even though I haven't faced nearly as much adversity as some people, I certainly don't feel like I need anymore...I'm pretty happy with my character as is!

I certainly think your premise CAN be true in some instances. I.e. if a pretty person is also lucky enough to avoid adversity that cannot be prevented through prettiness, that person has, against all odds, gone through life with so little adversity as to allow shallowness and a lack of character. But, it takes other ingredients aside from just prettiness, including, most likely, a lot of money and a very sheltered life!

Sweetie
05-23-2005, 10:43 PM
I have this hypothesis, though, that your looks matter less and less the more you see people.

My Mom has been with my step-dad since I was five or six. I asked her a few years ago if he was good-looking because I honestly couldn't tell. In that way I was kinda curious that if he became single, if he would have a hard time finding a girlfriend, if he is indeed an attractive man, etc.

She answered that she didn't know if he was good-looking or not. The truth is, I don't know either. He's nice looking at the very least, not offensive but I agree with you as far as that goes.

Seriously, it gets worse when you have kids and you realize that these beautiful talented loving valuable worthwhile children are going to be judged by many in the search for a partner mostly solely in many cases, because of their looks. You tend to stop judging that way to a degree once you have that perspective.

MooseIBe
05-24-2005, 12:23 PM
Yes. I've always wondered what people like Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss are really like as people .. whether there is anything more to them than just exquisite beauty and an ego that believes that, because of this beauty, they can behave anyway they like and treat people anyway they want.Well, they were supermodels. They were basically divas. Many very famous people have huge egos and treat people poorly, not because of great beauty but because they are stars. I never understood hurting people and treating them poorly just because of the way they looked. I remember getting voted the ugliest girl in school in my seventh grade class.- Back then, we had seventh grade centers where about a fourth of the county's seventh graders attended, so we had a large student body.- Those beautiful people who feel they have the right to hurt less beautiful people just because they are pretty, well, I wonder if they ever had been on the other end of the humiliation. Same goes for those who have fame.

Jeeeeeesus! I think I'd have died on the spot if I'd been voted ugliest girl in my school (though I suppose I well might have been had we had such votes.. thank God we didn't!). Was that some sort of official vote? I've never heard anything so insensitive in my entire life!

Beth
05-24-2005, 12:53 PM
Yes. I've always wondered what people like Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss are really like as people .. whether there is anything more to them than just exquisite beauty and an ego that believes that, because of this beauty, they can behave anyway they like and treat people anyway they want.Well, they were supermodels. They were basically divas. Many very famous people have huge egos and treat people poorly, not because of great beauty but because they are stars. I never understood hurting people and treating them poorly just because of the way they looked. I remember getting voted the ugliest girl in school in my seventh grade class.- Back then, we had seventh grade centers where about a fourth of the county's seventh graders attended, so we had a large student body.- Those beautiful people who feel they have the right to hurt less beautiful people just because they are pretty, well, I wonder if they ever had been on the other end of the humiliation. Same goes for those who have fame.

Jeeeeeesus! I think I'd have died on the spot if I'd been voted ugliest girl in my school (though I suppose I well might have been had we had such votes.. thank God we didn't!). Was that some sort of official vote? I've never heard anything so insensitive in my entire life!The cliques and certain popular groups ran the poll. This sort of thing happens all of the time, it was not that unusual. Yes, I was humiliated, but I was able to thankfully just laugh and wait till I got home and cried. All in all, I think that it was a growing experience.

MooseIBe
05-24-2005, 04:59 PM
well at least it wasn't a teacher sanctioned one which is something :). Still, I feel your pain as the saying goes. I dunno if I would have considered it a learning experience .. I think it would have crushed the very small amount of self esteem that I had at that age :(

Beth
05-24-2005, 05:51 PM
It did crush my already wounded self esteme at the time. I'll look at pictures from that time and think, wow, I was a really pretty girl, even with the long hair, and cannot understand why I had picked on so horribly. The only thing I can think of is that kids are mean to each other. When my daughter gets picked on, she brings up my experience and says that must of really hurt, I tell her it did, then she smiles and says they were liars, I agree and tell my daughter that the people who are picking on her are liars, too.

Anyway, I think that all that people go through shapes them. I am liking who I am becoming more and more and without that experience I might not be as empathetic in some situations.

I have no doubt that more attractive people can have the advantage, it is unfair. But I don't think that it means pretty people automatically get the advantage in all things work related. As Pesci has stated, beauty can actually be a disadvantage in some fields. I've seen some friends who faced sexual harrassment and were not taken seriously because they were very pretty.

Shake
05-24-2005, 07:37 PM
Well, if it makes any difference at all, you've become a lovely woman, IMNSHO!

Disclaimer: yes, I'm married, and no, this isn't intended to be a flirt, I just call 'em like I see them, and do not hold back from complimenting those who I feel deserve it

eta: I keep looking at the o.p. subject and thinking, "I wouldn't know."

Shake
05-24-2005, 07:44 PM
As Pesci has stated, beauty can actually be a disadvantage in some fields.
I wanted to reply to this separately: I've seen this with women in technical fields, esp. blondes, who aren't taken seriously.

Also, I imagine it could be a distraction -- and I don't mean to those around the attractive person. I work in engineering, and went to an engineering school (http://www.rpi.edu), so I know there aren't many women, let alone attractive ones, in these fields. But we had one in my group briefly just a little while ago, and there were almost always a couple of guys hanging out around her cube. It makes me wonder now how she got any work done. I overheard a couple of other engineers whose cubes were near hers talking after she transferred to another group. They were saying how the traffic would be less and how they'd be able to get more done now.